Trade-offs: Top Gear Garage M3 switches from 2WD to 4WD for winter
How does the old adage come back on Instagram again? New year, new me? Well, here’s Top Gear: New Year, New M3. He’s out with the Green Demon and at the Pinotage Powerhouse.
The color of the M3 I was running has magically changed. and VIN number. why? Well, having driven 15,000 miles in a few months, BMW politely issued a recall notice for the return of the YA70 TWW. We were told that a return to the Bavarian parent company would be required before we hit the odometer and it becomes “hard to remarket”. AKA, stop driving the bloody thing or we won’t be able to resell it.
Announcement – page continues below
But there’s a reason it’s packed with so many miles: It’s very easy to stack on it. I didn’t try to complete some sadistic endurance challenges either. They are very good at doing everyday car stuff and have entered into my fantastically long haul lifestyle.
The word “daily” gets on my nerves. I am convinced that you can do anything “daily”; It just requires a proper mindset and an aversion to meaningful friendships. But the M3 is a great daily (two seconds while I’m vomiting) because it’s just a 3-series, albeit much faster. The three BMWs have been hacked about getting ridiculous miles on them since their invention. It has always been a mid-size four-door saloon with a fitting boot and an ambitious badge up front. This is not different. It’s only the G80 that blends its day-to-day performance and functionality in a more coherent way than before.
At first, I thought this would be a problem – a 500-horsepower super saloon didn’t feel special enough because it didn’t display obnoxiously enough. But believe me, there is a lot of slam dunk and go. Yes, it can be dialed up and down via different menus – called up or silenced with synthesizers in Harman Kardon speakers – but if you want a demo of what it can do just to keep your right foot hooked and have the audacity to tell me it’s not so fast when you hit 0- 62 mph in under four seconds.
You could probably tell that I became noticeably fond of him. Don’t get me wrong, it lacks emotional awareness and character, so it doesn’t capture my heart the same way other cars do. And there’s that controversial front-end that some people still can’t get past (I can). So, without wanting to sound like a selfish kid (while looking like a selfish kid with a short temper and low blood sugar) I didn’t want to return the car early. Especially since it’s still on the same set of tires I hit, which made me think I wasn’t trying hard enough. So we made a compromise to find out the rest of the loan. 500bhp red wine is a nice compromise.
Announcement – page continues below
Over the next four months, we will be running the YC71AVK. There is a very fundamental difference between the two cars though. Where the green car sends all its power to the rear wheels, the red car splits it between the four. Yes, arguably, it’s the all-wheel drive M3 – the first ever xDrive M3. I’m here to see if this is a stroke of genius or sacrilege.
The engine is still a competition model (the only M3 we can get in the UK, remember) the engine is identical to the green all-wheel drive, 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo engine with over 500 hp mated to an 8spd automatic gearbox. There is a difference in price although you should consider BMW’s xDrive 4WD system as an option to fit the vehicle rather than a separate model. It costs £2,765 to add to the £75,660 saloon or £76,990 M4 Coupe. Which is a lot to start with. Because when asked so many options on it, the price jumps – wait – £95,370. Which makes it £10,000 more expensive than the green car. Sheesh.
Much of that is taken up by the gold-tone carbon-ceramic M brakes (£7995) and I’m looking forward to seeing the difference they make. The massive 1,730kg G80 M3 competition really needed all the help it could get. And this all-wheel drive has an extra 50kg stacked on top. Other than that, the only differences are the £1,100 paint (which is a wonderfully sophisticated, sophisticated ‘Aventurine III’ paint that adds a subtle aesthetic to the M3, a black interior (still with all the carbon trim and those cool seats) and – oddly enough. – Delete wireless charging.
The car is currently running on winter tires, which is a wise choice at this time of year. But when the weather starts to warm up, I’m eager to try the car on the optional Cup 2 sticky tires. All-wheel drive and those bad boys mean this could be a rocket ship with absolute traction. Now begins training in order to get in shape for the potentially monstrous powers it will offer because – as the old saying on Instagram says – “Summer bodies are made in winter”, right?
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