A lot of hardcore automotive fanatics have complained over the years about the M3 getting softer. To many the E30 still is the one to get when it comes to balance and handling. The E36 was way too comfortable and to make things worse: that US edition was missing out on power.

The E46 certainly was an improvement and as a CSL even the weight got in the right direction again. The E92 then got an amazing V8 but still: what happened to that small nimble track oriented car? After that it got even worse for the M3. Four doors. And Turbos...

And yes: This one has such a twin scroll turbo twin turbo (correction by Kimba: The N54's replacement, the N55 3.0L turbo inline-6 uses a single twin-scroll turbocharger instead of the twin-turbo setup used by the N54.) inline 6 (N54) as well. And it actually was a bit of a parts-bin car: The brakes, the limited-slip differential, the aluminum dampers, and the rear subframe and suspension components come directly from the E92 M3. But in a lighter body. Not enough (almost 100kgs) to compensate for the 80hp that were missing but still: when it comes to handling the weight factor is incredibly important.

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And, over here in the Netherlands, it was available for about 60% of the price of an M3. And it was highly praised by the automotive press as, despite it not having a true M-engine (it has an N-coded engine for a reason, nor was it called the M1), being the most fun car in BMW’s lineup at that moment.

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And it wasn’t about acceleration or top speed as the 135i had kind of the same engine. With a few horses less (306hp instead of the 340 from the 1 M-series) it did just 0,3 seconds slower from 0 to 60 than the 1 M-series. But the 1 M-series officially just gave in to the M3... 0,1 seconds. And some say that was just officially to keep the M3 up higher in the pecking order, it’s lesser weight and higher torque made it quite the sprinter.

Then the E82 (BMW’s internal code for the 1 coupe) was replaced by the F22 2 series. And there would be an M2 again, no M-series. But still: No S engine from M Motorsport, this time BMW would mount the N54's successor, the N55. Which should be quite a blast. But somehow it’s reputation doesn’t get near the epic rep that the E82 1 M-series reached.

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But maybe that’s caused by the fact I rarely read magazines on modern cars lately. Haven’t read that much on the M2 online either I think.

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The model is a 1/43 Minichamps. In Monte Carlo Blau. I’m a sucker for blue so that’s perfect. And I actually like MC’s paintjob on this one, now and then they tend to spray on a layer too thick for these scales but I have no complaint on this one whatsoever.

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Just the real light clusters seem to be missing the blinkers but that’s okay as you’ll be using way less blinker fluid this way anyway.

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Und das war es wieder. Last Friday I showed my hero from the ‘60's, if there’s a hero from this decade to me this probably is it!

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Tschüss!