First presented at the 1985 Frankfurt Motor Show at the BMW exhibition stand, the 1986 BMW M3 was presented to the public for the first time. It is easy to distinguish the M3 from other normal BMW 3-Series. At the time, the M3 was one of the most enjoyable, best handling road cars on the market due to 48/52-weight distribution and a chassis that is alive, giving the car a personality unlike many other cars out there.
There is a plethora of features that distinguish the BMW M3 from other 3-Series. A striking spoiler molded out of plastic adorns the boot lid across the width of the car and side skirts and lower bumpers help to reduce drag and air resistance. These additions indicate the refined aerodynamic work that the engineers carried out on this car. Slightly wider C-pillars have a flatter taper in order not to interrupt the airflow over the edges of the roof while directing the air more effectively onto the rear spoiler. Wider fender flares allow for taller, wider wheels and tires allowing for improved grip. There is no question that the M3 looks mean and fast even when it is parked at a stand still.
Many options were available for the BMW M3, including full leather trim, which featured leather door panels and seats instead of cloth material. A leather-wrapped, three-spoke sport steering wheel compliments the interior perfectly and is comfortable in the hands. An optional sunroof could be purchased as well as an upgraded AM/FM stereo and cassette player. BMW’s goal for the M3’s interior was to give the customer the whole package, including comfort and performance all in one.
Fitted with a hand-built, 2.3-liter inline-4 engine with four valves per cylinder, the 1986 BMW M3 produces 192 horsepower and 170 ft-lb of torque. From a stop, reaching 60 mph only takes 6.7 seconds if the driver can shift smoothly.