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First edition M3. Image by Richard Newton.

First edition M3
A premium of £2,500 gets you the more exclusive BMW M3 Edition, though it's not very different to the regular car.

 



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| First Drive | Bedfordshire, England | BMW M3 Edition |

It's not unusual for car makers to introduce limited production runs in a bid to drum up interest in a model that's been around for a few years, but BMW's approach is a little different in that the M3 Edition will be produced for six months, regardless of how many are sold. Is its exclusivity worth the significant premium though?

In the Metal

Unlike many special editions, this M3 stands out. The most obvious signifiers are the black-gloss finished alloy wheels (actually not standard...), which, together with the black kidney grilles, side vents, bonnet vents, door mirrors and exhaust pipes, lend the M3 Coupé even more menace. The 10mm drop in ride height adds to this too no doubt.

Changes are minimal inside though, with a more tactile centre armrest material and unique leather sports seats complemented by body-coloured stitching elsewhere. Not that we found much wrong with the regular car's cockpit.

What you get for your Money

That £2,500 premium doesn't buy you a lot in truth. The styling additions mark the Edition out as a more exclusive version of the M3, but the only technical change is the minor reduction in ride height already mentioned. Buyers have few options either, as the Edition is available only as a Coupé and can be painted in Alpine White, Dakar Yellow or Monte Carlo Blue. Pity the highly distinctive black alloys are not standard, as they look fantastic. Other than that, buyers can choose between manual and M-DCT dual-clutch transmissions. In summary, you're paying for exclusivity.

Driving it

I'd be lying if I said the drop in ride height brought about a distinct difference in dynamics between the Edition and the regular M3. Sure, it'll reduce the centre of gravity a little, but the standard car is so competent anyway that it's difficult to detect anything different. It remains one of our favourite cars on sale today, with the range of customisation available allowing you to set up the car for whatever you're in the mood for. It's a highly exciting drive and the V8 engine is nothing short of an engineering miracle. Read our BMW M3 first drive for a more in depth analysis.

Worth Noting

If you opt for the Alpine White version, you'll receive a slightly different interior to the other cars featuring contrast stitching on the 'carbon structure' leather trim and contrast-coloured door armrest pads, centre console and centre armrest pad. Additionally, the M3 Edition features a chequered flag design on the door sill plates to celebrate the fact that the M3 has now won more Touring Car race titles than any other car.

Summary

There's not much more to say really. If you already like the BMW M3 then you'll undoubtedly love the M3 Edition model. The £2,500 extra it costs mostly covers the aesthetic changes, which, if the black alloys are included, does result in a distinctly different appearance. No doubt many will think it's worth the price.

Shane O' Donoghue - 30 Jul 2009









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2009 BMW 3 Series specifications:
Price: £53,435 on-the-road.
0-62mph: 4.8 seconds
Top speed: 155mph
Combined economy: 22.8mpg
Emissions: 295g/km
Kerb weight: 1655kg

Full technical specifications

2009 BMW M3 Edition. Image by BMW.2009 BMW M3 Edition. Image by BMW.2009 BMW M3 Edition. Image by BMW.2009 BMW M3 Edition. Image by BMW.2009 BMW M3 Edition. Image by BMW.

2009 BMW M3 Edition. Image by BMW.2009 BMW M3 Edition. Image by BMW.2009 BMW M3 Edition. Image by BMW.2009 BMW M3 Edition. Image by BMW.2009 BMW M3 Edition. Image by BMW.



2009 BMW M3 Edition. Image by Richard Newton.
 

2009 BMW M3 Edition. Image by Richard Newton.
 

2009 BMW M3 Edition. Image by Richard Newton.
 

2009 BMW M3 Edition. Image by BMW.
 

2009 BMW M3 Edition. Image by BMW.
 

2009 BMW M3 Edition. Image by BMW.
 

2009 BMW M3 Edition. Image by BMW.
 

2009 BMW M3 Edition. Image by BMW.
 






 

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