Over the years, BMW made a number of interesting, outside-the-box vehicles, like performance wagons, the Isetta microcar, or supercars with 1.5-liter engines from a MINI. However, it never made an M3 Bus, and looking at this epic rendering, we feel like that’s a real shame.
The E30 M3 is on fire. With low production numbers, it’s one of the most desirable classic cars from that era, so mint condition models are going for over $200,000. The power and performance of the first M3 serve as a blueprint for future sports sedans, but it’s the look that most people appreciate.
Round headlights, typical BMW grille design, and boxy fender flares have made the E30 M3 popular within the aftermarket communities as well. Kyza’s company LTO has produced amazing widebody conversions, but somehow, nobody has ever thought of turning the M3 into a Volkswagen Bus.
Children of the 80s
That’s right; we’re talking about a rendering, which could only have come from Andreas Richter, who has combined VWs and BMWs before. This time, the M3 Bus is made by mixing the sports sedan with a T3 version of the Type 2.
The names can get a little confusing, but a Type 2 is thusly titled because it’s the second VW model after the Beetle. And the T3 is the third generation. It’s known as the Transporter for the most part, but Americans usually call this a Vanagon.
The T3 was the last all-new Volkswagen platform to use the air-cooled design. People love to put Subaru engines in these, especially if they’ve got the four-wheel Syncro models. There are also rare versions, the six-cylinder models made by Porsche and Oettinger.
Above all, the T3 Transporter just screams “slow, boxy van from the 80s,” which is why you see it all the time in movies and TV shows. It’s not only the overall design, but also the production date which lines up with BMW: E30 3 Series (1982-1994), T3 (1979-1992).
How to make an M3 Bus
The rendering created by Richter is so good that it looks like a real car. The body of the T3 is slammed all the way to the ground, which would require custom racing suspension. After that, the boxy widebody look of the E30 is added, requiring flared-out front doors and rear fenders, which are filled out by OZ Racing wheels.
The real magic is at the front. The Type 2’s boring added-on bumper is replaced with an integrated E30 M3 bumper with intakes. And the VW grille almost perfectly transitions into the 3 Series design with tastefully sized kidney grilles.
Richter has also done something tastefully classic here. Can you see it? Yes, the stripes, which are an Alpina feature. The E30 B3 would have had a pretty nice engine, the 2.7-liter making 204 hp. It’s a shame he didn’t take the multi-spoke wheels as well.