Rumours that BMW's next M3 will come exclusively with all-wheel drive and an automatic gearbox come as little surprise - the model would simply be following the path of the M5 in the face of ever-growing demands for more performance. But few might have expected to hear that a rear-wheel drive, manual M3 Pure version could also be in the pipeline, because such a car would completely buck the trend of the M division's latest movements.
Like the Porsche 911 R and Audi R8 RWS, an M3 Pure would be produced for those who prioritise driving engagement above outright performance. But while there are plenty of us around, it's inevitable that the sales of this manual rear-driven model would be minuscule compared to the regular, more mainstream car. As such, it'll almost certainly come with an inflated price so as to counter the reduced profit margins of a three-pedal M3. Which is a shame.
But what if you didn't require your 'pure' M3 to be brand new? Then might we point you in the direction of the E92 M3 Competition with a manual gearbox on PH's classifieds that, if the description and pictures are anything to go by, is in immaculate condition throughout. Since this is an E92, it comes with BMW's wonderful atmospheric 4.0-litre V8, which offers instantaneous throttle response and has only ever been interested in driving an M3's rear wheels.
In standard trim the E92 was an intoxicating mix of brutish German power and sublime handling, but the Competition variant was sharper still with 10mm lower suspension and revised damping. Even back when the E92 was new, automatic gearbox sales ruled the performance car roost, so today's Spotted is one of just 24 that came fitted with a six-speed manual and Competition chassis. As a 13-plate, it's one of the last to leave the production line, too. We won't need to explain how special that makes this car.
In its six years and 46,000 miles not one sheet of this E92's BMW service history has gone missing, nor have either of its original keys. It's clearly been loved. To seal the deal, the body's been treated to a ceramic coating, plus the car's been parked in a garage, so the red paint - a rare choice for the E92 - looks spotless. Really, it's a wonder why anyone would choose to sell such a rare and healthy example of a 'pure' BMW M car. There's no question, though, why you'd want to buy it.
SPECIFICATIONS - BMW M3 (E92) COMPETITION
Engine: 3,999cc V8
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Power (hp): 420@8,300rpm
Torque (lb ft): 295@3,900rpm
Top speed: 155mph (limited)
Price new: £56,590
Yours for: £29,500
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