Christmas has come early for petrol heads. The latest version of the worldâ€
Following its new nomenclature, BMW will not offer a performance coupe wearing the M3 badge. Instead, as with its siblings, the sedan will carry the M3 badge and the coupe will be badged as an M4.
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The new models are powered by a high-revving, twin-turbo inline six-cylinder engine producing 321kW and 550Nm of torque and mated to with a 6-speed manual transmission or 7-speed M Double Clutch Transmission. Fitted with the 7-speed M-DCT system, both cars will accelerate from 0-100km/h in 4.1 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h.
Modern racing technology
The modern sports car market is a competitive place, and BMW enlisted its finest engineers from deep within the ///M division to develop the two models. BMW also had 2012 DTM champion Bruno Spengler and ex-Formula 1 driver, now BMW DTM racer Timo Glock help hone and focus the M3 and M4.
This is achieved through clever use of the M TwinPower Turbo technology which comprises of two mono-scroll turbochargers (rather than the TwinScroll system on the early BMW turbo models), are aided by a variable valve timing system. This VALVETRONIC system, attached to a Double-VANOS camshaft, allows the engine to adjust its valve timing throughout the rev range. This results in a smoother, sharper and more continuous power delivery when driving aggressively, and reduced fuel consumption and emissions when operating in urban environments.
The powertrain is attached to an Active M Differential, the same system fitted to the M5 and M6, to optimise traction during performance driving through an electronically controlled multi-plate limited slip differential.
â€œAs a race driver, Iâ€
m very impressed by the instant, lag-free response from the two turbos as soon you step on the gas. This is a sensational feature of this engine which translates to more fun at the wheel and is perfect for sporty driving.â€ — Bruno Spengler, 2012 DTM Champion on the six-in-line engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology
To maintain the high performance figures demanded by sports car owners, the engineers at BMW ///M needed to minimize the weight of the M3 and M4 without losing any of the modern comforts that drivers demand.
Simply stripping the car out like a track special is not acceptable. On the outgoing model, coupe models had a carbon-fibre-reinforced polymer or CFRP roof. The CFRP roof is now available on both the M4 coupe and the M3 sedan, saving 4 and 6kgs respectively.
Other components manufactured from CFRP include the propeller shaft, strut braces and a number of suspension components resulting in a total weight saving of 80kgs over the more sedate 3-Series and 4-Series models.
A number of optional extras are available to optimise your M3 sedan or M4 coupe to heighten the performance. An optional M-Drivers pack adds a number of suspension tweaks and raises the speed limiter to 280km/h. The BMW M Laptimer App allows drivers to monitor their performance around a track and view corner-by-corner information on the iDrive system.
Finally, to ensure driversâ€
The M3 and M4 will be launched on the international market in May.