It's the end of the line for production of the fourth-generation BMW M3 Coupe. And there won't be a fifth-generation.
More than 40,000 M3 Coupes have been built since the fourth-generation model was launched in 2007, along with almost 10,000 M3 Sedans and just under 16,000 M3 Convertibles.
Production of the M3 Convertible will continue until September 2013 and the Sedan will continue to be produced.
All three current body variants share the same powertrain and chassis technology, which BMW says is derived directly from racing. They are powered by a 4.0-litre V-8 engine with maximum output ratings of 414 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque and an 8,400 rpm red-line.
Such features as electronically controlled individual throttle butterflies, ion current knock control and dynamically optimized oil supply are said to have been taken directly from racing. The engine has won the 3.0 to 4.0-litre class of the International Engine of the Year Award five times in succession.
Other track oriented features include a lightweight chassis with a front axle secured to the body by an aluminum stiffening plate and a five-link rear axle with hollow-tube anti-roll bar and forged aluminum axle control arms, a rack-and-pinion steering system with M-specific Servotronic and a variable M differential lock.
The fourth-generation M3 was also fitted with a high-performance compound braking system and could be specified with an optional three-mode Electronic Damper Control system.
Also optional was M DCT with Drivelogic, the first double-clutch transmission for a production BMW to be set up specifically to suit the performance characteristics of a high-revving engine.
On the materials front, the M3 was a light-weighting pioneer with its aluminum hood, plastic fenders and carbon roof.
In fact, the fourth-generation BMW M3 was an all-around trail-blazer. Expect nothing less from the forthcoming M4.