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BMW M3 proves astounding, again

CNET Car Tech reviews the 2011 BMW M3.

2011 BMW M3
Josh Miller/CNET

Forgive a jaded car reviewer, but when the BMW M3 showed up on the schedule, I thought, meh. I had driven the current generation of M3 in coupe and convertible forms a couple of years ago, and all the cars I've reviewed since obviously left me jaded. (I know some of you are now thinking, if I kill you, do I get your job?)

But actually getting behind the wheel of the M3, hearing the growl of the engine as it fired up, feeling that thick steering wheel, erased all notion that this would be just another in a long string of cars. Getting it out where the roads twist sharply and there's not another car in sight, feeling its technical brilliance as I pointed it through each corner, evoked a sense of exhilaration, like a first kiss.

As I put it through the first turns at a moderate pace, slowly increasing the speed through corner after corner, the M3 didn't once feel like it was getting out of sorts. Instead it seemed to want more, and yet more. Give me the tight hairpin, give me the broad sweeper, give me the tightening bend, it seemed to say. Even pushed to speeds where I began to get uncomfortable, the M3 was not ready to quit.

But here's the thing: the M3 works all this handling magic through the wonders of technology. From its Electronic Damper Control to its Double Clutch Transmission to its Double-VANOS engine control, this technology works to make the M3 handle the roads like a race car. If getting an edge through technology turns you off, then this is not the car for you. As for myself, the M3 is a renewal of faith.

Check out our 2011 BMW M3 review.