At the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, BMWLOG sat down with Dr. Friedrich Nitschke, M CEO, Albert Biermann, Head of M Engineering, and Carsten Pries, Director of M Product.
The 45 minutes long discussion touched on subjects like electric power steering system (EPS), Automatic rev matching on the manual transmission, Nurburgring times and more.
Manual transmission is based on the BMW 1M and it’s 12 kg lighter than the gearbox found in previous E90 / E92 M3. It uses a twin blade clutch and upgraded oil system. If one orders the manual transmission instead of dual clutch gearbox, it will also save 25 kg (55 lbs). The new feature on the manual transmission, automatic rev matching, is only enabled in Sport and Comfort driving mode, but disabled in Sport+ mode.
For the S55 engine, M engineers have developed an extremely effective cooling system. Alongside the two ultra-dynamic turbocharger units, the air intake system of the six-cylinder engine also includes an indirect intercooler to cool the intake air. The engine crankshaft is about 3kg lighter than the N55 engine and at the same time is 20 percent stiffer. Crankcase housing is 2.8kg lighter. It also uses an aluminum alloy coated with steel plasma.
Electric power steering system (EPS)
BMW says the electric power steering system (EPS) in the BMW M3 / M4 is the best on the market today. The M folks say they aimed to improve the steering in the previous generation M3.
Carbon Ceramic Brakes
No pricing yet, but they certainly help with weight savings, between 6 and 7 kilograms. It has 6 piston front and 4 piston rear calipers.
- Rear seats are 5 kg lighter than regular 3 or 4 Series seats
- Trunk lid / gurney remove 5 kgs
- Standard carbon fiber roof for both cars
xDrive in future M3 / M4 / M5 / M6 models
The M engineers say since the focus of their recent efforts were around weight savings, going to an xDrive system for future models will be a setback. They basically said that adding an extra 70-80 kg will defeat the purpose.
Nothing to announce at the moment but we have heard that a pack similar to the M5/M6 Competition Package would follow.
Here is the roundtable discussion with journalists:[audio:https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3252835/M%20Round%20Table.mp3]