It takes a lot of gall for an automaker to charge more for a paint finish that can’t be washed without reading an instruction manual first, lest you destroy it. Alas, BMW answered the challenge with its “frozen” paint colors, essentially multi-stage matte (non-glossy) paints that require you to wash the car by hand with water and a microfiber towel.
Simultaneously, BMW is launching three frozen paint editions of the M3 sports coupe–in red, white, and blue–for the low, low price of $76,395, including $895 for destination and handling. That’s nearly $16,000 more than a base BMW M3, but you’re getting more than just some paint for your added expense. Going down BMW’s options list for the standard car, the Frozen Edition M3 makes up some ground with included features like the Competition Package (ordinarily $2,500 extra); Premium Package ($4,350); black Novillo leather ($950), but more of it from BMW’s Individual customization program; carbon leather trim ($500); and, of course, the paint. Considering BMW can charge as much as $5,500 for a glossy custom paint job, that nearly $7,000 gulf doesn’t seem so big anymore if you’re doing the math at home.
Of course, because BMWs always have long lists of options, there’s more you can get, like the Cold Weather Package ($750), M dual-clutch transmission ($2,900), and other smaller options.
In total, 150 of the frozen red, white, and blue 2013 BMW M3 coupes will be built, ensuring your car’s exclusivity. That is, until the next frozen paint edition comes out. BMW has a frozen bronze available on the 6 Series Gran Coupe, a frozen blue on the Alpina B7 sedan, and made 70 frozen gray M3 coupes before the current car.
So, sorry to burst your bubble, but even after plopping down three quarters of 100 grand for your 2013 BMW M3 special edition, you’re still not going to be very special. And you’re going to have to spend an exhaustive amount of time hand-washing every inch of your car with a moist towel when it gets dirty.