RE: BMW M3 (F80): Spotted

RE: BMW M3 (F80): Spotted

Tuesday 26th March

BMW M3 (F80): Spotted

The cheapest current M3 on PH is also a manual. What are you waiting for?



Can it really be five years since the first F80 M3s and F82 M4s were driven? Time really does fly. But it was May 2014 when BMW unleashed its fifth generation M3 on the world, to widespread acclaim. Give journalists an M car, a sunny track and a steady supply of tyres and the verdict is probably quite easy to predict.

That said, positives did remain once the car reached the UK: its ferocious new powertrain, it front end tenacity and its retention of standard 3 Series comfort all standing out. Trouble was it sometimes felt a bit too much like any other 3 Series; combine that with a handling edge that could best be described as 'edgy' if a bump or spike of torque (or both) upset the car, and the praise was a little less unequivocal in this country.


The M3 could never be accused of being boring at least, and, as our long-term M4 test proved, there was a lot more to be learnt about it given the time. The constant and continuous improvements, through various facelifts and Competition Packages, have further ironed out the issues that were there in 2014 to create something even better. Still, if the new M3 and M4 - due at some point next year - do tame the current car's slightly wild edge, don't be surprised to see those detractors suddenly pine for the more aggressive, slightly frenzied side left behind.

Certainly this generation has made fans on PH, and it's a car that deserves to be revisited as the effects of depreciation begin to take hold. All of the series production M cars drop fairly dramatically - remember the Shed M5? Or the £6k E46 M3? So it will be interesting just where this M3 will end up. Currently its V8 predecessor seems to have bottomed out at £13k for the highest mileage cars at 10 years old, though they could go further; whether this one suffers a similar fate remains to be seen.

This M3 at £30k still has some way to fall, but it's an intriguing specimen nonetheless. As a manual, pre-facelift saloon it's one of the rarest derivatives out there (there are even fewer manual convertibles, you won't be surprised to learn), and as a result looks pleasingly old school in an increasingly tech obsessed BMW M universe. This colour spec may not be to all tastes, and its mileage is the highest of any similar M3 currently for sale, but it had to be the most affordable one somehow...


It looks rather cool from here though, the presence of a manual also making it difficult to think of suitable alternatives for everyday use. The current AMG C63 is nearly down at this money, but is automatic only, and the same goes for the Alfa Giulia Quadrifolgio. Moreover, while rumours abound of a 'Pure' manual and rear-wheel drive version of the next M3, they are unconfirmed. Given how few manuals will have been sold since 2014, and with the rivals already there, who's to bet against the M3 and M4 going automatic-only? Stranger things have happened. And imagine how much more in demand this M3 would become as the last manual.

That's only speculation, of course; even if the M3 manual does continue, this model will always be remembered (mostly fondly) as a true M car wild child. That it's rare will only add to the appeal. Just remember to keep the rear tyres fresh...


SPECIFICATION - BMW M3 (F80)
Engine:
2,979cc, straight-six twin-turbo
Transmission: 6-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 431@5,500rpm
Torque (lb ft): 406@1,850-5,500rpm
MPG: 32.1 (NEDC combined)
CO2: 204g/km
Recorded mileage: 64,826
Year registered: 2015
Price new: £56,175
Price now: £30,460

See the original advert here.

Author
Discussion

Global Nomad

Original Poster:

6 posts

22 months

Tuesday 26th March
quotequote all
Mmmm

Mike335i

2,269 posts

43 months

Tuesday 26th March
quotequote all
Whilst the sound these make isn't liked, these are quite good to drive and very quick. The MDCT box is good but I'm sure the manual will just add to the experience of one of these.

I also much prefer the M3 to the M4 strangely.

Plate spinner

13,104 posts

141 months

Tuesday 26th March
quotequote all
Mike335i said:
I also much prefer the M3 to the M4 strangely.
Likewise, always the saloon for me even going back to the e36 M3.

Bladedancer

969 posts

137 months

Tuesday 26th March
quotequote all
So much want...
It's a good thing I don't have 30k handy :P

Bladedancer

969 posts

137 months

Tuesday 26th March
quotequote all
Plate spinner said:
Likewise, always the saloon for me even going back to the e36 M3.
E36 and E39 Ms are fine looking cars indeed. Distinctive from their non-M brethren, but not over the top.
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Lowtimer

4,021 posts

109 months

Tuesday 26th March
quotequote all
At four years old and 64K miles that needs to be priced below 50% of original list, not above it.

janesmith1950

2,822 posts

36 months

Tuesday 26th March
quotequote all
Really enjoyed my Comp Pack one. Depreciation nightmare from new, but the smiles and sheer performance of the thing more than made up for it. Great on track for such a heavy car. Brilliant on the NC500 and ace on Euro jaunts. Then it potters to Tesco and back with the kids in tow without a grumble.

