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BMW enthusiasts in the United Kingdom will get to enjoy a Limited Edition 500 model of the current-generation M3 Coupe and Convertible.
Limited to 500 units, the special edition mostly features aesthetic accessories including dark-chrome details on the double kidney grille, side fender plates and a quad-tipped exhaust setup. Additionally, it comes with the popular BMW high-gloss Shadowline exterior trim and 19-inch glossy black wheels. Buyers may choose from Imola Red, Mineral White and Santorini Blue paint — coincidentally the three colors found in the U.K. flag.
BMW outfitted the M3 500 interior with Novillo leather and color-matched stitching to the exterior of the car. The interior trim will be piano black but will be further accented with a laser-cut dash plaque that designates “one of 500.”
The same 420-hp V8 powerplant mated to either a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed M DCT remains under the hood.
Surprisingly, the M3 500 is reasonably priced with the Coupe package starting at close to $88,900 (£55,690) while the convertible will cost about $95,400 (£59,785). While that’s difficult to compare to U.S. figures on a standard M3, the Limited Edition 500 is only about $1,600 (£1,000) more than the standard M3 coupe and convertible price.
Those guys over at Autobild sure know how to have some fun. They decided to do grab every current BMW M model and pit them off against one another at Germany’s Sachsenring track in Bernsdorf.
The fastest time of the day from their shootout was BMW’s M3 GTS, equipped with semi-slicks with a time of 1:37.30 – but since we’re comparing apples to apples, the M3 CRT ran a time of 1:38.87 while the new M5 did it in 1:38.90. That’s a mere 0.03-seconds off the M3 CRT but it’s also worth mentioning that the new M5 was driven by Claudia Hürtgen, a German race car driver and one of Germany’s best known female racers, while the rest of the cars were driven by Autobild drivers.
The 1M Coupe ran a respectable 1:40.18, which was faster than the standard M3 Coupe DCT at 1:40.52. From there it was the M3 Sedan, M3 Convertible, X6 M, X5 M, and E60 M5 rounding off the list. To compare the two generations of M5, the E60 ran a 1:43.77, almost five seconds slower than its newer-generation counterpart.
Autobild also took the liberty to take Porsche‘s Panamera Turbo S and Mercedes-Benz‘s E63 AMG out to compare it to the new M5. The Panamera Turbo S ran a 1:38.13, trumping the new M5 by less than a second, while the E63 was quite behind with a 1:40.59.
Check out two Autobild videos of the new M5 after the break.
GALLERY: 2012 BMW M5
The excited hoardes of car-geeks who drooled over a prototype BMW M3 pickup, spied lapping the Nurburgring, will have to steel themselves for more disappointment, as Road & Track magazine confirmed that this car will not be entering production.
“BMW M did indeed create the pick-up seen on the ’Ring, but it was just an internal project, not something that is in development,” Dave Buchko, BMW’s Advanced Powertrain & Heritage Communications Manager, said to R&T. “There are no plans to produce it.”
Aside from the sheer novelty of it, is there any reason to really lust after an M3 pick-up? The sedan, coupe and convertible provide a good range of bodystyles, and frankly, the only people that would be interest in an M3 pickup wouldn’t have the funds to purchase one.
[Source: Road & Track]