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PistonHeads Expert Opinion

The first turbocharged M3 wasnโ€™t short of performance: 431hp from its 3.0-litre, twin-turbocharged straight six only put it slightly ahead of its 420hp, V8 predecessor, but the F80 was miles ahead on torque, with 406lb ft against the E92โ€™s mere 295lb ft. That it was lighter, too, only helped the situation; a car that once needed revs to feel fast now charged through every gear in the six-speed manual or seven-speed DCT like no M3 before it.

Launched in 2014, the F80 M3 - alongside its F82 M4 Coupe and F83 M4 Convertible siblings - got better as the model years progressed. In 2016 a Competition Pack was launched, boosting power from 431hp to 450hp and improving the suspension - these cars are well worth seeking out from ยฃ30,000, as they fully realised the potential of the platform. A MY18 facelift improved things further, and both M3 saloon and M4 Coupe received a CS special at the end of the production run.

With power upped ever so slightly and dynamics further honed, they were a fitting swansong to a memorable (if divisive) generation of BMW M3. Though both were more than ยฃ80,000 new, those run-out models are available now for little more than ยฃ50k. Anyone worried about M cars going soft could do a lot worse than trying an M3 or M4 CS.

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