2011 BMW 135i Coupe V8

What if….

I do love a good automotive ‘What if…’. What if Volkswagen brought all its cool models here. What if Audis were reliable. What if Porsche followed through on the promise of the 968 Turbo. Well, today’s example questions what would happen if BMW slotted all of its E9X M3 bits into the lighter, smaller chassis of the E82.

That was partially done with the 1M Coupe, though it retained ‘only’ a turned-up version of the N54. Auto Source Group decided that just wasn’t enough, and commissioned a build with the full assortment of M3 bits, including the EDC suspension and…more importantly…the 8,400-rpm 4-liter V8. And then they refinished in it San Marino Blue. The result? Wows throughout, including the pricetag.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2011 BMW 135i Coupe V8 on eBay

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2008 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG

For every bland S-Class that Mercedes-Benz produces to lease to some eye doctor in Ocala, Florida, every once in a while they’ll mix up something special for the ones in the know. Today’s 2008 S65 AMG is one of those. This is a “Designo Graphite Edition” that I did not even realize existed and probably wouldn’t believe either outside of seeing it listed on the window sticker for a cool $9,765. What is it? Graphite paint, Corteccia and Charcoal AMG leather, a heated steering wheel, matte natural oak wood trim, and an Alcantara headliner. All in addition to the loads of goodies that already comes standard on a 2008 S65 AMG. Add it all up and you’d find a sticker price when new of $210,265. Bonkers.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG on eBay

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2008 BMW M3 Sedan

Want a really rare E9x M3 and don’t want to pay crazy Individual prices? The M3 Sedan might be the answer. Not only is it more practical than the coupe counterpart, it’s really rare to see one. That’s because only about a 25% of total E9x M3s imported were the four-door variant, and today finding a nice one can be pretty tough. Here we have one of the 483 pre-LCI Silverstone Metallic (A29) Sedans with NDH2 extended Novillo Fox Red leather and the all-important third pedal. What are these trading for today?

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2010 BMW M3 Coupe Individual

While there’s no doubt that the E9x M3 was instantly recognizable as the replacement for the outgoing E46 model, there was an inconvenient truth that had snuck into the lineup: weight. Part of what had made the E30 such a curb-hopping maniac was that lack of heft even with all the accoutrements. By the time the E92 launched, the M3 had put on nearly 800 lbs of weight.

To motivate it the extra mass, BMW did effectively what it had done to create the S14 from the M88; it took its top-tier motor in the S85 V10 and removed two cylinders. The result was the S65 V8 and 414 horsepower was on tap for your right foot’s pleasure. That was a monumental leap from the E46; when the E46 launched with 93 horsepower more than the prior generation, I thought there was no way BMW could do it again. But they did, tacking on 81 horsepower to the prior generation’s total without forced induction. BMW topped the E46’s specific output per liter, too, besting 103 in the E9x – in a package which was 40 lbs lighter despite two more cylinders. Impressive, indeed.

Granted, if you were plunking down $60,000-odd worth of your hard earned credit, you’d want amenities like power seats, a nice radio, air conditioning – the normals that made it a better road car to live with day-to-day. The original purchaser went fairly light on options; it’s got cloth seats, no sunroof, no navigation…in fact, really pretty few options were ticked. But one significant one was; of the 15,799 came to the U.S.. 8,299 of those were post LCI cars like today’s example. 6,235 came as manuals (both pre- and post-LCI). 865 were sent through BMW’s Individual program and painted a variety of colors, and this is one of 43 that were finished in Dakar Yellow.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2010 BMW M3 Coupe Individual on eBay

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2015 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG

For the past 15 years or so, Mercedes-Benz and AMG would take their flagship sedan, put a twin-turbo V12 in it that makes enough power to pull a barge of coal, and sell it for over $200,000. Then before the dealership owner’s nephew gets a chance to scratch the paint up by “washing” it, it isn’t worth $200,000 anymore. Mile after mile, the car is worth less. Significantly less. Like, “I could have gone to Harvard” less. Until we are here today, some five years later, where the car has lost over $160,000 in depreciation. Still the same car, same 621 horsepower and 738 lb-ft of torque, and of course, same running costs. Tempting?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2015 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG on eBay

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2006 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG

I’d never thought I’d type this, but maybe it isn’t such a bad idea to buy a W220 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG. Okay, maybe that was a little too broad. What I mean is maybe it isn’t such a bad idea to buy a W220 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG if you really want a crazy powerful sedan and have lots of discretionary income to support such a purchase or you were seriously considering last week’s mess of a S600. I think that statement gets a little closer to my point, or maybe it is just one of those situations where it isn’t nearly as bad as it could be.

