Outstanding driving characteristics and a unique history define the character of the BMW M3. It is now 25 years since the first generation of the legendary BMW 3 Series-based sports car was unveiled.
On the race track it duly developed into the most successful touring car on the planet, while on the road it took on the status of standard-bearer for a new breed of car.
Like its predecessors, the fourth-generation BMW M3 represents the essence of a high-performance sports car you can drive every day. Offering the ultimate in track-derived dynamic performance, a design exuding power and authority and a driving experience without compare in its segment, the M3 displays a particularly close allegiance to the philosophy embodied by the letter M.
A high-revving, naturally aspirated V8 engine provides the heartbeat of the BMW M3.
At the core of the BMW M3 is an impressive V8 engine boasting outstanding power delivery and exceptional dynamics. The specially developed powerplant generates output of 309 kW/420 hp from its 3,999 cc displacement. Peak torque of 400 Newton metres (295 lb-ft) is reached at 3,900 rpm, and some 85 per cent of this is available through an impressive rev range of 6,500 rpm.
Credit for the eight-cylinder engine’s most striking characteristic must go to the high-revving concept to which BMW M cars traditionally adhere. Indeed, a 8,400 rpm red line allows the engine to generate imposing levels of thrust.
The V8 in the BMW M3 uses a special low-pressure variant of the Double-Vanos variable camshaft control system. This technology cuts charge cycle losses, which in turn increases the engine’s output, torque and efficiency. Extremely short adjustment times serve to sharpen the engine’s responses.
The new powerplant also features eight individual throttle valves, giving the engine extra sharpness across the rev range and ensuring an instant response to the driver’s request for high engine output.
A volume flow-controlled, pendulum-slide cell pump supplies the eight-cylinder engine with lubricating oil, delivering only the precise quantity required by the engine. Wet sump oil lubrication, optimised for dynamic performance, secures the required oil supply to the engine, even in extreme braking manoeuvres and under high centrifugal forces through corners.
A passion to perform at the highest level: The BMW M3.
Six-speed manual gearbox as standard, M DCT Drivelogic as an option.
The BMW M3 can be ordered with the M Double Clutch Transmission with Drivelogic as an alternative to the standard six-speed manual gearbox. The optional seven-speed unit changes gear with an uninterrupted flow of power and, in so doing, opens the door to even more dynamic acceleration. M DCT Drivelogic also has a positive influence on the efficiency of the BMW M3 and offers shift comfort of a similarly outstanding level to a BMW automatic gearbox.
The BMW M3 with M DCT Drivelogic needs just 4.6 seconds for the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) (manual gearbox: 4.8 seconds). Average fuel consumption, meanwhile, stands at 11.9 litres per 100 kilometres (23.7 mpg imp) for both gearbox variants.
Variable M differential lock, bespoke chassis technology, high-performance compound braking system.
The BMW M3 sends the power generated by the engine to the road surface via its rear wheels. Dividing the steering and drive forces between the front and rear axle creates an ideal platform for extremely dynamic driving characteristics, impressive directional stability and secure handling.
The rear axle differential of the BMW M3 features the variable M differential lock. This system reacts to changes in rotation speed between the left and right rear wheels, develops up to 100 per cent lock – as required and fully variably – and, in so doing, provides optimum traction on all road surfaces and through dynamically taken corners.
The suspension for the BMW M3 was developed on the basis of the BMW 3 Series Coupé’s construction, but virtually every component was comprehensively redesigned. The aim here was twofold: to allow for higher drive forces and to reduce weight extensively.
As a result, almost all of the components of the double-joint spring strut front axle are made from aluminium. The five-arm rear axle likewise uses lightweight design methods and is also a new construction from the ground up, with the exception of one track-control arm. The BMW M GmbH engineers have even succeeded in saving weight in the construction of the high-performance braking system featuring compound discs.
The car’s lightweight chassis is complemented by the steering’s Servotronic system, which adjusts the level of power assistance according to the car’s speed, and the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system. Electronic Damper Control (EDC) is also available as an option.
Distinctive design, roof with visible CFRP construction.
Taking the dimensions and basic form of the BMW 3 Series Coupé as a starting point, almost all of the body elements of the BMW M3 were newly developed and redesigned. Below the standard bi-xenon headlights, large air intakes cater for the eight-cylinder engine’s increased appetite for intake and cooling air.
Further hallmark M design elements are the bonnet stretched taut over the V8 engine with a defined “powerdome” and two additional openings, the powerfully flared wheel arches, the narrow air intakes in the front side panels, the aerodynamically optimised exterior mirrors, the side skirts drawing the eye to the car’s driven rear wheels, the 18-inch light-alloy wheels and the rear trim – with a diffuser between the two pairs of exhaust tailpipes.
The BMW M3 Coupé is the world’s first volume-produced vehicle with a roof made from carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP). The CFRP roof is significantly lighter than a steel equivalent. This weight saving at the body’s highest point noticeably lowers the car’s centre of gravity and optimises its handling properties.
An interior exuding exclusivity and sporting intent.
The four seats in the BMW M3 offer the driver and passengers a high level of comfort over long distances and excellent lateral support through quickly taken corners. The rear seat bench (made up of two individual seats) comes complete with a lightweight through-loading system developed specially for the BMW M3. The cockpit features M-specific circular instruments, complete with a variable engine temperature warning display in the rev counter.
Arranged on the side of the centre console angled towards the driver are the switches governing the engine dynamics, DSC mode and, if specified, the EDC settings. The optional M Drive button – used to call up a set-up configuration stored by the driver – is positioned on the cross spokes of the M leather steering wheel along with the remote control buttons for the audio system and mobile telephone.
Customers looking to add a personal touch to the interior can also choose from a selection of features including high-quality audio and navigation systems and a wide variety of driver assistance systems and mobility services from BMW ConnectedDrive.