With the clock quickly ticking towards the official debut of the all-new M3 sedan and M4 coupe, BMW came out today with a plethora of technical details on the two cars that share the same platform, mechanical hardware and many other components sans their body.
The first thing you’ll be wondering is what’s lurking under the hood. Both cars ditch the outgoing M3 Sedan and Coupe’s naturally aspirated 4.0-liter V8 engine rated at 414hp (420PS) at 8,300 rpm and 400Nm (295 lb-ft) at 3,900 rpm for a new 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline six producing “approximately” 424hp (430PS) and 500Nm (369 lb-ft), which the automaker says, “is maintained over a very wide rev band”. BMW did not release acceleration figures.
This is the smallest engine to be used on an M3 since the first generation’s (E30) 2.3-liter naturally aspirated inline-four, and the first turbocharged ever, while also being the most powerful overall base production unit. BMW says it can spin up to 7,500 rpm and offers “an improvement of more than 25 per cent over the previous model’s figures, while emissions are already EU6-compliant”.
Despite the rumors for the opposite, the new M3 and M4 will be available with a six-speed manual as standard, while a seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission will be offered as an option.
Another highlight of the new M models is a reduction in weight via a variety of measures, ranging from the smaller engine to a number of new parts such as the revised gearbox (-12kg / -26.5 lbs) and the new wheel carriers and axle subframes (-5kg or -11 pounds). According to BMW, the kerb weight of the M4 has been reduced to less than 1,500 kg (3,307 pounds), making it around 80 kg (176.4 lbs) lighter than a comparably equipped E92 M3 Coupe.
For the first time ever, the M3 sedan will be offered with a carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) roof, which up until now, was confined to the coupe model.
Other details mentioned in BMW’s released include the use of track the Air Curtain and M gills with integrated Air Breather rearwards of the front wheels to minimize turbulence in the front wheels, an aluminum suspension, electric power steering with three settings (COMFORT, SPORT and SPORT+ modes), plus optional Adaptive M suspension (with the same three modes) and carbon ceramic brakes.
BMW said that its racing works drivers Bruno Spengler and Timo Glock took part in developing the M3 and M4 on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife circuit,
“Four generations of the BMW M3 have blended motor sport genes and uncompromised everyday usability within an emotionally rich overall concept;” said Friedrich Nitschke, President of BMW M GmbH.
“The BMW M3 and BMW M4 take motor sport technology from the track to the road, and thousands of laps of the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife – the world’s most demanding race track – have readied the new models for that transition. Meticulous and passion-fuelled development work has underpinned the creation of two high-performance sports cars that set new standards in terms of overall concept, precision and agility,” he added.
The new M3 Sedan and M4 Coupe are scheduled for an introduction next year.