THE all-new BMW M3, now available solely as a sedan (the coupé version gets its own M4 tag), stands poised to attack corners and braking zones as it defends BMW M’s decades-strong leadership in the sport sedan genre.
A key to this campaign is the car’s “engineered-in” reduction in weight over the previous model. BMW’s commitment to weight-saving means the new M3 is around 80 kilograms lighter than the model it replaces. Some of the bits that helped in this regard include using carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic and aluminum for several chassis and body components. The car’s roof is made from carbon-fiber, too.
The fifth generation M3 returns to its roots with an inline-six engine, this time fitted with M TwinPower Turbo, discarding its predecessor’s V8—a move that already sheds off 10 kilograms. And even then the smaller engine packs a stronger punch with 425hp (from 5,500rpm to 7,300rpm) and 550Nm (from 1,850rpm to 5,500rpm) on tap, or torque ratings that are roughly 40-percent more.
This lets the car sprint from rest to 100kph in a scant 3.9 seconds when it is equipped with the seven-speed M-DCT transmission, or 4.1 seconds with the standard six-speed manual gearbox. All this with the engine cutting fuel consumption and emissions by nearly 25 percent.
To guarantee the changes are tuned properly, DTM drivers Bruno Spengler and Timo Glock took part in the car’s extensive testing and set-up work that was carried out at—where else?—the Nurburgring.
Well, a new M3 deserves nothing less.