It was never intentional to keep my E92 locked away. In the beginning, I took mass transit to work in New York, and the car sat during the week. The next thing I knew, the car had very low mileage and was already 5 years old. Not this time. My G80 M3 deserves to be driven each day. It’s comfortable, fast, and overall perhaps the best M3 yet.
Now, I celebrate the one-year mark with it. What have I learned? I’ll explain, and while we chat, I’ll give the car a bath at my favorite garage with AMMO NYC.
After all, it’s a big week for the M3.
How much is a G80 M3?
It might seem like a weird question to start with, but the answer is maybe not as much as you think. Stickered at a little over $75,000, you’d be hard-pressed to find another car that does so much in this price range.
The carbon buckets look nice but are too tight. The carbon ceramic brakes won’t dust as much (we’ll get to that), but are 10% of the total price of the car. Maybe I needed the parking package? I don’t know, I haven’t parked over a cliff yet but the cameras are missed.
Maybe once you start to get up by the M5, around $110k, the M3 makes less sense.
I must tell you I do not like how BMW penalizes for choosing the stick. No cool M seat belts. A shifter surround that isn’t gloss. And a lot less power and torque.
Actually, maybe not the power and torque. Unless I were to drag race a Competition model, or literally drive them back-to-back, you will not notice the power difference from a “base” M3.
“Broooo, you got the stick!” Is what I hear at shows. Yeah, I did. Me and maybe five other people. Do it before it goes away very soon.
I will tell you that in the wrong gear, the turbo lag is obvious. Even my daughter knows when the kick happens on the tach. But if you drive the car properly (or just get one with an automatic) turbo lag is imperceptible, and the S58 is a better engine than the S55 (and yes, the S65). Deal with it.
In fact, this and the S63 are BMW’s best engines to date, in this author’s humble opinion.
I drive the G80 M3 around town more than the E92. That car was mostly on the highway going to shows, so it got a nice 19 MPG. Pretty impressive for that car.
The computer in the G tells me 18.6. I don’t think I’ve changed my driving habits. Maybe progress isn’t really being made here.
My brakes squeal a lot. It sounds like an old school bus. Very embarrassing. The dealer won’t fix it. But Tyler from Tyspeed even said that’s the way they are. Maybe carbon ceramics would help.
My brakes dust a lot too. It’s extremely hard to clean the wheels properly as you just saw. Carbon ceramics would help here too.
With the ceramics, the hardware is almost identical. The calipers are the same, but the rotors on CCBs are slightly thicker and larger (380 x 36 base front, 400 x 38 CCB if you’re wondering). If your CCBs squeal in any BMW, let me know.
One thing that makes the car sound better is the exhaust. Speaking of…
A lot of people have written asking if I still love the AWE exhaust I installed last month. The answer is a resounding yes. It’s louder than any muffled system, pops loudly, doesn’t increase drone by any unbearable amount and looks great.
I probably wouldn’t recommend the BMC panel filters. They don’t do much. Like the exhaust, I’m hoping to find one I like that’s reasonably priced.
What have you done with it?
In one year, I’ve put 9,200 miles on it. I’ve loved every one, including:
- Picking it up at the Performance Center (And driving it home).
- Led last year’s Fall M Cruise
- Compared it to an M2 CS and M5 CS
- Compared it to a Giulia
- Made other G80 friends
- Parked it right in Times Square
- Put on an intake
- Put on an exhaust with Tyspeed
- Took it to AMMO for this article
But what’s cool is that it also takes my daughter to school every day, is my “base” on photo shoots, and picks up the groceries.
I’m year-one into a three-year lease. By the time it’s up, the Blackwing will be gone. An M5 is out of reach. I’m not sure I see anything else that can directly compete with my G80 M3, though some are tempting.
Let’s see what the LCI holds, and I’ll better be able to decide then.
Overall I love it. If you have one I hope you love yours, and I’m exited for year two!
Special thanks as always to Larry of AMMO NYC for opening up his shop for the day.
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I use Nikon camera bodies and lenses, a Westcott Ice Light 2, Manfrotto tripod, B + W filters and an iMac Pro to make the art you see here.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. Follow along on Instagram @machineswithsouls
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