It’s Time For A Redux

How much is too much for the ultimate nostalgia kickback?

For quite some time, BMW’s E30 generation M3 has divided opinion among enthusiasts. Some feel it is the genesis of one of the most iconic nameplates in the world of motoring, and some feel that as values rise, the driving experience does not fully match the price tag. Here to fuel the fire for both sides of the argument is an ‘Enhanced and Evolved’ example from Redux Leichtbau, and it could be yours when it comes up for auction in February.

So what is the M3 by Redux, and why is it noteworthy? Think of it as a ‘Singerised’ version of an E30 M3, modernised and brought up to scratch but in its classic body shell. Oh, and it’s guiding at €233,000 to €292,000. Now, that may seem like a comically large price, and it is. We are now in an era where the right E30 M3 can easily command north of €100,000. Couple that with the fact the Redux version now has the performance to match, and maybe it’s not as silly as first thought. 

The E30 often gets a bad rap for lacking in the oomph department; lesser fans may even go so far as to call it gutless but fear not, Redux has heard your cries and answered them. While it still retains the S14 four-cylinder, it’s now bumped to 2.5 litres, and the paltry 197hp has taken a huge leap to the 300 mark. When ordering your M3 from Redux, there is the option of specifying a full billet 2.7 variant, but that box is left unticked in this example. 

Ok, so it’s an E30 with an engine upgrade. Big deal. Not quite. Not satisfied with fettling just the powertrain, Redux took their tools to the bodywork, recreating each panel, bar the doors and roof, in carbon fibre. Together, all the carbon panels weigh 40kg. The diet has brought the total weight down to 1,150kg. Mix that with the power gain, and it starts making a little sense. 

There are subtleties, too. The wings are widened front and rear, and the boot lid, no longer needing to conform to Group A regulations, has been shaved down to a more aesthetic and svelte appearance. Many of the interior buttons are hidden behind a flip-up panel to keep the appearance clean and uncluttered, and the radio has been centred in the dash to appease those of us who favour symmetry. 

For prospective buyers who need to be kept busy while not exploiting its newfound performance, Redux has hidden ‘3’ themed motifs around the interior. The pedals have 30 dimples, three along the door handles, and even the logo stitched into the seats can be divisible by 3. 

But is the juice worth the squeeze, or is this just some motorised abacus? This is the final call for those who herald the E30 M3 and its achievements. Redux themselves describe it as the CSL BMW never made, something for the purists, an E30 that can hold its own when viewed without rose-tinted glasses. Yes, every part of the car is singing, but is it from the same hymn sheet? 

Those who are more cynical may point out that the interior has an air of homemade to it. The swathes of Alcantara around the centre console and underside of the dash hint that this is the first road car built by Redux, and maybe they haven’t quite figured it out yet. 

The shifter would look more at home in a Volkswagen product, and are the seats little more than some reclining Recaros treated to a leather overcoat? It’s easy to confuse quality with rarity. Yes, this is number 2 of a limited run of 30, but at the end of the day, it’s still a restomod – a tweaked example of a 40-year-old coupe. 

The host of this auction, Icon, states that their vendor parted with an eye-watering €467,500 for this example, after which the owner covered just 328 miles before sticking it up for sale. That begs the question of whether it left a bad taste in their mouth. 

Or was that the plan all along, in which case, is the estimated hammer price of €233,000 – €292,000 a little too spicy for someone else’s leftovers? Redux still has slots available, meaning you could order one to your specifications if desired. 

This example will be crossing the block at Icon Auctions on February 24th, where we will see just how much someone is willing to hand over for the BMW M3 by Redux.