BMW M3 Sport Evolution von Matthias Unger

DREAM TEAM.

Matthias Unger x BMW M3 Sport Evolution.

DREAM TEAM.

Matthias Unger x BMW M3 Sport Evolution.

Dream team.Matthias Unger x BMW M3 Sport Evolution.

For Matthias Unger, the season when the leaves of the forests change from a rich yellow to a bright red has a very special charm. He utilises the last rays of the sun by grabbing his amazingly simple M logo-bearing ignition key and heads to his garage. Awaiting him here is a very special automobile. Matthias Unger's BMW M3 Sport Evolution from 1990 is to this day an irreplaceable piece of motorsport history with road approval. We accompanied him on a drive and were able to experience what it means to take to the road with an almost three-decades-old sports car.

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The enthusiasm began with my father’s BMW 323i from 1984. In 1988 I turned 18 and was passionate about being allowed to drive it myself.”

THE MODEL SERIES OF HIS LIFE.

The entrepreneur, racing driver and racing team owner – current championship title holder and runner-up in the VLN Endurance Championship with Adrenalin Motorsport – is an avowed M enthusiast. For a long time, too. Matthias Unger is a classic case of an ‘early adopter’: as far back as 1984 he recognised the special feature in his father’s mid-range BMW 323i that was to shape the BMW brand and BMW M in years to come. This was the striking so-called ‘sharknose’ design, its athletic proportions, low-weight and rear-wheel drive. That the E30 – and especially the M3 Sport Evolution – means more to Unger than any old beloved collector vehicle becomes clearer with every sentence he speaks.

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E30 BMW M3 Sport Evolution with paint finish Gloss Black on a counry road in autumn
In the mid-1990s, I sat behind the wheel of the M3 Sport Evolution for the first time. I immediately realised that it was the icing on the cake for the entire E30 series.”

INNOVATIONS FROM MOTORSPORT.

First off, the numbers: with a displacement of 2.5 litres, this free-aspirating four-cylinder S14 engine produces a remarkable 238 hp – which is still enough to deliver an acceleration value of around 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 250 km/h to this day. This is all made possible thanks to its low vehicle weight of around 1,200 kilograms, aided by the special glass used in its rear and side windows. At the front axle, the Sport Evolution is ten millimetres lower than the normal BMW M3, and the brake system is akin to the production model.

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E30 BMW M3 Sport Evolution of Matthias Unger in paint finish Gloss Black driving on a road in autumn

The ingenious aerodynamics of the body also deserve a special mention. On the one hand, the front and rear spoilers, which can be adjusted in three stages, provide more contact pressure and higher cornering speeds. The V-shaped profiles underneath the vehicle, which were new at the time and which, due to the so-called Venturi effect, almost ‘sucked’ the vehicle onto the road, were also reserved for the Sport Evolution. These innovations are not surprising, as the vehicle was derived directly from the DTM racing car of the time. It was, of course, the most successful model ever used in the racing series.

With its revving, the engine is absolutely insane. Starting at 5,500 revolutions, it literally ignites fireworks!
E30 BMW M3 Sport Evolution of Matthias Unger in paint finish Gloss Black driving on a road in autumn

FASCINATINGLY AUTHENTIC.

Of course, the true spirit of the Sport Evolution is not revealed simply by looking at the data sheet, but from the driver’s seat. Once you’ve taken a ride in the Sport Evolution, you won’t let go of the fascinating driving experience for a long time. Matthias Unger is sure of this and enjoys taking his place behind the wheel in the leather racing seats with the sewn-in M stripes. After a metallic click of the red seatbelts, he brings the engine to life with a quick turn of the key. Even when idle, the large-volume four-cylinder engine demonstrates its distinctive sound, literally craving the first blast of gas. Speed is the Sport Evolution’s trump card: the longitudinally-mounted engine only develops its full performance potential from 7,000 revolutions and continues to churn to a maximum of 7,500 revolutions.

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E30 BMW M3 Sport Evolution driving on a road in autumn
Matthias Unger driving his E30 BMW M3 Sport Evolution
What do I like about cars like the M3 Sport Evolution? Driving to the race track full of anticipation, really accelerating there and then going home afterwards, relaxed.”
E30 BMW M3 Sport Evolution of Matthias Unger in paint finish Gloss Black driving on a road in autumn

SHIFT, CONTROL, RELAX.

This is by no means a disadvantage; Unger regards the Sport Evolution as what it is: a street-legal racing car that can be pushed to the limit with vim and verve. While the relationship between work and relaxation is usually a contradictory one in today’s world, it goes hand-in-hand at the wheel of the M3 Sport Evolution. This is meant literally when it comes to Matthias Unger, as he shifts the manual transmission’s five gears with pleasure time and again, exploiting its full range of speed and leaving curve after curve behind him. The M3 Sport Evolution now gives everything it’s got. The suspension travel is short and the steering is a bit more jagged than on the already-agile M3 series. Then, as we fly over the autumn country roads, the realisation sets in: the almost 30-year-old M3 is a revelation in terms of driving dynamics. The phrase displayed on the small suede-covered badge behind the gear stick sums it up quite well: Sport Evolution 1990.

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E30 BMW M3 Sport Evolution of Matthias Unger in paint finish Gloss Black driving on a road in autumn

M3 SPORT EVOLUTION.

Pulse accelerator since 1990.

M3 SPORT EVOLUTION.

Pulse accelerator since 1990.