2013 BMW M3 Lime Rock Edition new car reviews

Better than: the center of the sun.
But not as good as: smashing pumpkins.
GRM Bang For The Buck Index: 68.00

This is a limited-edition version of a perennial favorite, the BMW M3 coupe. That eye-searing orange color is super satisgying, but what's it like to drive? To see the M3 Lime Rock Edition we drove in action, click here.

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Other staff views

David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

This car reignited my desire for an E46-chassis M3. I know this isn't an E46, but the basics are similar: plenty of power, excellent interior, extremely capable chassis.

What about this one in particular? Love it. Yes, I know it's not a cheap date. It's also pretty flawless in every way possible.

The V8 M3 is stupid fast--I have heard of the Continental Challenge M3s hitting 180 at Daytona, and that's with a restrictor in place.

Then there's the daily drive manners: perfect.

Oh, and it looks mean as hell, even in eye-scortching orange.

In fact, I gave it 5 starts across the board.

Alan Cesar Alan Cesar
SuperDork

This Lime Rock Edition M3 is supremely quick and very fun to drive. It's tuned aggressively enough that on cold starts, it stumbles and bumbles at idle for the first 30 seconds or so. I like fast cars that are a little rough around the edges. It shows some character, and reminds you, "Hey, I don't easily double as grandma's grocery-getter."

The numbered plaque is a little pretentious, but some people are into that. Exclusivity for the sake of exclusivity does nothing for me. What does do it for me is that orange color.

Its high-revving V8 makes the noise you'd want, but ultimately, it's a little disappointing. It makes only 15 more torques than the Mustang's new V6, and it hits 60 mph about as quick as a GT. That's right: At a stop light, your bright orange boy racer might be outrun by an orthodontist in a car that costs half as much.

I was initially enamored with the car, but the more I drove it, the more I was disappointed. Seventy grand is a big chunk of change, and 20 mpg highway is a helluva lot of hurt for a "mere" 414 horsepower. For that money, you could buy a hell of a lot of performance. Yeah, a Mustang's interior doesn't match a BMW's, but a GT500 will do 200 miles an hour, get better mileage (at reasonable speeds) and leave you with twenty grand for speeding tickets—the difference drops to ten grand if you skip the special Lime Rock bits. Or you could look at a used Nissan GT-R.

As a parting point, I'll say this: Though the M3 is certainly fast, bang for the buck is not its strong suit.

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