BMW’s ‘M’ badge is no ordinary add-on. It’s a warning sign that the car in question will rip your head off even if you accidentally glance in its direction. ‘M’ cars mean business.

It certainly looks menacing enough with its large front air intakes, massive 19in rims, bonnet bulge and carbon-fibre roof. The high-revving 4.0L V8 engine has 414bhp at its disposal. This will drag your sorry behind to 60mph in under 5 seconds and 100mph in around 10 seconds.

Packed with tech

The M3 is crammed full of technology. To help wring the best performance possible the car’s M-drive system gives you the option of altering various aspects, including traction control, damper stiffness and throttle response at the touch of a button.

The only downside is that you have to do this through BMW’s iDrive control system. It’s cumbersome and clunky at the best of times and more often than not you find yourself barking up the wrong menu.

Optional toys

Thankfully, the sat-nav system guides you without any major problems. Connecting a Bluetooth mobile phone is relatively painless, apart from the fact it costs £535 as an optional extra.

The car we drove was also fitted with a DAB tuner (£280) and this ensured a crisp, hiss-free signal. The in-car stereo system is built by the chaps at Harman Kardon, the German audio specialists, and it sounds taut, controlled and lively. The car was also fitted with an iPod-compatible USB interface

Refined driving experience

And the tech goodness doesn’t stop there: you also have extremely helpful reverse parking sensors, automatic headlights and wipers and numerous driving seat adjustments.

The accelerator needs only a gentle prod to unleash all those horses, especially with the ‘M’ button depressed. The car bursts into life and the rocket of an engine catapults you forward. But, even with all this aggression on tap, the BMW delivers quite a refined and smooth driving experience, which is quite surprising given previous incarnations of the famous M3.

BMW has once again been successful in giving its 3 Series the ‘M’ treatment. If you’re the briefcase-toting, Blackberry-wielding business-type (or if you just like great cars), you’ll go bonkers over this Beemer.


Stuff says... 

BMW M3 review

Does the ‘M’ badge proud, and is crammed full of useful tech