New BMW M3 Coupe (E92) - In Depth  

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Page 1: Short story
Page 2: Concept
Page 3: Power unit
Page 4: Chassis & suspension
Page 5: Design
Page 6: Body
Page 7: Safety
Page 8: Features
Page 9: Production

Short Version

Passion for Supreme Performance

The concept looks back at a long tradition, the result is unique every time:
For more than two decades, the BMW M3 has ranked alone as the epitome of ultimate dynamism derived directly from motorsport, a car offering powerful and superior aesthetics, as well as a truly incomparable driving experience. And now the new version of this high-performance sports car is ready to go – perfectly prepared to find the ideal line not only on the race track.

Like its predecessors, the fourth-generation BMW M3 sets new standards in technology and driving dynamics. And at the same time, like all high-performance models from BMW M GmbH, the new BMW M3 offers all the qualities required for everyday driving enjoyment of the highest calibre.

The new BMW M3 is based on the BMW 3 Series Coupé, but is nevertheless quite unique in its looks and technical features. The engine, for example, is an exclusive development precisely for this model, with the chassis, suspension and body all based consistently on the requirements of motorsport.

So leaving aside just a few components, the new BMW M3 is a brand-new car from the ground up. The aesthetic design of the body again typical of BMW M and the drivetrain technology conceived from the start for supreme performance – clear proof of the competence of the car development engineers at BMW M GmbH with their close ties to motorsport – spell out supremacy of the highest standard. In a nutshell, therefore, the new BMW M3 is a car built to be a winner, a car always able to prove its superiority also in everyday traffic.

Making its debut in the BMW M3: eight-cylinder power unit with 420 hp.

The truly impressive “heart” of the new BMW M3 is the car’s brand-new eight-cylinder power unit in V-arrangement combining outstanding power and performance with unique dynamism. Displacing 3,999 cc, the new V8 develops maximum output of 309 kW/420 hp. Maximum torque, in turn, is 400 Newton-metres or 295 lb-ft at an engine speed of 3,900 rpm.
And perhaps an even more impressive fact is that some 85 per cent of this maximum torque is available consistently throughout the enormous speed range of 6,500 rpm.

The new BMW M3 accelerates from 0–100 km/h in 4.8 seconds and has a top speed limited electronically of 250 km/h or 155 mph.

The eight-cylinder power unit owes its perhaps most striking feature to the high-speed engine concept again typical of BMW M: Maximum engine speed of 8,400 rpm gives the engine supreme thrust and torque at all times.
This power is transmitted to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox in conjunction with brand-new final drive featuring BMW’s Variable M Limited-Slip Differential.

Over and above the engine’s specific output of 105 hp per litre, average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle of just 12.4 litres/100 kilometres (equal to 22.8 mpg imp) bears clear testimony to the supreme engineering that has gone into this equally supreme car.

Know-how carried over from Formula 1 in production, construction, and the choice of materials.

The engine block of the new eight-cylinder comes from BMW’s light-alloy foundry in Landshut north of Munich, which also builds the engine blocks for the Grand Prix cars raced by the BMW Sauber F1 Team. The crankcase is made of a special aluminium-silicon alloy. It is both compact and extremely strong and torsionally resistant in its bedplate design.

Despite the two extra cylinders, the entire power unit is approximately 15 kg or 33 lb lighter than the six-cylinder engine featured on the former model.

The V8 power unit of the new BMW M3 is equipped with variable double-VANOS camshaft control, a unique technology reducing losses in the charge cycle and thus improving power and torque in the process. Responding extremely quickly to the driver’s commands, double-VANOS improves the spontaneity of the engine at all times, thus also helping to reduce fuel consumption and exhaust emissions.

The engineers at BMW M have developed a low-pressure version of double-VANOS specifically for the new eight-cylinder, operating at the regular operating pressure of the engine’s oil circuit.

