Midrand - BMW's M cars are intended for hard-car performance junkies, with lightning-fast responses and an uncomfortably hard ride on anything less smooth than a billiard table.
Which is as it should be - but there are also many enthusiastic BMW drivers who love the exclusivity and sporting persona conferred by the M skunk works but would prefer a modicum of real-world practicality to go with it.
That's why BMW invented M Performance Parts - a range of bolt-on goodies from the M parts bin to give your BMW as much - or as little - hard-core street cred as you choose.
And now BMW SA has taken the concept a big step further with the limited-production 3 Series Sedan M Performance Edition. Just 500 are scheduled for assembly at the BMW plant in Rosslyn, just outside Pretoria, with a choice of 320i, 320d, 328i, 330d or 335i engines.
AND THIS IS WHAT YOU GET
Regardless of what's under the bonnet, each M Performance Edition comes with the M Sport Package, 19” M Sport rims and M Sport brakes - as well as an M Performance aero kit, side sills with foil, carbon-fibre rear spoiler and side-mirror housings, and a black M Performance grill.
All of which will cost you R50 000, over and above the sticker price of whichever engine variant your M Performance Edition is based on.
Yes, it's expensive, but it's about 40 percent less expensive than buying a vanilla-flavour Three and ordering the M Performance Edition parts separately - which would come to R87 000.
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE
Another R15 000 will get you a special paint job, available only on the M Performance Edition, in metallic blue or (put your shades on before you look!) metallic orange.
Add another R2895 for the top stripes (go on - you know you want to) and R43 900 for the special M Performance 20” double-spoke alloy rims.
An authoritative M Performance exhaust system (only available for the 328i and 335i) wil1 add another R11 795 to the bottom line, while an M Performance Power Kit (R15 670, for the 320d, 330d and 335i only) will boost power by 10-15kW and torque by about 30Nm.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS NOT AN M3
It's an exclusive, very sexy 3 Series street car with a dash of attitude, that will also carry you and your family in comfort.