Legends of Bavaria: The Five Best M Cars of the Last 10 Years
There are very few carmakers that still base their entire brand in 2019 around delivering a product that focuses on the driver; however, for as long as we remember, the iconic German firm BMW has been delivering drivers car after drivers car, with sharp and responsive steering, faster-than-paper acceleration times, and an aggression that sends chills down other motorists' spines when they look in the rear-view. The bulldog of the automotive world, the Bavarian Motor Works never fails to create the Ultimate Driving Machine.
These are our favorite BMW's from the last decade:
M3 GTS (E92)
The BMW M3 started life as a fearsome road rally car which dominated the world of motor racing in the 1980's, and over the years (whether you like it or not) they slowly lost their racing pedigree and turned into more of a luxury/high performance version of the 3 Series. However, in 2010, BMW re-lived it's earlier days with the release of a seriously hardcore M3. The GTS featured a 4361cc version of the S65 N/A V8, which delivered 331kW at a very impressive 8,300rpm; and although low on torque, 0-100km/h could be reached in a quick 4.4 seconds. With no creature comforts inside the cabin, a vicious exhaust note, a back-breaking harsh ride, and a brutal power curve, this M3 isn't the same daily-driver friendly car we know the M3 as today; instead the complete opposite. A mix between raw performance and outstanding design, the E92 M3 GTS brought together new technology and old character in one very fearsome package.
1M Coupe (E82)
The first turbo six-cylinder M car was a hit for BMW enthusiasts around the world. The change to forced induction gave the engine a substantial boost in power whilst having no effect on its definitive BMW straight-six sound, and the six-speed manual transmission was great news for purists. The twin-turbocharged N54 straight-six in its most powerful form meant a healthy 250kW of power, leading to a 0-100km/h figure of 4.8 seconds; and with 50/50 weight distribution, this extremely well balanced sports coupe became a class leading car. It won many awards upon release, including Richard Hammond's "2011 Car of The Year" award, and with the 1M's current appreciating values, this icon has already become a classic.
This car topped the charts upon release in 2015. Now, you may be thinking, why the M2 and not the M2 Competition or newly released M2 CS? Well, since the latter are newer improvements of the M2, the car that really struck headlines was the original. We think the original M2 takes the crown as it was (and is still is) seen as the long-awaited successor to the 1M, which drew BMW a lot of positive press, and attention from excited BMW enthusiasts. We even placed the M2 on our list of the most exciting cars of 2016. The understated look (yes, including the smaller kidneys) we think works better on this car. Should the M2 Competition or M2 CS be in place of the original M2? Let us know in the comments.
M4 CS (F82)
A similar conundrum to the M2 above; however, being arguably the best looking version of the M4, the CS edition wins us over. With a beefed up 338kW version of the M4's S55 twin-turbo straight-6, the power of this car easily breaks the rear wheels loose, even with BMW's dynamic traction firmly switched on. A 3.9 second to 100km/h means that on paper, it's only 0.1 seconds faster to 100km/h than the M4 Competition, but what it excels in is giving the driver a much more involved driving experience. We understand there is a hardcore GTS variant, however we think that the M4 GTS loses the previous M3 GTS's character and raw feel to it; aka no more 8,600rpm redline from a linear and old school N/A V8, so if you want raw fun on a track, the M3 GTS is the better option. The CS is a more sensible and liveable option, therefore we decided to give the crown to the less extreme and arguably better looking M4 CS. Let us know in the comments which M4 your favourite is.
M5 Competition (F90)
Blowing away the competition (no pun intended) on its release mid last year, the M5 Competition features a BMW claimed 0-100km/h figure of 3.3 seconds from a 460kW/750Nm 4.4 litre twin-turbo V8. This 2 tonne barge has without a doubt everything you would ever need in a high performance luxury car. So much so, that they have engineered this car to the point where after many road tests from multiple sources, no one has successfully found a flaw with this car; and on top of that, many tests have recorded consistent 0-100km/h sprint times of a blistering 2.8 seconds, which is on par with, if not faster to 100km/h than many supercars, which is very, very incredible for a car of its size.