BMW M3 Edition 50 Jahre
(Photo/BMW)

Limited-Edition 50-Year-Anniversary BMW M3 Comes in All the Right Colors

Each of the BMW M3’s five generations has given its coolest paint color to create an M anniversary tribute.

Fifty years of BMW M is a reason to celebrate. To mark the performance icon’s golden anniversary, we’re getting a special-edition car exclusive to North America.

Say hello to the M3 Edition 50 Jahre BMW M. It takes some of the coolest paint colors BMW has offered on its decades of M cars, some of which you won’t be able to find on any other modern car.

BMW Motorsport was founded in May 1972. BMW’s racing program had begun to fade after the 1960s and ’70s, and the automaker needed to give it a boost. BMW M cars like the BMW 3.0 CSL went racing — and successfully.

Its first car to wear an M badge was 1978’s M1 mid-engine sports wedge, and M followed that up quickly with an M-badged 5 Series. Then, BMW M introduced us to the M5 in 1985 and the M3 a year later, cementing the company’s place in the high-performance pantheon.

M3 Competition Turns Into Limited Edition

BMW M3 Edition 50 Jahre
(Photo/BMW)

The M3 Edition 50 Jahre BMW M (henceforth called the M3 50) starts with the 2023 BMW M3 Competition xDrive.

Under the hood is that car’s 3.0L twin-turbo inline-six. The engine puts out 503 horsepower and gets an eight-speed automatic that drives all four wheels. Such a gearbox would have been unimaginable back in 1972. Fifty years later, even M makes it nearly impossible to bring home a stick.

5 Iconic Paint Colors Return

BMW M3 Edition 50 Jahre
(Photo/BMW)

Five iconic paint colors are coming back into the lineup for the M3 50. Each one represents a previous generation of the BMW M3.

The first is Cinnabar Red. BMW has used the shade on a few cars over the years, including the 6 Series. But it’s best known on the original E30 chassis M3. That car, sold from 1986 through 1991, was built as a homologation special. Wide box-flare fenders and a motorsports-derived four-cylinder were meant to make it ready for German touring car racing rules.

Showing off the E36 chassis M3 is Techno Violet. This deep-purple paint was one of the rarer colors used on the M3 chassis built from 1993 to 1999. It was actually only available on later model years of the car once BMW had switched the car to a more powerful 3.2L inline-six. Though it has popped up on some other Ms over the years, BMW brought Techno Violet back specifically for this special edition. It won’t be available on any other BMW in 2023.

Next up: BMW brought back Deep Interlagos Blue. The deep shade was one of the signature shades of the E46 chassis BMW M3, sold from 2000 to 2006.

BMW M3 Edition 50 Jahre
(Photo/BMW)

Fire Orange III was a special bright-orange shade for the Lime Rock Park Edition of the E92 chassis M3. Though that generation of the car was sold from 2007 to 2013, BMW only made 200 copies of the Lime Rock Park car. The special was for the 2013 model year and included a lightweight Inconel-titanium exhaust.

Last up is Limerock Grey. This shade is best known from the M3 CS special edition of 2018. That car is part of the F80 generation, running from 2014 to 2019.

Special Wheels and Carbon Parts Complete Look

BMW M3 Edition 50 Jahre
(Photo/BMW)

Whichever color you pick, all of the BMW 50 cars will get Style 826M lace-spoke wheels. The wheels have a matte Orbit Grey finish that’s not available on any standard M3. BMW M is giving the cars a special carbon-fiber splitter in the front and trimming the quad tailpipes at the back in carbon and titanium.

BMW has also put a carbon-fiber spoiler on the back, a complement to the carbon-fiber roof and that new front splitter.

Instead of traditional BMW logos, a new classic logo is being fitted on the hood and trunk along with the wheel centers. With blue, navy, and red staggered circles, it looks like the original BMW M logo used back in 1973.

BMW is making just 500 M3 Edition 50 Jahre BMW M cars. The sticker price will be $97,500, and BMW will start production in June 2022.

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Evan Williams
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Evan has been drooling over cars since the time he learned to walk. Since then he's worked on controlling the drooling and expanded his interests to include hiking, cycling, and kayaking. He went to school for engineering but transitioned into a more satisfying career and has been writing automotive and outdoors news for nearly a decade