In the shock of the century, the W220 SL/CL/S65 AMG cars seem to be holding up fairly well considering what could actually go wrong with them. After all, this is what happened when the engineers at AMG turn the dial up to 9, with a 10 only being the SL65 AMG Black Series. Just encase I didn’t make this clear, I’m not saying these are cheap or inexpensive to keep running, but rather the same situation as living in Siberia and saying “Hmm. -8°F today, not that cold at all”. On the price end of the equation, it seems that these have hit rock bottom and dare I even say are actually being sought after by enthusiasts. So when a really sorted example pops up like today’s S65 in Los Angeles, should you actually give it consideration?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG on eBay

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2008 BMW M3 Sedan

Looking for the sweet spot in M3 performance, practicality, and price? I think it might just be the E90 M3 Sedan. As clean E36 and E46 prices sharply rise and newer M3/4 prices sharply fall, the E9x curve seems to have turned into a plateau. Following on the heels of the popular S54-equipped model, BMW needed to step up its game. That step came in the move from 6- to 8-cylinders, as BMW Motorsport GmbH created 80% of a S85 V10. With over 400 horsepower on tap and 295 lb.ft of torque, the S65 represented a healthy increase over the S54. As with the E46, a Convertible (E93) and Coupe (E92) version were available, but BMW also reintroduced us to the M3 Sedan.

In my eyes, these are the ones to get. The M3 Sedan is quite a bit more rare than the Coupe; 5,867 were sold versus 15,997 2-doors. Of those, over 50% were either Jet Black, Jerez Black or Alpine White – so one with a bit of color is always great to see. Here we have one of the 483 pre-LCI Silverstone Metallic (A29) Sedans with NDH2 extended Novillo Fox Red leather and the all-important third pedal:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 BMW M3 Sedan on eBay

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2007 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG with 322,000 miles

For me, there is this constant back and forth between “They don’t make them like they used to” and “Newer cars can basically go forever with proper maintenance and repairs”. Today’s car falls in the latter half. Although I’m skeptical. Very skeptical. Why? In case you haven’t noticed the title, this is a 2007 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG with over 322,000 miles on the odometer. Yes, this 6.0 liter twin-turbocharged whale of a car that produces 604 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque has somehow racked up over 322,000 miles. According to the helpful Carfax, this car registered just over 29,000 miles in its first three years – a totally normal amount. Then the next five years saw the odometer jump to 200,000 miles. Six months later, 250,000 miles. That is 275 miles every single day for six months. How? Why?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG at Selective Motor Cars

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Feature Listing: 2012 BMW M3 Competition Package

Update 5/7/19: This beautiful low-option E92 is on to a new owner!

While there’s no doubt that the E9x M3 was instantly recognizable as the replacement for the outgoing E46 model, there was an inconvenient truth that had snuck into the lineup: weight. Part of what had made the E30 such a curb-hopping maniac was that lack of heft even with all the accoutrements. By the time the E92 launched, the M3 had put on nearly 800 lbs of weight.

To motivate it the extra mass, BMW did effectively what it had done with the S14; it took its top-tier motor in the S85 V10 and removed two cylinders. The result was the S65 V8, and 414 horsepower was on tap for your right foot’s pleasure. That was a monumental leap from the E46; when the E46 launched with 93 horsepower more than the prior generation, I thought there was no way BMW could do it again. But they did, tacking on 81 horsepower to the prior generation’s total without forced induction. BMW topped the E46’s specific output per liter, too, besting 103 in the E9x – in a package which was 40 lbs lighter despite two more cylinders. Impressive, indeed.

Granted, if you were plunking down $60,000-odd worth of your hard earned credit, you’d want amenities like power seats, a nice radio, air conditioning – the normals that made it a better road car to live with day-to-day. But if you were clever in the boxes you ticked, you could still get the essence of what made the M3 the greatest car in its segment without a lot of frills. First would be the Competition Package, which gave you more variability on the suspension and more sideways action from the dynamic stability control. You got bigger wheels and stickier, wider tires to make use of that harder suspension.

Tick the 7-speed M-DCT dual-clutch transmission, and that track-readiness was taken to the next level. Then, you’d want to stop right about there. Of course, few people selected such a targeted, bare-bones performance oriented M3 out of the gate, which makes finding one today difficult:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2012 BMW M3 Competition Package on M3 Post

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Green Hell: 2008 BMW M3

We’re on a bit of a modified car kick, so I wanted to continue with a superlative BMW. In this case, it’s not a classically modified example, but rather a very recent one. For a long time, modifying cars was relatively easy – they came from the factory usually in a pretty tame form with a lot of potential – from aerodynamic tweaks to suspension overhauls and, of course, more power. But when you consider the E9X BMW M3, you have to really wonder if an aftermarket company could improve upon the design. After all, with the S65 4.0 V8 that revs to 8,400 RPMs and generates nearly 420 horsepower in completely stock form, how much better could you really make it?

That hasn’t stopped companies from trying, and relative unknown IND took on the task of making a Nürburgring-inspired E92 M3 the ultimate dual purpose street/track weapon. Did they succeed, and how have the mods held up?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 BMW M3 on eBay

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