It's official; BMW has announced production of the BMW M3 coupe has come to an end.

BMW M3 Production - 1

Tracing its heritage back to the first-generation E30 from 1986, more than 40,000 examples of the fourth- and final-generation BMW M3 coupe have been produced at the Bavarian car maker’s Regensburg plant since its 2007 launch.

With an aluminium bonnet, plastic front panels, carbonfibre roof and its Munich-supplied 309kW/400Nm 4.0-litre V8 engine that redlined at 8400rpm, the sports car won fans with its balance and poise both on the road and at the race track.

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The BMW M3 coupe will soon be replaced by the two-door BMW M4, which enters production this month and should reach showrooms in 2014.

While the M3 name will live on exclusively in four-door sedan form, the M4 will take the coupe to the next level with less weight than the current M3 and a more powerful twin-turbocharged 3.0- or 3.3-litre six-cylinder engine also likely.

BMW M3 Generations

Over its lifecycle, the fourth-gen M3 has spawned special editions of note including the Pure Edition and Pure Editon II, as well as 135 examples of the M3 GTS, 67 M3 CRTs (Carbon Racing Technology), and 54 M3 DTM Champion Editions.

BMW says production of the BMW M3 convertible will continue in until September.