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December 27, 2013

BMW Shows M3 and M4

Enthusiasts were crying, "sacrilegious" upon hearing news that BMW is splitting the M3 sedan and coupe into the M3 and M4. A nod to BMW's current model nomenclature, the M3 stands for the 4-door version while the M4 is the 2-door version of BMW's popular high-performance compact. Still, they've successfully silenced the critics with the performance characteristics which BMW has just released.

You know you've got something extra special when BMW starts talking about the all-new M3 and M4 with its performance figures. In fact, BMW shuns the V8 engine and returns to the familiar inline-6 layout. However, now they slapped on the M TwinPower Turbo to crank out the maximum power to 431 horsepower and 550 Nm of torque. This enables both versions to scoot from 0-100 km/h in just 4.1 seconds.

Both engines are available with the standard 6-speed manual with throttle blipping or with the optional 7-speed M DCT (Double Clutch) transmission. The latter includes functions such as Launch Control.

Aside from the forced-induction motor, BMW M has shaved around 80 kilograms through the use of carbon-fiber reinforced plastic and aluminum on several panels including the roof. Both cars even roll on light-weight forged 18-inch wheels.

Keeping with the M tradition, both the M3 and M4 continue with rear-driven wheels but now feature an active differential system. This effectively can lock a wheel from 0-100 percent depending on the stability control system's inputs. This can prevent wheel spin on slippery surfaces.

In terms of design, the M3 and M4 puts heavy emphasis to aerodynamics. Both cars feature key elements to channel wind effectively around the car. The front airdam, smooth underbody, and Gurney spoiler on the M3 (or lip spoiler on the M4) reduce lift and produce optimum handling characteristics. In addition, the large air intakes improve cooling.

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