Pure performance is the driving force behind BMW’s new premium sportsters, the M3, M4 Coupé and M4 Competition Coupé, with details being released well ahead of the scheduled launch in March next year.
Now, 35 years after the first BMW M3, this generation – one a sedan with space for up to five occupants, the other a four-seat coupé – also has a range of available powertrain options that offers customers unusually generous scope for configuring the cars to their personal requirements.
The new BMW M3 Sedan and new BMW M4 Coupé are fitted with a six-cylinder in-line engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology, whose 353 kW is channelled to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox unique in its segment.
In the new BMW M3 Competition Sedan and new BMW M4 Competition Coupé, the 375 kW version of the high-revving unit teams up with an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic. The two Competition models will also be available with the M xDrive all- wheel-drive system.
The significant dynamic advances made over their predecessors are the product of a typically M development and tuning process conducted in part alongside testing for the new BMW M4 GT3 racing car.
The engine powering the new BMW M3 Sedan and new BMW M4 Coupé serves up peak torque of 550 Nm all the way from 2 650 r/min to 6 130 r/min. Its maximum output of 353 kW is available at 6 250 r/min.
The unit fitted in the Competition models likewise maintains peak torque across a wide rev band, with 650 Nm on tap between 2 750 r/min and 5 500 r/min. Maximum output of 375 kW is developed at 6 250 r/min, with the engine’s red line arriving at 7 200 r/min.
The new BMW M3 Sedan and new BMW M4 Coupé require just 4,2 seconds to power from 0 to 100 km/h, while 0 to 200 km/h takes 13,7 seconds. The Competition models each accelerate from 0 to100 km/h in 3,9 seconds and from 0 to 200 km/h in 12,5 seconds.
The accumulated motor-sport expertise of BMW M GmbH has also made its presence felt in the conception of the oil supply system. The engine’s oil sump has two separate chambers and an integrated suction channel. An additional suction stage allows the map-controlled oil pump to draw lubricant from the smaller chamber, which steps in when extra capacity is needed. This ensures a reliable supply of oil at all times, even under extreme lateral and longitudinal acceleration.
The extremely high torsional rigidity of the body and chassis mounting is a key factor in providing the combination of dynamism, agility and precision and a model-specific package of bracing elements for the engine compartment, a front axle subframe with aluminium shear panel, underfloor bracing elements and a rear axle subframe with a rigid connection to the body all play a part in the cars’ controllable handling in even dynamically intense situations.
Adaptive M suspension with electronically controlled shock absorbers and M-specific kinematics and elastokinematics for the front and rear axles are standard features of the new BMW M3 Sedan and new BMW M4 Coupé.
Full-LED headlights are fitted as standard, while Adaptive LED Headlights with BMW Laserlight can be specified as an option.
Newly developed, electrically adjustable M sport seats and fine-grain Merino leather trim with extended features come as standard, with seat ventilation also available for the first time. Options are the new M Carbon bucket seats with a structure-based design, which combine racing functionality with a lightweight construction, comfort over long distances and sumptuous workmanship. These seats have integral head restraints which can be dismantled for track driving,
The optional M Drive Professional, making its debut here, has been conceived specifically for track driving. It includes the innovative new M Traction Control, which allows the new integrated wheel slip limitation function of the DSC system to be adjusted (through 10 stages) to the driver’s personal preferences and needs.
Other elements of M Drive Professional are the M Drift Analyser, which records and rates driving stats posted in dynamic cornering manoeuvres, and the M Laptimer, which supplies lap times and other information generated during track sessions.
Both models come as standard with Park Distance Control with sensors at the front and rear, Front Collision Warning and Lane Departure Warning, plus the Speed Limit Info road sign detection system. Options include the Driving Assistant Professional, complete with the Steering and Lane Control Assistant, Active Navigation function,
Emergency Lane Assistant, BMW Drive Recorder and the latest generation of the BMW Head-Up Display with M-specific content. The likewise optional Parking Assistant comprises functions such as the Reversing Assistant.
A steel roof with integral glass tilt/sliding sunroof is available as a no-cost option for both models as an alternative to the standard carbon-fibre version. The new M Race Track Package, meanwhile, brings about a targeted reduction in vehicle weight. This package includes M Carbon ceramic brakes, weight-minimised M light-alloy wheels (available as an option with semi-slick tyres) and the M Carbon bucket seats.