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STYLING | 9 out of 10
neat carbon-fiber roof
Resembles a family sedan even elderly Republican grandparents would find nonthreatening
Car and Driver
more aggressive body styling
Available in coupe and sedan styles, the 2008 BMW M3 transforms the usual 3-Series silhouette with lightweight body pieces, deeper front and rear fascias, and discreet “M” badging—all of which telegraph messages that this is no ordinary Bimmer.
"The BMW M3 appears as a 3 Series Coupe or Sedan that's been to the gym," explains MyRide.com, "not like a dude on 'roids but rather someone who's been doing twice-a-days and eating nothing but chicken and tuna." The front and rear fascias are "revised," the hood has "rippled aluminum" with vents, plus "additional vents on the fenders," they add, summing up its styling as "an exquisite machine that doesn't require exaggerated body kits to draw attention." Edmunds agrees that it has “more aggressive body styling” than the usual 3-Series coupe or sedan. Car and Driver observes its “bulging aluminum hood,” and says “visually, there's no confusing the M3 with a standard-issue 3-series, even though both cars share doors, windows, headlights, taillights, and trunklid.” The other panels have been massaged, and BMW replaces the normal steel on top with a "carbon-fiber roof," says Cars.com; it’s the "the flared fenders and nose-low, hunkered-down profile that suggests a nearly audible snarl." Autoblog points out the "M-specific quad pipes" that "let Bimmer cognoscenti know that they're behind something special."
“The M3's interior has undergone fewer alterations than the exterior, but there are a number of significant changes,” Car and Driver says. “The usual M treatment includes sportier seats with deep torso and side bolsters, a thick leather steering wheel, and a new M-badged tachometer.” The "aggressive design of the front seats" in the BMW M3 is what captured the attention of Edmunds. "Heavily-bolstered," the seats "feel custom-made to your body." Plus, the "thick-rimmed steering wheel" gives the driver a "sporty feel," while cruising down the highway. Additionally, "leather trim" and "door sills with the M logo" round out the interior of the "high-performance" M3 BMW, says MyRide.com, with the added comfort typically left out of such sporty vehicles.
The 2008 BMW M3 makes its thundering performance known with bulges, vents, slits, and badges.