Tuesday, March 06, 2012

BMW giving Brits the M3 Limited Edition 500


The E90-chassis M3 is nearing the end of its production run, as BMW readies a new model based on the redesigned-for-2012 F30 3 Series. As is typical when there's a tantalizing new version coming, sales and marketing feel the need to goose the current model to maintain interest. Here in the States, we saw something like that in the M3 Competition Edition, while BMW's British outpost is readying its own exclusive model, the Limited Edition 500.

Available as either a coupe or convertible, the Limited Edition 500 will be unsurprisingly limited to 500 cars. Each will receive a "laser cut" trim piece on the dash identifying it as such, and the palette will consist of just three colors: Imola Red, Mineral White or Santorini Blue. Other than that, there's not much to report here, as the Limited Edition 500 is mechanically identical to the bog-standard M3, which is to say both wonderfully precise and rev-happy.

The big attraction, then, is the bundled equipment, which BMW describes as "well over £4,000 worth of additional equipment included for only £1,000." So some quick back-of-the-envelope math says those cheeky Brits are just offering a $4,500 discount on a nicely optioned M3. List price for the coupe is £55,690 (some $88,000 – including Britain's infamous Value Added Tax), while the convertible runs £59,785 (almost $95,000).