Rain, new BMW M3 and the best track in the world, create the ideal environment for a drifting session.

A Sakhir Orange F80 M3 was spotted at the famous Nürburgring Nordschleife during a high-power testing session. For the new M3, BMW will dispense with a 26-year tradition of high-revving naturally aspirated engines in lieu of turbocharged six-cylinder power.

The new 425-hp M3 sedan will be joined at the outset by its sister model, the M4 and is powered by the same twin-turbocharged inline six-cylinder direct-injection gasoline engine. The 3.0-liter unit is based around the German carmaker’s familiar N55 engine, with 84.0 mm bore and 89.6 mm stroke measurements.


BMW’s M division said that the changes to the aluminum block, cylinder head, induction and exhaust systems and internal architecture are enough to classify the engine as all-new.

With 425 hp developed between 5,500 and 7,300 rpm and 406 lb-ft of torque between 1,850 and 5,500 rpm, the new S55 engine delivers 11 hp and 110 ft-lb more than the naturally aspirated 4.0-liter V8 direct-injection gasoline mill it succeeds. An impressive 143 hp per liter — some 38 hp per liter more than its predecessor through the effects of forced induction — also gives it the highest specific output of any series production M division engine to date.

The new six-cylinder revs to 7,600 rpm.

To improve its dynamics, the M engineers have been spending a lot of times on the track with the car. The low weight and a high level of structural rigidity are essential ingredients in ensuring the cars provide an ultra-dynamic driving experience. In the double-joint spring strut front axle alone, the use of a lightweight aluminum construction for components such as control arms, wheel carriers and axle subframes saves five kilograms over a conventional steel design. Play-free ball joints and elastomer bearings developed specially for the BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe ensure an optimum and direct transfer of forces both laterally and longitudinally.

An aluminum stiffening plate, CFRP front strut brace and additional bolted joints between the axle subframe and the body sills all help to increase the rigidity of the front structure.

Let’s see how the car does on track.