|2-door coupe, production car
|Miles Per Gallon:
|420 bhp @ 8300 rpm
|295 lb-ft @ 3900 rpm
|f: --.- / r: --.- in
|--.- sec @ --- mph
|155 mph (limited)
|Braking, 60-0 mph:
|Nürburgring Lap Time:
Entering each new season in motorsport, BMW feels new and fresh ambition, query formally proven recipes for success, and focus on new records and outstanding achievements. And precisely this also applies to the debut of the new BMW M3: Having completed its test cycle with flying colors, the new high-performance sports car from BMW M GmbH is ready and waiting to take over pole position. Indeed, with its superior power, performance and dynamism, the new BMW M3 ensures truly unique sheer driving pleasure of the highest caliber. The new, 309 kW/420 hp V8 power unit offers enormous muscle and performance at all times. And the aesthetic design of the new car typical once again of BMW M spells out supremacy of the highest standard.
The new BMW M3 sets the foundation for continuing an exceptional career in motorsport. So every enthusiast sharing the passion for supreme performance may be sure that this model is able to master even the greatest challenge on and off the race track. And last but certainly not least, the new BMW M3 offers the supreme standard of reliability and everyday driving qualities so typical of all high-performance cars from BMW M GmbH.
The all-new “heart” of the latest BMW M3 is the eight-cylinder power unit which, through its high-speed engine concept alone, comes with all the DNA of the current Formula 1 engine raced by the BMW Sauber F1 Team. Applying this high-speed concept characteristic of all BMW M power units, the new V8 develops maximum output of 309 kW/420 hp from engine capacity of precisely 3,999 cc. Further equally impressive factors are the engine’s peak torque of 400 Newton-metres or 295 lb-ft as well as maximum engine speed of 8, 400 rpm.
Truly unprecedented, however, is the thrust and pulling force generated through this unique potential, conveying the supreme power of the engine through the variable M differential lock to the rear wheels. Precisely this is why the new BMW M3 is not only outstandingly responsive in its acceleration, but also completely shattering in the way it develops its power: Acceleration to 100 km/h comes in just 4.8 seconds, and the car continues this mindboggling performance with fascinating consistency all the way to its top speed of 250 km/h or 155 mph, where the engine electronics set an artificial limit to the ongoing power and performance of the new BMW M3.
Brand-new in technology and design
Within the BMW M GmbH model range, the BMW M3 has always been that very special model living up in full to its motorsport heritage. Indeed, this already applied to the very first BMW M3 launched in 1986 and continued throughout the two subsequent model generations. And now this supremacy comes out once again most clearly in the 2007 version of the BMW M3. Although the latest generation of the BMW M3 was based in its development on the new BMW M3 Coupé, the new high-performance model differs from the “regular” coupé in terms of both looks and technical features. Apart from the car’s unique design as well as its drivetrain and suspension technology conceived from the start for supreme performance, lightweight technology came right at the top in the brief given to the engineers at BMW M. And just how consistently this development target has been translated into reality in terms of intelligent lightweight engineering is borne out by the car’s power-to-weight ratio of only 3.8 kg (8.4 lb) per horsepower. One of the reasons for this low weight is that the new BMW M3 is the first production car in its segment to boast a roof made of carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFP). And in all, the new BMW M3, with the exception of just a few components, is indeed completely new in its engineering and design concept, clearly reflecting the successful tradition of BMW M GmbH.
Apart from the load-bearing structure of the car, only the two doors, the bootlid, the windows, the headlights and rear lights have been carried over from the 3 Series Coupé. All other body components, by contrast, were specially developed for the new BMW M3. The unique character of the new BMW M3 is obvious at first sight: Over and above the engine compartment lid with its striking powerdome and the two air intake openings, the function-oriented design of the front and rear air dams, the so-called gills in the front side panels, the side-sills also in distinctive design, the roof made of clearly visible carbon fibre, as well as the exterior mirrors and light-alloy wheels in BMW M design clearly characterise the new model from the ground up. The exterior, in turn, through its athletic and aesthetic appearance, powerfully underlines the sporting qualities of the car. The exterior paintwork likewise adds an individual touch, offering the connoisseur not only numerous additional colours, but also four special paintwork options exclusive to BMW M.
The interior: tailor-made for optimum driving pleasure
In designing the interior, the specialists at BMW M GmbH have succeeded in offering the occupants maximum driving pleasure in an ambience tailored to their specific needs and wishes. This applies particularly to the driver, with all controls and instruments relating directly to the active driving experience in the car adapted to the supreme performance of the BMW M3 and re-designed from the ground up wherever appropriate.
