BMW M3 Sedan
The launch of the new BMW M3 Sedan and new BMW M4 Coupe sees BMW M GmbH revealing a new interpretation of the high-performance sports car - and carrying the BMW M philosophy over into the fifth generation of the M3. More than 40,000 examples of the fourth-generation BMW M3 Coupe were built, and now the BMW M4 Coupe is poised to continue this success story. The "M4" badge is a reference to the model series that provides the basis for the new M model - and, for the first time, the Coupe will be introduced at the same time as the four-door variant. Logic dictates the latter will be christened the BMW M3 Sedan.
"Four generations of the BMW M3 have blended motor sport genes and uncompromised everyday usability within an emotionally rich overall concept," explains Dr Friedrich Nitschke, President BMW M GmbH. "The BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe represent an ongoing commitment to this philosophy. The engine is the heart of every M model, and the new turbocharged sixcylinder unit fitted in the two new cars combines the virtues of a high-revving naturally aspirated unit with the strengths of turbocharger technology. A committed lightweight design concept produces a weight saving of around 80 kilograms over the outgoing M3. The BMW M3 and BMW M4 take motor sport technology from the track to the road, and thousands of laps of the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife - the world's most exacting race track - have readied the new models for that transition. Meticulous and passionfuelled development work has underpinned the creation of two highperformance sports cars that set new standards in terms of overall concept, precision and agility."
The high-revving six-cylinder in-line engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology newly developed for the new BMW M3 Sedan and new BMW M4 Coupe produces a maximum output of 431 hp. Its peak torque of 550 Newton metres (406 lb-ft) is available across a wide rev band and outstrips the figure recorded by the outgoing BMW M3 by roughly 40 per cent. And yet the engine also achieves a reduction in fuel consumption and emissions of around 25 per cent. Both the BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe cover the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h / 62 mph in 4.1 seconds (with the optional seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission).
In the interests of maximising dynamic ability and ensuring excellent efficiency, weight savings of around 80 kilograms have been achieved over a comparably equipped predecessor model. The BMW M4 Coupe, for example, has a DIN kerb weight of 1,497 kilograms, thanks to the rigorous application of intelligent lightweight design measures. These include the increased use of lightweight materials such as carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) and aluminium for a number of chassis and body components. Indeed, both models feature a carbon roof.
One of the primary objectives in the development of the BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe was to ensure the new cars offered impressive race track capability. Hence the presence of a track-specification cooling system, which ensures that the optimum temperature balance for the engine, turbochargers and transmission is maintained at all times.
In order to accentuate the racing character of the two models in terms of both their technical composition and the fine-tuning of the cars, the engineers worked closely with BMW Motorsport's professional racing drivers during the development phase. For example, DTM drivers Bruno Spengler and Timo Glock took part in the extensive testing and set-up work carried out at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife circuit.
A blend of elements working in perfect harmony delivers outstanding performance, precision and agility
Low-slung and broad-set, the new BMW M3 Sedan and new BMW M4 Coupe share a finely balanced stance on the road. Indeed, the M-specific design of the two high-performance sports cars underlines their performance capability. Large air intakes and Air Curtains at the front end, exposed carbon-fibrereinforced plastic (CFRP) and aluminium body components, and the diffuser at the muscular rear end are not merely design flourishes; they also fulfil functional roles in terms of aerodynamics, cooling and weight saving.
Numerous aerodynamics measures integrated into all areas of the body.
The aerodynamics concept of BMW M GmbH models has always been one of the key elements in their development. The engineers need to channel the air around the car to create the best possible platform for dynamic excellence, while also ensuring the engine, powertrain and brakes receive the requisite cooling even when operating under heavy loads on the race track.
