by Jeremy Walton. Osprey, £30.00.
From one extreme to the other: this time BMW specialist Walton gets a whole hardback volume to concentrate on one model, and the result is much more relaxed. There’s the usual history lesson to begin, but successive chapters concentrate on individual elements such as body engineering, engines, track successes, the M-power strategy, interviews and driving experiences, to give a comprehensive picture of the common thread which joins what are in fact three different cars which have shared a type-number over almost 20 years.
Using a mixture of period and new photographs, mono and colour, plus drawings and tables, Walton brings us from the much-loved 2002 which crystallised this market sector for BMW up to the latest M3 coupe, via his own close contacts with the Munich firm over the years. Not cheap, but thorough. GC