Double circular instruments with white illumination and red needles, the M leather steering wheel and the newly designed centre console all characterize the cockpit of the new BMW M3. The door cutout trim embellished by the characteristic M logo, the support for the driver’s left foot made of brushed metal, the special design and color of the inner door panels, as well as the trim strip made of high-quality, sophisticated materials exclusive to BMW M such as leather in carbon design or aluminum, all serve to underline the supreme and truly unique position of the new BMW M3.
The first-ever eight-cylinder to power a BMW M3
After 15 glorious years in the world of motoring, the straight-six power unit lauded time and again as the Engine-of-the-Year in the two former model generations of the BMW M3 is now giving way to a truly worthy successor. The new BMW M3 comes for the first time with an eight-cylinder power unit.
The specifications of this all-new high-performance engine clearly prove the competence and skill of the engine development specialists at BMW M GmbH gained in a long history of racing success: Displacing 3,999 cc, the new V8 develops maximum output of 309 kW/420 hp, together with peak torque of 400 Newton-meters or 295 lb-ft at 3, 900 rpm. Perhaps an even more outstanding fact is that some 85 per cent of the engine’s peak torque remains available throughout the enormous speed range of 6, 500 rpm.
The eight-cylinder nevertheless owes its most striking and distinctive forte to the high-speed engine concept so typical of BMW M: Revving all the way to 8400 rpm, the new power unit offers supreme muscle and performance at all times. Power is transmitted to the rear wheels by a six-speed manual gearbox interacting with brand-new final drive. This combination alone provides an acceleration and power potential reminiscent in its spontaneity and endurance to the dynamic potential of a thoroughbred racing car. Over and above specific output of 105 hp per litre, average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle of 12.4 litres/100 km (equal to 22.8 mpg Imp) offers a clear expression of the engineering skill so characteristic of the engine specialists at BMW M GmbH. Weighing a mere 202 kg (445 lb), the V8 power unit featured in the new BMW M3 is a genuine lightweight. Even compared with the six-cylinder power unit in the former model, engine weight is down by some 15 kg or 33 lb.
Production of components using know-how carried over from Formula 1
The engine block featured on the new eight-cylinder comes from BMW’s light-alloy foundry in Landshut near Munich, which also builds the engine blocks for the supreme racing machines entered in Formula 1 by BMW Sauber. The crankcase is made of a special aluminum/silicon alloy eliminating the need for conventional cylinder liners, since the cylinder surface is formed instead by exposing the hard silicon crystals integrated in the alloy. The iron-coated pistons thus run directly in these uncoated, honed cylinder bores. With the high speed of the engine and high compression forces obviously exerting extreme loads on the crankcase, the crankcase is compact and particularly stiff in its bedplate structure, ensuring very exact support of the crankshaft. Made as a complete forging, the crankshaft is very stable in terms of flexural and torsional stiffness, but nevertheless weighs a mere 20 kg or approximately 44 lb.
Valve control by double -VANOS operating at low oil pressure
The V8 power unit of the new BMW M3 features BMW’s variable double-VANOS camshaft control. Keeping valve timing extremely short and quick, this superior technology reduces charge cycle losses and, in the process, improves engine output, torque and responsiveness, with an equally positive impact on both fuel economy and emissions.
A low-pressure version of BMW’s double-VANOS has been developed especially for the new eight-cylinder, ensuring extremely fast valve timing even under normal engine oil pressure. A separate throttle butterfly for each cylinder is the most supreme and sophisticated technology not only on racing engines when it comes to providing immediate engine response. So precisely this is why the new power unit on the BMW M3 comes with eight individual throttle butterflies, two actuators operating four butterflies on each row of cylinders to provide particularly smooth engine repose at low speeds combined with an immediate reaction whenever the driver requires supreme engine power and equally supreme performance.
Two volume flow-controlled pendulum-slide-cell pumps supply the eight-cylinder with sufficient lubricant at all times, delivering precisely the amount of oil the engine requires under current running conditions. Wet sump lubrication optimized for driving dynamics ensures a reliable supply of oil even in an extreme brake maneuver, with the system combining two oil sumps with one another – a small oil sump in front of the front axle sub-frame and a large oil sump further behind. A separate oil reflow pump extracts oil from the front oil sump and delivers it to the rear sump again in a smooth process geared to current requirements.