Details such as the powerfully formed front apron, smooth underbody and clearly defined Gurney spoiler at the rear of the M3 Sedan (or integrated spoiler lip at the rear of the BMW M4 Coupe) reduce lift by an equal degree at the front and rear axle and produce optimum handling attributes. "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," explains Albert Biermann, Head of Development BMW M GmbH. Elements like the Air Curtain and M gills with integrated Air Breather rearwards of the front wheels minimise turbulence in the front wheel arches. Together with the aerodynamically optimised exterior mirrors in twin-stalk style, they are also highly distinctive design features of the BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe and help reduce drag. These examples underline in familiar fashion the success of M engineers in reconciling the requirements of everyday use with the demands of action on the race track.
Six-speed manual gearbox with throttle blipping.
The engine's power is transferred to the road via a standard six-speed manual gearbox with robust double-plate clutch. This unit is considerably more compact than its predecessor and 12 kilograms lighter. As a means of increasing shift comfort, the manual gearbox uses innovative new carbon friction linings in its synchroniser rings. Dry sump lubrication provides an efficient supply of oil to all parts of the engine. The gearbox blips the throttle on downshifts - previously a feature reserved for the M Double Clutch Transmission. This engagement speed control function improves the smoothness of the transmission, helps to enhance stability and was originally developed by motor sport engineers.
Seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission Drivelogic with Launch Control.
The third generation of the M DCT sees the M engineers once again setting the benchmark in terms of power and race track capability without having to compromise on everyday usability. The optional seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission with Drivelogic prompts the new high-revving turbocharged engine into emotionally impressive feats. As well as changing gear automatically, in manual mode the transmission enables ultra-fast gear changes with no interruption in the flow of power. The integrated Launch Control function ensures optimum sprinting performance off the line, producing acceleration figures that would be out of range with the manual gearbox. The Smokey Burnout function allows the driver to indulge in a degree of rear wheel spin while the car is moving at low speeds. Stability Clutch Control opens the clutch when the car is understeering to bring it back into line. And M DCT also includes functions like the Drivelogic modes that can be selected by the driver to give the BMW M3 and BMW M4 more comfortable, more economy-focused or even sportier characteristics. The additional seventh gear over the manual gearbox allows longer gear ratios - and delivers the efficiency gains you would expect as a result.
The properties of the extremely light yet impressively durable material CFRP have allowed the engineers to follow a fundamentally new approach in the manufacture of the drive shaft. Made from CFRP, this component feeds the engine's torque from the gearbox to the rear differential and works under extremely heavy loads - especially in high-performance vehicles. "The impressive stiffness and low weight of the CFRP tubing allow the drive shaft to be constructed as a single-piece unit with no centre bearing. As well as a weight saving of 40 per cent over its predecessor, we have achieved a reduction in rotating masses and therefore improved drivetrain dynamics," explains Albert Biermann.
Even more accomplished rear-wheel drive with Active M Differential.
Among the other components that add fresh polish to the dynamic repertoire of the BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe are the hollow lightweight output shafts of the rear differential and the Active M Differential, which uses an electronically controlled multi-plate limited-slip differential to optimise traction and directional stability. The multi-plate limited-slip differential works with extremely high precision and speed. Its control unit links up with the DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) system and also takes into account the position of the accelerator pedal, the rotational speed of the wheels and the car's yaw rate. Every driving situation is therefore precisely analysed and an impending loss of traction on one side of the car identified at an early stage. The degree of lock - which may be anywhere between 0 and 100 per cent - is adjusted as required within a fraction of a second, enabling wheel spin to be prevented on slippery surfaces, in instances where the right and left rear wheel have widely differing friction coefficients, in tight bends and when changing direction with particular vigour. Optimising traction in this way also provides unbeatable driving stability in challenging conditions and allows impressively dynamic acceleration out of corners.
M Dynamic Mode - a subfunction of the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system - quenches the thirst of enthusiastic drivers for keen dynamics. While DSC intervenes as required to counteract understeer and oversteer, M Dynamic Mode allows greater wheel slip and therefore easy drifting. Owners with a taste for sporty and dynamic driving will appreciate this breadth to the cars' handling, although DSC will still step in if the car ventures over the limits - unless it is switched off completely. Whichever setting the driver chooses, he or she remains responsible for the car's stability.
