Alpine white with standard 18in wheels
Alpine white Rear view
The most anticipated new BMW heads state side in early 2008. The M3 has been BMW’s most sought after model since its original debut over two decades ago. The newest version, the fourth generation named the E92, is the best yet and deserving of the M title. With its technology, this M3 has managed to become closer to its racing pedigree while maintain the highest level of comfort and usability.
The most notable improvement from the last M3 is the 4.0L V8, which produces the most beautiful sound. This engine is worth a second look. Compared to the 5.0L V-8 in the previous M5 generation, this new 4.0L engine is nearly 100 lbs lighter and produces 20 additional horsepower. The current engine is 30 pounds lighter than the previous E46 M3’s I-6.
Thanks to individual throttle butterflies and Double-VANOS technology, the engine is more responsive and more fuel efficient throughout the rev range, which does not stop until 8,400 RPM. The M3’s engine is essentially a chopped version of the 5.0L V-10 found in the current M5 (E60) and M6 (E63). The M3’s V-8 produces 420 hp compared to the M5 and M6’s V-10’s 500 hp.
4.0L V-8 Engine
Aluminum hood with powerdome in Melbourne red
According to BMW, average fuel consumption of this powerhouse V-8 is said to be a respectable 22.8 mpg, proving the engineering skill of the BMW engine designers. Other journalists have found less then 15 mpg when flogging the M3 around mountain roads. The lightweight cylinder block is made with the same aluminum/silicon alloy that is used for BMW’s Formula 1 team engine blocks. These materials are proper supercar stuff.
BMW’s exceptional 6-speed manual transmission will be standard as usual and will incorporate temperature related oil cooling and a mass inertia optimized double plate clutch. Those who want an automatic (SMG) gearbox will have to wait till 2009. The M3’s body developed from the 3 Series Coupe only shares the doors and trunk. All the other components have been painstakingly developed with overall performance in mind. The hood swells to hint at the power below, two intake openings frame the hood. The fenders are flared to hide wider rubber. Front fenders incorporate typical M style grills with turn signal indicators. 18in wheels are still standard while optional 19in’s are much better looking and fill the wheel wells much better. The roof is made of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic to reduce weight where it is needed most, on the top of the car. 11 pounds was shaved from the roof thanks to this hi-tech material.
Silverstone silver with optional 19in wheels
Melbourne red with 18in wheels and side grill
One of the new features of the M3 is Brake Energy Regeneration. A new technology BMW has implemented to cut on fuel consumption and ensure that as much power as possible is going to the road. During application of the brakes, this energy being created is harnessed and charges the battery. The battery provides much of the power to the car’s electronics, eliminating the resources of the engine power.
Electronically adjustable suspension, which is taking the supercar world by storm is finally in the M3, which BMW calls Electronic Damper Control (EDC), this great option lets the driver choose between three distinct ride profiles: Normal, Comfort and Sports. Engine response can be changed as well.
Melbourne red side mirror
Interior with Novillo leather in Palladium silver
The exterior mirror design does not strike me as good looking.
They may be more aerodynamic, and the double arm design is very reminiscent of the E36 M3’s mirror design, but I find the standard 3 series equipment to be much more attractive.
One option that should not be over looked by any track enthusiasts, driver and passenger seats with adjustable backrest width. The standard seats are well bolstered but the ability to tighten the seat around ones self during spirited driving and the ability to relax the seats and be conferrable on long journeys is valuable feature.
This M3 is the most desirable model BMW has produced. The engine is quite possible the best of the year and driving experience would put a smile on the toughest of critiques, while at the touch of a button it becomes docile enough to be enjoyed as a daily driver. BMW has succeeded in making a multi purpose racecar.