New BMW M3 and M4: The Technology

BMW M4 | December 13th, 2013 by 4
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The much anticipated details of the 5th generation BMW M3 and new M4 have been released. BMW M has put the M3 and M4 on …

The much anticipated details of the 5th generation BMW M3 and new M4 have been released. BMW M has put the M3 and M4 on a serious diet, managing to wring 176 lbs (80kg) out of a similarly equipped 3 or 4 Series. For the new M3/M4 motor, BMW amped up the torque by nearly 40% over the last generation E90/E92 M3, and putting it on tap way down at 1850 rpm addressing one of the few complaints I’ve heard from E90/E92 M3 owners.

Powering the new M3/M4 is an all new, 3.0 liter twin turbocharged in-line six cylinder twisting out a whopping 431 hp, 406 ft-lbs of torque. Sometimes it’s hard to tell how many turbos a BMW has with their liberal use of “TwinPower Turbo” which can refer to a twin-scroll turbo or two turbos, but M3/M4 has two actual turbos. 0-100 km/hr comes in 4.1 seconds when equipped with the third generation M Double Clutch Transmission.

New BMW M3 and M4: The Technology

In an amazing feat of engineering, not only does the new M3/M4 deliver more power, faster acceleration but BMW has done it with a 25% improvement in fuel economy. Redline is a lofty 7,600 rpm and peak horsepower is between 5,390 – 7,000 rpm. Peak torque is available from 1850-5500 rpm. Stopping the M3/M4 are BMW M compound brakes, and M Carbon Ceramics replete with gold calipers are optional.

The technical aspects of the exterior of the M3 and M4 are no less stunning. Not only designed to reduce lift and drag but with all the air channeling BMW M uses the Venturi effect through the oil cooler to help reduce lift on the front axle improving steering feel at speed. This can be a big deal because when my old E36 M3 would get up over 100 mph, the steering felt light. BMW M further differentiates the M3 with huge wheel flares ala 1M. The M4 still showcases a great aggressive looking stance. The power dome on the engine hood hints at the power below. BMW M uses light weight aluminum hood, and side panels as well as carbon fiber roof. The E90 M3 sedan came standard with a moonroof and the carbon fiber roof was not an option. This time the M3 sedan offers the carbon fiber roof as an option, so you wont have to send your M3 to iND to get it done this time.

New BMW M3 and M4: The Technology

BMWBLOG’s knock on the M3 and M4 is only one, and it is that ///M would debut electric steering on these cars. BMW has made a point in previous M cars to go out of the way to ensure hydraulic steering. Granted we haven’t driven the M3/M4 yet so it may be early to be knocking on BMW for it. I’ve driven the new Porsche 911 (991) and feel that it has the best electric steering on the market, so will be interesting to see how good M can make electric steering.

Perhaps the best news is that the manual transmission is still available as there were rumors that BMW M wouldn’t even offer it. The M engineers added standard throttle blipping on down shifts to the double plate manual clutch unit. Now in it’s third generation, the M DCT has transmission oil water cooled to keep the DCT operating at peak efficiency. The M DCT has Launch Control, but also has the ability to disengage to neutral at low speeds to decrease understeer.

New BMW M3 and M4: The Technology

For the first time in the M3/M4 BMW is using an Active M Differential. This allows variable lock from 0 – 100%. Sometimes, press materials can be a bit over the top so, I am not sure what to think on the “Smokey Burnout” feature, clearly this is to light them up but we’ll see if the name sticks or not. The large five-double spoke wheels in the press pics looks stunning, but they look like 19’s to me. 18 wheels are standard. Ferric Grey and Black colored wheels are optional. BMW M touches are seen throughout with door sills, steering wheel, deviated stitching and if I am reading the press materials correctly an illuminated M logo on seat backrests.

The properties of the extremely light yet impressively durable material CFRP have allowed the engineers to follow a fundamentally new approach in the manufacture of the drive shaft. Made from CFRP, this component feeds the engine’s torque from the gearbox to the rear differential and works under extremely heavy loads – especially in high-performance vehicles.

The M3 and M4 should deliver on the tech front too. BMW M offers optional LED headlights, plus seamless Integration with the BMW M Laptimer app via the iDrive Controller. Optional Head-Up Display with M-specific info such as the gear selected, rev counter and optimum shift indicator. These are in addition to the multitude of tech options on the standard 3 and 4 series.

  • digivue

    I do like the M3/M4. I’d personally go with M3 though. The taillight shape on M4 is too soft (roundish, why???) and hideous looking. Also, what’s wrong with BMW putting halogen taillights on $70K(and this is overly optimistic price-wise and most likely bare bones car)? I think no cost cutting should be seen on such expensive cars. Another concern is the price of the well optioned car – could be too high for what it is.

    • Chuck Vossler

      I too am very curious about the price point on the M3/M4. If they can price it close to the outgoing e92M3, they should have a huge success on their hands. Hoping for a base MSRP just over $60k is probably unrealistic though given all the new tech and insane weight loss over the e92M3.

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