• Image Credit: Ronan Glon
  • Image Credit: Ronan Glon
  • Image Credit: Ronan Glon
  • Image Credit: Ronan Glon
  • Image Credit: Ronan Glon
  • Image Credit: Ronan Glon
  • Image Credit: Ronan Glon
  • Image Credit: Ronan Glon
  • Image Credit: Ronan Glon
  • Image Credit: Ronan Glon
  • Image Credit: Ronan Glon
  • Image Credit: Ronan Glon
  • Image Credit: Ronan Glon
  • Image Credit: Ronan Glon
  • Image Credit: Ronan Glon
  • Image Credit: Ronan Glon
  • Image Credit: Ronan Glon
An automaker must wreck a new model in almost every conceivable way before releasing it on the market. Pictures of the mangled aftermath often end up online to reassure – or, in some cases, scare off – would-be buyers. And yet, photos of what a car looks like after it's been burned to the ground are rarely seen. The rationale is that today's cars are considerably more likely to crash than catch fire.

If you're nonetheless curious, a leisurely stroll through the French countryside right after New Year's Eve will provide insight on what you can expect your pride and joy to look like after it's been BBQ'd like a rack of lamb. The tradition of burning cars, trucks, and even scooters to ring in the new year started in the early 1990s as a petty contest between the nation's major cities. It's still going strong today, and every year a few less-than-honest motorists take advantage of the trend to commit insurance fraud in the early hours of January 1st.

Roasted BMW 3 SeriesRoasted BMW 3 SeriesRoasted BMW 3 SeriesRoasted BMW 3 Series

Roasted and left for dead in the vicinity of Marseilles, this E90-generation BMW 3 Series fell victim to the fiery celebrations. It must have been ablaze for a very long time because every flammable part has been completely destroyed; the alloys even started to melt.

A little bit of automotive archaeology suggests this ultimate driving machine started life with a coat of silver paint, but we can't tell for sure. Don't ask us if it's the sport line or the luxury line, either. And while the rims (or what's left of them) suggest we're looking at a mid-range model like a 325d, we can't rule out the possibility that they're not original to the car.

The cabin has morphed into a Jackson Pollock-esque arrangement of melted wires, charred seat frames, and liquefied glass accented by a sprinkling of flame-retardant foam. Look closely and you'll see where the steering wheel meets the dashboard, but there's no sign of either.

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