AutoWeek's fortunate crew was the beneficiary of a BMW event set up especially for them at the Goodwood circuit in England in which the various historical interpretations of the M3 badge were provided for lashing. The drivers were schooled beforehand with a bit of autocross training and some track analysis to divine braking points and apexes, then got to ply their skills in line behind a professional driver. Among the M3s driven were two 1986 2.3 liter 200-hp models, a 1992 3.0 liter packing 286-hp, a 1995 3.2 liter crackling with 321-hp, and a few of those new overweight 343-hp E46 Ms (HP numbers are for Euro models only, which is why they all look funny). In accordance with what most who've driven all M flavors would probably say, the 1986 version was the favorite due to the light weight, compact dimensions and overall pure racing experience. It may not be the best choice for traffic-ridden daily driving, but its rawness is tailor-made for the track.


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