AmosMoses

3,219 posts

106 months

Tuesday 26th March
quotequote all
I do prefer the E90 M3 to this.

However this is the last M3 with a manual so it will be worth something one day!

NicoG

497 posts

149 months

Tuesday 26th March
quotequote all
M4s are available with similar mileage for £4K less than this.

soad

29,827 posts

117 months

Tuesday 26th March
quotequote all
Expensive. Surely capable of making bigger horsepower figures? Twin turbo after all... getmecoat

p1stonhead

18,765 posts

108 months

Tuesday 26th March
quotequote all
AmosMoses said:
I do prefer the E90 M3 to this.

However this is the last M3 with a manual so it will be worth something one day!
New one has a manual too apparently.

British Beef

1,180 posts

106 months

Tuesday 26th March
quotequote all
4 years old with over 15k miles per year and still 55% of new cost, seems very expensive.

How reliable are the turbos on these? and if one goes are you told to replace both?


tonker

55,771 posts

189 months

Tuesday 26th March
quotequote all
Seems nutty pricing.

Manual box or not. You can get 65 plate M5s with higher spec from main dealers in the Stratstone group (so including warranty) for about the same money......

cerb4.5lee

11,367 posts

121 months

Tuesday 26th March
quotequote all
The M3 does look a little more aggressive with its flared rear arches...but I'd go for a manual M4 instead. I've never liked the exterior colour that this M3 is in either.

I do like rare cars like this though for sure.

chow pan toon

11,296 posts

178 months

Tuesday 26th March
quotequote all
An M4 blasted past whilst I was walking down the road a few days ago. They make a particularly unappealing racket.

Murphy16

229 posts

23 months

Tuesday 26th March
quotequote all
The idling sound these make is horrible, they only sound decent at full chat and the expensive exhaust options seem to make it sound worse (in my opinion).

T1berious

1,138 posts

96 months

Tuesday 26th March
quotequote all
Considering you can get cars with 60% less mileage for not that much more (agreed, DCT's) I'd be inclined to stump up the extra cash and pick up <25k mileage car.

https://www.pistonheads.com/classifieds/used-cars/...

Way more M4's at much lower mileages as far as I can tell.

As others have said, dreamland pricing.



samoht

904 posts

87 months

Tuesday 26th March
quotequote all
[quote]The constant and continuous improvements, through various facelifts and Competition Packages, have further ironed out the issues that were there in 2014 to create something even better.
[/quote]

This raises two questions:
1) Do we know, precisely, which chassis changes made the car better / more predictable to drive?
2) Are they parts that can be retro-fitted to original first-year cars like this one?

A car that was criticised at the time, but with a well-proven modification path to put it on a par with the sorted later models, is a more appealing proposition than one that will forever be second-best as a drivers' car.

C.MW

89 posts

10 months

Tuesday 26th March
quotequote all
It's always good to have a maual available but in the f80 m3 it's awful to use (way too rubbery for someone used to 911/Lotus) and the turbo charged engine generating a flat torque curve means it gets quite unruly getting out of a corner. I'm not in the market for one but if I were I'd go for a mint E90 M3 even if that costs a stupid amount of money for a second hand car.

9k rpm

119 posts

151 months

Tuesday 26th March
quotequote all
samoht said:
This raises two questions:
1) Do we know, precisely, which chassis changes made the car better / more predictable to drive?
2) Are they parts that can be retro-fitted to original first-year cars like this one?

A car that was criticised at the time, but with a well-proven modification path to put it on a par with the sorted later models, is a more appealing proposition than one that will forever be second-best as a drivers' car.
Most of the issues were with the DCT gearbox and how the engine delivered its power in conjunction with it. There have been some revisions to damper software and some minor hardware adjustments but in the main you can transform an early car with firmware updates to the engine/gearbox. I’ve got a 2015 M4 with DCT and the 2018 firmware along with GTS DCT software have transformed the car. It used to try spin the wheels in sport+ changing from 2nd to 3rd even in dry now it’s fine even in damp.

This manual car will likely be less spikey than an early DCT but updated firmware would also help.

The cars generally come with Pilot Super Sports too which are terrible in any remotely cold conditions PS4s are far better for all season driving although not as responsive in the warm/dry.