With the demise of the naturally aspirated V8 of the outgoing M3, the world of M is exclusively powered through forced induction. And that’s not all bad. When the new 2015 BMW M3 and M4 will deliver more power (and substantially more torque) from a 3.0 liter inline-six cylinder and also deliver a 25% improvement in fuel economy the engineers at M must be doing something right.

So what do we know about the latest M cars?

Here are some key facts:

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  •  the 3.0 L inline 6 produces 431 HP between 5390 to 7000 RPM, it also makes 406 lb-ft of torque from almost off idle, it will be the proverbial freight train
  • the weight saving schemes result in about 175 fewer pounds on the new M3/4 than the outgoing M3
  • the cooling systems are substantially beefed-up for effectiveness on the track
  • 0-100 km/H in 4.1 seconds (7 speed DCT), that will translate to a sub 4 second 0-60 MPH time undoubtedly (and, as always, BMW rates conservatively)
  • significant aero details, the interesting quote from Albert Biermann, “The way in which we channel the inflowing air through the engine oil cooler creates a Venturi effect, which reduces front axle lift and, in so doing, improves the steering.” Read as, reduces understeer.
  • the third generation 7 speed DCT gearbox should be the choice for track day enthusiasts and anyone regularly computing; it also has launch control and a new function described as ‘Smokey Burnout’ – that’s really what they’re calling it – which allows for rear wheelspin at low speeds
  • the 6 speed manual gearbox includes ‘throttle blip’ functionality during downshifts, automated rev-matching
  • the output of the transmission routes to the active M differential through a CFRP propshaft; this eliminates the need for a multi-piece propshaft and a center bearing, it also significantly reduces weight and inertia
  • the active M differential is incorporated into the Dynamic Stability Control programming and utilizes a multi-plate clutch setup to transfer torque
  • the standard wheels are forged 18” units, 9J fronts, 10J rears with 255 wide front rubber and 275 wide rear
  • let the wailing and gnashing of teeth begin, the M3/4 will have electrically assisted power steering (see this BMWBLOG entry for details), there is an interesting quote from Bruno Spengler regarding the steering, however; Spengler says, “The electronic power steering is very precise, and from my point of view as a race driver that’s very, very important. It responds instantly to inputs and provides excellent feedback.”; we’ll know more when we have an opportunity to drive one