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.
Mit dem BMW 323i meines Vaters aus dem Jahre 1984 fing die Begeisterung an. 1988 die Leidenschaft – da wurde ich 18 und durfte selbst ans Steuer.
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.
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.
GLOSS BLACK RARITY.
Even in the stale morning light that penetrates through the Plexiglas windows of the roller shutter, it becomes clear that everything in this room revolves around BMW and motorsport. Stacks of tyres here, spare parts there – a white race track-ready E30 resting on a lift platform. Immediately you think you’re in a pit lane rather than in Unger’s garage. We go a bit further inside and already recognise this car by its iconic design, which for many collectors and car fans, represents something of a ‘Holy Grail’ in the history of BMW M. Varnished in Gloss Black paint, with contrasting red stripes and 16-inch spoke rims; with the BMW M3 Sport Evolution, Unger is well-aware of the kind of treasure he protects here. The top model of the series was not simply the ‘final stage’ of the first BMW M3 when it launched on the market almost 30 years ago. Offering more displacement, an even tighter chassis and many lightweight components, the Sport Evolution advanced into areas of driving dynamics that were practically unheard of in this class at the beginning of the 1990s.
INNOVATIONS FROM MOTORSPORT.
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!
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.