One of the more forgotten aspect of performance and how it progresses over the years is tire technology. Tires have become so much more advanced than they were even five-to-ten years ago. With modern performance cars, manufacturers work so closely with tire manufacturers that the rubber they actual use is every bit as specifically engineered for that car as its engine and suspension components. For the new BMW M3 and M4, the M Division worked incredibly closely with its tire suppliers, namely Michelin, to develop a tire that can not only withstand the power and capability of both cars but actually improve their performance.
In this new video from BMW M, we learn about the new tires offered on the BMW M3 and M4 and how they’ve changed versus the previous-gen cars. The first thing you notice is the size difference. Up front, the old F80 M3 ran a 235/35/19 tire but the new G80 M3 runs a massive 275/35/19 tire. So the new tire is significantly wider than the old car and when you see them next to each other, the difference is staggering.
What’s interesting is that the prototype tires used in development get a certain numeric marking, which tells BMW’s engineers and developers what the tire’s make up is. The numbers signify certain rubber compounds and constructions, so that BMW engineers can provide feedback to the tire manufacturer about what they liked and what they didn’t. This way, the tire development is a joint venture.
BMW also drastically changed the tire sizes from front to rear. So the front tires get a smaller wheel with a taller sidewall and narrower size. The taller sidewall is most important, as it provides a better balance between comfort and grip. However, at the back, the tires are wider, have shorter sidewalls and sit on larger wheels. The reason for that is to provide better lateral grip, or “oblique running stiffness” as BMW calls it.
There’s also an option for track tires, a first for the standard BMW M3 and M4. Previously, the only M cars to be available with genuine track tires were the M3/M4 CS, M4 GTS and M2 CS. Now, though, your run of the mill M3 can have them.
I you’re in the market for a new BMW M3, check this video out as its a must watch.