Although the seminal, left-hand drive E30 M3 was never sold in South Africa, local aficionados have had a selection of once-off locally produced BMWs to add to their collections… think of the 745i, 333i and 325iS, the latter of which earned legendary status for various reasons, not least its titanic on track battle with Opel Kadett Superbosses during the heyday of Group N racing.
BMW’s M3 celebrates 25 years of production this year and to celebrate, the Munich-based manufacturer produced a limited run of 150 GTS models (read colleague Mike Monk’s related feature in the October 2010 issue of CAR). With only a handful of right hookers being produced, none of which have been earmarked for the Republic, BMW SA has moved to appease local M3 fans by releasing a fettled Frozen Edition.
Only 25 of these models will be produced, one for each year of the M3’s production life. Just two colour options are available, a matt black or a matt grey and all are fitted with high gloss 19-inch black alloys. The interiors are all-black leather with contrasting red stitching.
Based on the current (E92) generation M3, the Frozen Edition is powered by the company’s award-winning 4,0-litre V8 engine, but the peak power output has been pushed up to 331 kW and torque by 20 newtons to 420 N.m courtesy of modifications by AC Schnitzer. Apart from a revised intake and remapped ECU this limited run model has a full Schnitzer exhaust system from the headers to the tips, with the catalytic converters removed.
As all Frozen M3s come standard with the BMW’s 7-speed dual-clutch transmission most owners should be able to achieve the 4,5 second zero-to-100 km/h sprint time courtesy of the launch control function. Unlike most other BMW models this one isn’t electronically restricted to 250 km/h and will top out at 290 km/h.
At the local media event BMW provided a “normal” M3 and so that we could drive it back to back with the Frozen Edition. Apart from the added shove from 20 N.m increase the new car feels more urgent through the rev-range.
Even throttle response feels crisper, especially at higher engine speeds where the optimised breathing comes into play. Around the fast sweepers and technical sections of Kyalami racetrack the Frozen model displayed all the alacrity, grip and poise that makes the M3 such a good driving toy.
As for the title, well, that’s a reference to, probably, the Frozen’s most noticeable quality; it’s soundtrack. M3s sound good enough straight from the factory, but this car is downright raucous. Up to 3 500 r/min all sounds normal, perhaps with a touch more basso profundo, and once you cross that threshold you are likely to be stared at by everyone in a 500 metre radius – it really is THAT loud.
At time of writing almost all 25 cars had been snapped up by die-hard BMW fans. And even if you can’t buy one it’s good to know that at BMW SA boers still maak ’n plan.