Classic BMW E30 M3 expected to hit $80k at auction

Enthusiasts have long considered the E30-generation BMW M3 to be the ultimate incarnation of the fast German coupe, and if new auction estimates are to be believed, it has officially entered classic status.

A near-perfect 1990 example of the old-school coupe is going under the hammer in the United States, and it's estimated to fetch as much as $80,000 (£60k). For perspective, that's £20,000 (£15k) more than a 2016 M3 would cost you.

It's revered for two reasons: not only was it the first iteration of the go-faster 3-series, but consequent generations increased in size and weight, which some felt diluted the experience.

By modern standards it's slow and the handling is soft, but at the time of its release it had exciting performance. The 2.3-litre four-cylinder engine sent 192bhp and 170lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels and was mated to a Getrag five-speed manual transmission.

Classic BMW E30 M3 could reach $80k at auction

Classic BMW E30 M3 could reach $80k at auction

This particular car has travelled 75,000 miles in its life, which is quite high for an expensive classic. If the photos are anything to go by, though, it's been well looked after. The white paint job is pristine and the interior looks barely used. Not bad for a 26-year-old car.

It'll be interesting to see just what this car goes for. The classic car market has been booming since the financial crisis in 2008 and shows no signs of plateauing.

With its boxy exterior, flared arches and light-weight construction, it's safe to assume that E30 values are far from peaking.