BMW has been offering the M3 for more than 30 years now and, despite the significant changes between each generation, they were always (OK, almost always as the E36 wasn’t so well received) considered a hoot to drive.
The results from the drag race are pretty easy to guess, as BMW has made sure that each generation should be significantly faster than the one it replaces.
It’s no wonder then that the E30 finished dead last and the F80 CS was the winner, followed by the E90 GTS and the E46 CSL in both races.
The four-cylinder engine in the original M3 gave its place to bigger, straight-six units in the two generations that followed, with the E90 switching to a V8 before BMW decided to go back to an inline-six in the current F80, albeit with the help of two turbos.
However, the M3 has always been about more than just straight line speed. It’s been mostly about driving fun and stirring emotions, and we can’t help but drool when hearing the E90’s naturally aspirated V8 at full chat and the E46 CSL’s angry straight-six soundtrack. Combined with their respective special chassis settings, these two generations of the M3 score higher in our personal list, despite them being slower on a straight line.
If we had to choose, it would be the E46 CSL. Or maybe the E90 GTS with its feral V8 – we can’t really reach a consensus. So, which one out of these four would you take home?