The M3's 30th Anniversary Present Is More Horsepower And BMW's Best Color

(Images: BMW)

In honor of the BMW M3's 30th anniversary, the Bavarians will build 500 “30 Jahre M3” (which is German for “30 Years M3”) special edition sedans at over $83,000 a piece. The cars get a bump to 444 horsepower, decorative bits, some pseudo-retro wheels and the resurrection of “Macao Blue,” possibly the greatest BMW paint option of all time.

It’s not quite black, and definitely not grey. But Macao Blue is still hard to pin as “blue,” making it the perfect subtly-interesting hue for a car that’s supposed to be the same.


BMW says it first introduced this color as an option on “the last and most powerful version of the first generation of the Sport Evo BMW M3.” It was perfect then, too.

I’m also happy to see BMW still understands that brake calipers don’t have to be red to look cool. And those wheels, man, that clean throwing-star shape really nails the illusive space between retro and contemporary.


Of the 500 30 Jahre M3s slated to be built, 150 will come to the U.S. listing at $83,250 with a three-pedal manual transmission and $86,150 with a dual-clutch. The latter is a little bit quicker, at 3.8 seconds to 60 versus the stick-shift’s four seconds flat, according to BMW.

The Jahres will also have BMW’s Competition Package with Adaptive M suspension (special shocks, springs and stabilizers), Active M differential and special stabilty control settings. The U.S.-spec versions will get BMW’s suite of driver aids like blind spot monitoring, cameras and a speed limit warning. (Are they trying to tell us something?)


Decorative badging is strategically placed to make you feel special and help justify the 20-something-thousand dollar price bump over a base M3.

Like the Competition Edition M5 we saw a few weeks ago, I have to imagine a big part of a 30 Jahre M3 buyer’s motivation is the hope that it becomes collectable in the future. I feel like that’s unlikely since it’s not that significant a departure from the regular-ass M3, but damn does it look good in this smokey dark blue.


But since the car also gets those excellent slicer-wheels and my favorite factory seat belts, I’m going to go ahead and say gimme.

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Andrew P. Collins

Reviews Editor, Jalopnik | 1975 International Scout, 1984 Nissan 300ZX, 1991 Suzuki GSXR, 1998 Mitsubishi Montero, 2005 Acura TL