These are benchmark cars. Other cars are measured by its performance. I learned a long time ago that when a bunch of companies compare their product to one specific item, then that would be the first one to consider…
And sport coupes are compared against BMW M3s. And they have been for over 20 years.
I have written a few of these 101 Cars posts about cars that are built to satisfy sanctioning body rules for racing… they are called homogolation requirements. Many sanctioning bodies require a certain number of cars to be equipped with powertrains or suspensions to race as production cars.
The M3s were built to qualify the cars to race in the Group A Touring Car series. And the first generation had some SERIOUSLY cool derivatives.