New engine management and Brake Energy Regeneration
The electronic management of the V8 power unit coordinating all engine functions with optimum efficiency and precision, is yet another new development. A further point is that the control unit masterminds all the M-specific functions of the clutch, transmission, steering, and brakes. And last but not least, the engine control unit performs a wide range of onboard diagnostic functions, as well as other control operations involving, say, various ancillary units on the engine.
A particular highlight in engine management is ion flow technology serving to detect the risk of the engine knocking as well as mis-firing and mis-combustion. Contrary to conventional technologies, this new technology monitors the engine and performs its function precisely where things count most - within the combustion chamber. To do this, each cylinder is checked via the spark plug for any possible knocking, and is then controlled accordingly. At the same time the system checks the ignition and recognizes any mis-firing, the spark plug thus serving as an actuator for the ignition and as a sensor monitoring the combustion process. In this way the spark plug is able to distinguish between mis-combustion and mis-firing, also facilitating the process of engine diagnosis for highly efficient service and maintenance through its dual function.
Intelligent energy management featuring Brake Energy Regeneration likewise serves to further enhance the efficiency of the V8 power unit in the new BMW M3. In this case the power required for the on-board network is generated specifically during overrun and during application of the brakes, serving to charge the car’s battery at exactly the right time without taking up any of the energy contained in the car’s fuel. As long as the engine is “pulling” the car, therefore, the alternator generally remains disengaged. Apart from particularly efficient generation of electric power, this also serves to provide more drive power and traction for supreme acceleration at all times.
Aluminium suspension for driving pleasure of the highest standard
Smoothly and efficiently sharing out steering and drive forces on the front and rear axle, the chassis and suspension of the new BMW M3 provides the ideal foundation right from the start for particularly dynamic performance and driving characteristics. The chassis of the new BMW M3 is indeed a brand-new development from the ground up, seeking to cope from the start with the significant increase in drive power and save a lot of weight in the process. Precisely this is why nearly all components on the newly developed front axle are made of aluminum, among them the spring struts even stiffer than before, the swivel bearings, the central sub-frame and an additional thrust plate enhancing crosswise stability of the entire front section. Indeed, the engineers at BMW GmbH have even succeeded in saving additional weight on the high performance brake system with its compound brake discs.
The five-arm rear axle of the BMW M3 in lightweight technology is also a brand-new construction from the ground up, with the exception of one single track control arm. The particular design and construction of all aluminum arms in forging technology, in conjunction with the aluminum dampers, serves to reduce weight on this part of the car alone by 2.5 kg or 5.5 lb. Anti-roll bars optimized for their function and minimum weight are featured both front and rear. The change in axle geometry in both cases – featuring two additional longitudinal bars, apart from other new or modified components – offers new axle kinematics tailored to the high power of the car and its particularly sporting and dynamic overall character. The new final drive on the BMW M3 comes complete with a Variable M Differential Lock providing up to 100 per cent locking action in a completely variable process whenever required and thus ensuring optimum traction on all surfaces. Responding to differences in speed between the right and left rear wheel, the Variable M Differential Lock also offers ideal support further enhancing the positive features and characteristics of rear-wheel drive. The result of these many improvements on the chassis and suspension also comes out clearly on the race track, the new BMW M3 significantly outperforming the lap times of all model generations on the Nordschleife of Nürburgring, where all BMW M Cars are put through their paces for their ultimate test.
MDrive button for the ambitious driving enthusiast
Enjoying the qualities of the new BMW M3, the driver is able to configure several driving parameters individually according to his particular requirements, thus adjusting the car’s behavior and performance to his personal preferences. One option, for example, is to completely deactivate the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) via the car’s set-up. Electronic Damper Control (EDC), in turn, which optimizes both vertical vibration behavior as well as the car’s dive and roll in bends and when applying the brakes and accelerating by adjusting damper forces, comes with three different settings – Normal, Comfort, and Sports – the driver is able to pre-select at the touch of a button.
Three control maps are also available for precise, on-demand management of the engine. These management functions operate not only on the position of the throttle butterflies in the intake manifold, but also on further factors and parameters significantly changing the behavior and response of the engine.
The optionally available MDrive configuration enables the driver to pre-select the response of the Servotronic power steering. In the process, MDrive is able to follow two control maps varying steering forces between the Normal and Sports setting as a function of road speed.