Every generation or so, automakers will impose a radical change to their flagship model, sending die-hard fans into a frenzy. In 2014, that marque was BMW. Similar to when Porsche dropped the air-cooled engines in favor of a water-cooling system, or when Ferrari released its first car without a V12, enthusiasts everywhere will remember the first time they heard BMW M cars will no longer be naturally aspirated.
A forced induction M-powered engine? The very thought that sent BMW fanatics into a tizzy, ended up breathing new life into the M-series. With emissions standards getting stricter by the day, engineers had to go back to the drawing board as it related to creating performance vehicles.
Coupled with the normalization of turbocharged cars, the F80 proved to be the automotive industry’s latest example of its ability to evolve with the needs of society. It also proved that M-cars could be just as, if not more, fun than their natural-aspirated siblings. Who doesn’t like turbo whooshy sounds?
The change to the M’s DNA could result in the F80 seeing future classic status, just ask Ferrari how it went for their V8. Which means prices now could be considered the bottom floor, join us as we discuss the factors that affect the 2015 version of the F80 M3. This is the current market value for the 2015 BMW M3.
The Benchmark's Fifth Generation
It seems like each new generation of the M-series, BMW fans clamor how its predecessor will be remembered as the greatest M-car ever. The F80 was no different, just ask its successor, the G80.
But the fifth generation of M saloon cars marked a radical new change for BMW. On one hand, it retained its iconic straight-six engine, but on the other, a new-school twin-turbo system provided the immense power.
From the moment it was released, fanatics claimed it didn’t sound as good, it’s too rough of a ride (we’re talking about a sports car, of course the ride is rough). That the power delivery wasn’t quite right. Sound familiar? Of course, it does, it’s the same exact arguments every time BMW releases a new M-car. It happened to the E36, E46, and E9X. Where are they now? Well they’re cemented as some of the greatest BMWs ever made, naturally.
We think the F80 will prove to be the same, judging by the harsh criticism the G80 is being subjected to at the current moment.
The End Of Naturally Aspirated M Cars
If previous generations of the M-series have proven anything, it’s that BMW engineers are miles ahead of the curve as it relates to popular trends in the automotive industry. From their introduction of the straight-six engine in the E36, to the M3’s first V8 in the E9X, BMW has always pushed the envelope of motor engineering.
Facing the ever-evolving restrictions set in place by the WLTP (Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure), BMW had to revisit the implementation of its gas-guzzling V8, in order to stay relevant with the rest of the high-performance luxury sedans.
Enter the S55, twin-turbo engine. Derived from the N55 that powered the 3-series, the S55 received a closed-deck engine block, lightweight crankshaft, all-new crankshaft bearings, reinforced pistons and rods, twin turbos, duel fuel pumps, active exhaust, and a revised cooling system.
The result was nothing short of remarkable. Seeing an increase of 11 horsepower over the S65, the S55 was now capable of 425 horsepower, while a 30% increase in torque left the M3 with a neck-breaking 406 lb-ft of torque. But it didn’t stop there, with two fewer cylinders than the S65, and two more turbochargers, the M3 saw an astounding 25% increase in fuel efficiency, while meeting the required emission levels.
According to BMW, their intention was “to combine the advantages of a high-performance, naturally aspirated motor with the strengths of modern turbo technology.” If its lightning quick 0-60 mph time of just 4.1 seconds is any indication, then it’s clear BMW not only achieved what they set out to do, but transformed the world of engineering as it related to performance motors in the process.
Pricing And Availability Of The 2015 BMW M3
Death, taxes, and European sports car depreciation; the three certainties of life. Even during the midst of the biggest car bubble in history, the 2015 M3 is largely available under its original MSRP of $62,000.
However, market pricing doesn’t tell the full story. With NADA valuing low mileage examples around $43,000, the picture becomes a little clearer: values are on the rise. AutoTrader’s most expensive 2015 M3 is currently advertised for $59,995 with nearly 40,000 miles on the odometer. But after further research, it’s quite clear the seller in question is clearly trying to capitalize off the market conditions.
A few more scrolls through AutoTrader brings not only similar mileage examples, but more desirable colors for nearly $10,000 less. As it currently stands, the early F80 M3’s can be considered one of the best values on the market. Nearly 430 horsepower, the possibility of three pedals, and iconic M-performance for less than $45,000, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better performance saloon on the used market.
When it comes to BMW-M cars, the more things change, the more they stay the same. So, if the multiple examples of 2008 E9X M3s prove anything (the first year for the E9X), it’s that the M3 will always end up on someone’s list of must-have classics.