A further feature of the new power unit is the use of eight individual throttle butterflies giving the engine a particularly smooth and sensitive response throughout the entire speed range and enabling the driver to call up the superior power of the engine directly and smoothly at all times. A volume flow-controlled pendulum-slide vane pump supplies the eight-cylinder with lubricating oil, the amount of oil delivered to the engine always being geared precisely to what the engine needs at the given point in time.

Wet sump lubrication optimised for driving dynamics, finally, ensures an adequate supply of oil to the power unit even in extreme braking manoeuvres and under high centrifugal forces in a fast bend.

New engine management and Brake Energy Regeneration.

Yet another new development is the electronic management of the V8 power unit integrating the clutch, gearbox, steering and brake functions tailored specifically to the requirements of a BMW M Car. And then, as a further highlight of engine management, ion flow technology serves to detect any tendency of the engine to knock as well as misfiring and mis-combustion.

Intelligent energy management featuring Brake Energy Regeneration enhances the efficiency of the power unit to an even higher standard: This new system generates electricity for the car’s on-board network only in overrun and while applying the brakes, with the alternator generally being disconnected
as long as the engine is in traction, “pulling” the car.

Apart from particularly efficient generation of electric power, this process also helps to provide extra drive power when accelerating.

Lightweight suspension for optimum use of the engine’s supreme power.

While the chassis and suspension of the new BMW M3 is based in its fundamental configuration on the suspension already featured in the BMW 3 Series Coupé, nearly all components are brand-new and unique.
The objective in developing and introducing these new components was not only to significantly increase drive forces, but also to save weight to the greatest possible extent. Precisely this is why nearly all components on the double-arm spring strut front axle are made of aluminium.

The five-arm rear axle also built in lightweight technology is likewise brand-new with the exception of just one track control arm – ensuring a reduction in weight, as a result, of approximately 2.5 kilos.

The engineers and suspension specialists at BMW M GmbH have even succeeded in saving weight on the high-performance brake system with its compound discs. And last but certainly not least in this context, the new final drive on the BMW M3 features BMW M’s Variable M Limited-Slip Differential generating locking forces of up to 100 per cent whenever required to provide optimum traction even in the most challenging situations.

The lightweight suspension is supplemented by Servotronic steering with steering assistance geared to the speed of the car, a high-performance brake system with vented discs all round, and electronically masterminded Dynamic Stability Control (DSC). As an option, finally, the new BMW M3 is also available with Electronic Damper Control (EDC).

MDrive button for the driver’s personal style of motoring.

With the newly developed suspension of the BMW M3 offering the ambitious driver excellent qualities right from the start, the sports-minded driver is able to customise the car specifically to his very own style of driving with the help of electronic suspension control. Hence, he – or she – is able to configure numerous dynamic driving parameters in the new BMW M3 to his personal preferences.

Available as an option, MDrive allows the driver to choose his pre-selected configuration simply by pressing a button. One example is the option to completely deactivate Dynamic Stability Control, another is to pre-select the level of Servotronic steering assistance via the iDrive control concept.
This gives the driver the choice of two control maps varying power assistance of the steering according to the speed of the car in either the Normal or Sports mode.

Adjusting damper forces in order to optimise the car’s driving dynamics also in bends, when applying the brakes and accelerating, Electronic Damper Control comes with a choice of three programs selectable at the touch of a button. Three control maps are also available for engine management, influencing not only the position of the throttle butterflies in the intake manifold, but also other parameters crucial to the response of the engine.

The result of the thorough work done by BMW M’s chassis and suspension specialists in terms of both electronics and mechanical systems comes out clearly not least on the stopwatch: The new BMW M3 is significantly faster on a race track such as the Nordschleife – the Northern Circuit – of Nürburgring, which sets the benchmark for all cars from BMW M GmbH, than the former model.

Specific design highlights accentuating the car’s unique technology.

