The original M3, based on BMW’s handsome E30 Three Series, arrived with flair and fanfare at the 1985 Frankfurt Auto Show. Here was a well-revised, well-sorted E30 built as a homologation special to challenge the likes of the Cosworth-engined Mercedes-Benz 190E W201 on the racetracks of Europe. While sharing its main components with the road-going Three Series, as per Group A regulations, the M3 was lighter and stiffer and quicker.
Ok, so the wing on the back, BMW Individual Special Fire Orange paint, big, black wheels and so on were going to attract a certain demographic, but still I was a bit bewildered by how many thumbs-up signs came from young lads. And then a neighbour told me that her 14-year-old son knew the M3 GTS from Forza. A computer game, apparently.