Long term tests

BMW M3 Evo

As I mentioned in the End of Term report on my Digi-Tec Smart Roadster Coupe (issue 079), I have replaced it with a car boasting precisely three times that car's 107bhp, and here it is, an AC Schnitzer-optioned BMW M3 Evo, resplendent in Techno Violet dark metallic purple.

As I mentioned in the End of Term report on my Digi-Tec Smart Roadster Coupe (issue 079), I have replaced it with a car boasting precisely three times that car's 107bhp, and here it is, an AC Schnitzer-optioned BMW M3 Evo, resplendent in Techno Violet dark metallic purple. Inspired by Roger Green's buying guide to classic BMWs (issue 072), I decided that I should try and overcome my natural antipathy towards BMWs and try an E36 M3 Evo. The first one I drove was uninspiring with barely adequate performance, but I put that down to over-familiarisation with supercars and reassured myself that it was at least substantially quicker than the Smart it was replacing. I then set about finding one in Techno Violet, the only colour I considered, and kept an eye on a couple on Auto Trader's website. This one particularly appealed as it had a terracotta red leather Recaro interior as part of its AC Schnitzer options along with the 18in ACS Type II alloys, sports suspension and quick-shift kit. A brief test drive with the owner up in Norfolk surprised me as it felt substantially perkier than the first car I drove and it was in tidy condition for a 70,000-miler with a full service history and loads of receipts.This car had cost its original owner well north of £50K with all the options but I managed to haggle the price down to £11K (with the help of an envelope of readies) and was grinning all the way back down south. I have never bought such a high-mileage car before, but this 1998 late-model Evo was in excellent original condition with only nicely worn-in leather, a stone-chipped nose and a scratched windscreen betraying its age. Certainly the 3.2-litre, double-VANOS variable valve timing straight-six pulls strongly from its 700rpm idle and revs in a linear manner to its 7600rpm red line. Obviously, being a Yu-mobile, plans are already advanced towards improving power and handling. I might even be able to resume friendly rivalries with road test editor Bovingdon, who's planning his own M3 project car. All will be revealed next month...

Running Costs

Date acquiredDecember 2004
Total mileage71,861
Costs this month£0
Mileage this month942
MPG this month26.3mpg

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