Following the proven tradition of BMW M GmbH, the Company’s engineers and other specialists have developed the new BMW M3 as a fundamentally unique vehicle. And just how consistent they have been in taking this approach is borne out clearly from the start by the body of the car: Proceeding from the dimensions and basic design of the BMW 3 Series Coupé, nearly all body elements have been newly developed and designed from the ground up.

So apart from the actual structure of the car, only the doors, the luggage compartment lid, the windows, as well as the front and rear lights have been carried over from the BMW 3 Series Coupé, while all other components were specifically designed from the start for the BMW M3.

As a result, the exterior of the new BMW M3 clearly shows its unique power and superiority right from the start through its very aesthetic and appealing look. In the process the designers have developed virtually all components and features according to the principle that “form follows function”, opting for components which not only emphasise the supreme sportiness of the car, but also fulfil a definite technical purpose.

Typical examples in this context are the lightweight long-fibre thermoplastic carriers beneath the bumpers front and rear. Developed specifically for the new BMW M3, these components fulfil all crash safety requirements and enable the bumpers to retain their usual shape without any dents after a minor accident. A further advantage, quite obviously, is the reduction of weight by approximately 6 kg or 12 lb.

The front end of the car is another example of the function-oriented design and distinction of the BMW M3: While the bi-xenon dual headlights with their characteristic corona rings as a daytime light function are the same as the light units on the BMW 3 Series Coupé, the air intake scoops are significantly larger, providing a greater supply of intake and cooling air to the eight-cylinder power unit. And the engine compartment lid with its striking powerdome extending over the V8 power unit, together with its two additional air intakes, is also a specific feature typical of BMW M.

Further highlights exclusive to the new BMW M3 are the powerfully flared wheel arches, the narrow air slits in the front side panels, the side-sills highlighting the car’s rear-wheel drive concept, and the rear panel with its aerodynamically highly efficient diffuser. And last but again not least, both the exterior mirrors and the 18-inch light-allow rims come in typical BMW M design.

Exclusive in this segment: roof in visible carbon-fibre look.

Hardly any other component on the body of the new BMW M3 expresses the car’s cutting-edge technology as clearly – and, above all, as visibly – as the roof made of carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFP). As visible proof of this new technology, the roof stands out intentionally through the fibre structure of this Formula 1 material, only a layer of clear paint covering this high-tech surface.

Apart from this exclusive look, the CFP roof – again applying the principle of form follows function – also offers a significant technical benefit, being a lot lighter than a steel roof. This not only reduces the overall weight of the car, but also saves weight where it really counts, on the highest point of the body, thus significantly lowering the car’s centre of gravity and optimising driving behaviour particularly in fast bends.

The dynamic body design of the new BMW M3 is also expressed by special colours and highlights in the car’s paintwork: In addition to four standard colours, four new M metallic paintwork colours exclusive to the new BMW M3 are available to the connoisseur, highlighting the contours and proportions of the car’s body and offering a particularly unique look in the process.

Exclusivity and dynamics also within the interior.

Through its particular look and design, the body of the new BMW M3 impressively symbolises the outstanding performance and sporting qualities of the car. The interior supplements this particular flair, seeking to offer the driver the ultimate experience at the wheel and giving all the car’s occupants a perfect ambience tailored to their wishes and requirements.

Many of the interior design features thus stand out from the interior of the “regular” BMW 3 Series Coupé, with these distinctions being presented clearly from the start by the door cutout strips proudly bearing the M logo. The front seats, in turn, are optimised through their side support for a sporting style of motoring, while supreme craftsmanship and a perfect finish all round again serve to enhance the car’s sporting design.

The dual round instruments typical of BMW – the speedometer and fuel gauge as well as the rev counter and oil temperature gauge – are all finished in specific BMW M design. The numbers on the instruments thus stand out in white from the black background, the needles in the traditional red of BMW M GmbH are particularly clear and easy to read.