The new six-cylinder in-line engine: High-revving, turbocharged unit combines the best of both worlds
The new BMW M3 Sedan and new BMW M4 Coupe from BMW M GmbH see a return to a six-in-line engine configuration, as used on the second and third generations of this iconic sports car. "When developing a new model we first think about what requirements the vehicle will be expected to meet, then decide which concepts and technologies will best meet these goals," says Albert Biermann. The new turbocharged engine combines the best of both worlds - reaching a maximum 7,600 rpm, it is unusually high-revving for a turbocharged engine, resulting in linear power delivery over a wide engine speed range and a characterful engine note, while M TwinPower Turbo technology ensures that peak torque is on top over a broad rpm range. A further hallmark of this engine is its outstanding efficiency.
The new engine sees a slight power upgrade over the previous V8 to 431 hp, which is delivered between 5,390 and 7,000 rpm. Peak torque has been increased by roughly 40 per cent to 550 Newton metres, and is maintained over a very wide rev band (1,800-5,390 rpm). The standard sprint from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) takes the new BMW M3 Sedan and new BMW M4 Coupe 4.1 seconds respectively. Top speed is 250 km/h / 155 mph (electronically limited), or 280 km/h / 174 mph if the optional M Driver's Package is specified. The new powerplant also boasts excellent fuel economy: the BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe achieve consumption in the EU cycle of 8.3 l/100 km (34 mpg) and CO2 emissions of 194 g/km, an improvement of more than 25 per cent over the previous model's figures. Regulated pollutant emissions are EU6-compliant.
Instantaneous response, courtesy of M TwinPower Turbo technology.
The M TwinPower Turbo technology comprises two fast-responding monoscroll turbochargers, High Precision Direct Petrol Injection, VALVETRONIC variable valve timing and Double-VANOS continuously variable camshaft timing. VALVETRONIC and Double-VANOS work in tandem to seamlessly control intake valve lift. The result is smooth and efficient power delivery, very sharp response and reduced fuel consumption and emissions.
The six-cylinder engine features a closed-deck crankcase design which is very rigid and allows cylinder pressures to be increased for improved power output. And instead of liners, the cylinder bores feature a twin-wire arcsprayed coating, which results in a significant reduction in engine weight.
A further technical highlight is the forged, torsionally rigid crankshaft which, as well as providing increased torque-carrying capacity, is also lighter in weight. This significantly reduces rotating masses, resulting in improved throttle response and acceleration.
Track-ready engine oil supply system for outstanding performance.
On the track, the exceptional driving dynamics of the BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe place extra demands on the engine oil supply system, whose design reflects the extensive motor sport experience of BMW M GmbH. The low-weight magnesium oil sump, for example, features a special cover to limit movement of the oil under the effects of strong dynamic lateral acceleration. Under extreme longitudinal acceleration and deceleration, an oil extraction pump and a sophisticated oil return system situated close to the turbocharger likewise help to maintain stable oil circulation. Oil is therefore supplied continuously to all engine components in all driving situations - whether in everyday motoring or during hard driving on the track.
An engine sound in keeping with the motor sport attributes of the BMW M3 and BMW M4 is provided by an innovative flap arrangement in the twin-pipe exhaust system. The electrically controlled flaps just before the rear silencer minimise exhaust back-pressure and produce a BMW M sound which is striking and unmistakable over the entire engine speed range, as well as giving precise feedback on engine load. The different selectable drive modes, which offer drivers a choice of preconfigured, perfectly balanced vehicle set-ups, also feature different engine sound profiles.
Lightweight design across the board: Shedding weight in all the right places
Intelligent lightweight design was a top priority in the development of the BMW M3 and BMW M4. The goal was to minimise kerb weight in order to give both models outstanding driving dynamics and exemplary efficiency. These measures have delivered impressive results, giving the BMW M4 Coupe a kerb weight of 1,497 kilograms, around 80 kilograms lighter than a comparably equipped predecessor model - with benefits for driving dynamics and fuel consumption as well.
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Source: BMW Press Release