Yet a further feature typical of a BMW M Car is the variable warning field in the rev counter informing the driver while the engine is warming up of the speed at which he can run the engine as a function of the current oil temperature:
The borderline between the yellow pre-warning area and the red warning zone moves up consistently as a function of engine oil pressure, finally reaching its highest point at 8,400 rpm.

Control Display serving as the information centre.

Available as an option, the Control Display comes right in the middle of the dashboard within perfect sight for both the driver and front passenger. The colour display presents information relevant to the driver as well as the current function of the car’s communication, navigation, entertainment and air conditioning systems clearly and visibly whenever required.

The driver masterminds the system by way of iDrive, with the Control Display also serving to present a clear, easy-to-read map when using the optional navigation system.

The middle section on the instrument panel also housing the controls for the audio system and air conditioning extends down between the front seats within the newly designed centre console oriented in its entire geometry discreetly towards the driver. The upper side of the console is finished in black leather on all interior and equipment variants, with the side facing towards the driver comprising three important function switches (Power, DSC off, and, as an option, EDC) for activating or deactivating the car’s electronic driving programs.

The iDrive control system with its Controller positioned right in the middle of the centre console comprises the additional MDrive menu level, the optional MDrive button serving to activate the set-up of the car entered by the driver in advance being positioned together with the remote control buttons for the audio system and mobile telephone on the spokes of the M leather steering wheel.

High-quality leather and BMW Individual High-End audio system.

The four seats of the new BMW M3 offer both the driver and passengers superior comfort on long distances and excellent side support in fast and dynamic bends. The rear seat bench made up of two individual seats comes complete with lightweight through-loading developed especially for the BMW M3 and available as an option with a removable ski-bag. Using long-fibre-reinforced plastic on the through-loading, the car’s designers and engineers are able to offer the same function as usual with a weight-saving of approximately 7 kilos or just over 15 lb.

With its capacity of 430 litres or 15.05 cubic feet, the luggage compartment offers all the space required for convenient long-distance travel in an outstanding high-performance coupé.

The “basic” upholstery on the seats is a combination of cloth and leather, while the discerning customer also has the choice of all-leather upholstery in four different colours. An extended option is to choose leather upholstery also on the lower section of the instrument panel, the cover on the glove compartment, and the side panels on the centre console. Four exclusive trim strips extending across the entire dashboard from one side to the other beneath the Control Display and instrument cluster offer further options in customising the new BMW M3.

The new BMW M3 comes as standard with a high-quality audio system, and various navigation systems, the mobile BMW Online internet portal, the BMW Assist telematics service, as well as BMW TeleServices for wireless communication of service data to the driver’s BMW Service Partner are all available as options.

As yet a further option the new BMW M3 may also be fitted with the BMW Individual High-End audio system specially developed by BMW M GmbH and offering the occupants a truly outstanding experience in sound tailored specifically to the acoustics of the car.

BMW M3 all the way – a high-performance sports car perfect for everyday use.

From the 309 kW/420 hp eight-cylinder power unit all the way to the unique BMW Individual High-End audio system, all components of the new BMW M3 are conceived, designed and built for supreme performance. And at the same time they are simply ideal for providing sheer driving pleasure at all times and under all conditions, with the driver and passengers of the BMW M3 being able to enjoy the qualities of the car both on the race track and in everyday motoring.

Accordingly, the new BMW M3 is the perfect car for the all-round enthusiast wishing to express and live out his or her passion for performance not only in exceptional situations. Within the model portfolio of BMW M GmbH, therefore, the new BMW M3 is a particularly authentic expression of the unique philosophy which underlies the letter M.

The BMW M3 clearly comes in the tradition of BMW’s highly successful motorsport models, but is equally suited for the challenges of everyday driving. With its unpretentious, but nevertheless powerful and aesthetic looks, this is a genuine sports car dedicated to supreme performance without unduly flaunting its potential. So in summary, the new BMW M3 is the ideal interpretation of a high-performance sports car also suited in full for everyday use. A car with only one objective wherever you go: to offer you the ultimate driving experience.

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