SEMA 2014: Vorsteiner Debuts The GTRS4 BMW M4 Conversion

Posted on 11.07.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Vorsteiner is known for their BMW tuning and back when the E9X M3 came out they blew everyone’s minds with their GTRS3 widebody conversion that added some significant junk in the M3’s trunk (no pun intended).  When BMW released the new M4 coupe many were wondering how long it would take for Vorsteiner to work their widebody magic or if they would even do it at all.  Well right now at SEMA Vorsteiner has answered those questions with “yes” and “right now” as they revealed the GTRS4 (the 4 is for M4…get it?).

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When Vorsteiner was creating the GTRS4 conversion they wanted to go for something that was still aggressive but not quite as wild as what they did with the GTRS3.  On lookers will notice that when comparing the GTRS4 to the GTRS3 the S4 has very few hard lines or angles.  Its much smoother and more in harmony with what BMW was already going for when they designed the M4.  I would almost go as far to say that the GTRS4 looks like something BMW created themselves, which is a testament to how good Vorsteiner’s body design artisans are.  Despite its harmonious looks the GTRS4 conversion actually adds an additional 4 inches of width to the front of the car and a whopping 7 inches of width to the rear.

With fenders that wide it would take a special wheel to fill it.  Luckily since Vorsteiner also produces wheels they created a forged three-piece specifically for the GTRS4 finished in “Gloss brushed shadow”.  The 20 inch wheels are 10.5 inches wide in the front and 13 inches wide in the rear which contributes to a massive footprint left behind by the Pirelli tires adorn the rollers.

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Naturally all of the body pieces on this conversion are made from Vorsteiner’s patented carbon fiber.  With many wide body kits these days made from fiberglass, its crazy to the think that Vorsteiner sticks to their guns and always uses carbon.  Its also crazy to think how much this set up will probably cost due to the quality of the materials used.  There aren’t many performance mods on this particular GTRS4 but the mods that were done certainly count.   First, a KW Suspension system was bolted on which gives the GTRS4 its low stance.  Then, Vorsteiner turned to ESS Tuning for a special ECU flash that bumps the horsepower to 550HP at the crank.  However those performance bits are not included as part of the package.  Everything else you see (including some special edition badges and interior bits like floor mats), is included.

Even though this is only the debut of the GTRS4 and Vorsteiner has not “officially” began taking orders, as of this post I know of at least one confirmed customer of the kit so far.  Although I am sure that number has likely gone up significantly since the car has been seen by thousands of people online and on the SEMA show floor.  Again, pricing and availability of the GTRS4 is still unknown at this point but I already know for sure its WAY more than I can afford!  If you are in the same boat then dream with me by checking out some official pics and live pics from the SEMA show!

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Hype Video: BMW Tapps Chris Forsberg To “Initiate” M4 Coupe To The M Family With Drifting

Posted on 08.26.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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The M4 is the newest edition to the M family and is taking a prominent role by replacing the M3 coupe.  That is a tall order for a new car with such a rich heritage!  If previous generation M3’s were real people they might be a bit skeptical of this new edition.  BMW, being empathetic to this decided it would introduce the M4 coupe to its M3 coupe predecessors in style.  How? By tapping Formula Drift champion Chris Forsberg to drift around them!  Scroll down for two minutes of German-engineered sideways action!

 

WARNING: RANDOM SPECULATION BELOW!

Ok that was a cool video right? Yet, it made me think about something… Why was Chris Forsberg chosen to be the driver for this video? Granted he is definitely a skilled driver but a company like BMW could have grabbed any Hollywood stunt driver for this.  Perhaps there is more here than meets the eye…  Could Chris Forsberg be in negotiations with BMW for the 2015 Formula Drift season?  This isn’t the first video put out by BMW this year which features drifting so they obviously have an interest in it and if trends continue Chris Forsberg is on track to be the 2014 Formula Drift champion.  So, If BMW were to make a foray into Formula Drift it is likely they would want to do it with the reigning champion.  Of course all of this is pure speculation and there is no hard evidence to support this theory, but its fun to imagine!

What do you think?  Will Chris Forsberg leave Nissan for BMW?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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Hype News: LA Auto Show Expecting To Host 25 Global Debuts. Lets Guess What They Are!

Posted on 08.07.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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November is one of my favorite months and for good reason.  There is just so much to look forward to on the 11th month of the year: Some of the best football games all year, Thanksgiving, the start of the holiday season, and the LA Auto Show.  The last item on that list should be particularly exciting this year as the LA Auto Show has announced that they are expecting 25 world debuts at the show this year from the likes of Acura, Audi, BMW, Chrysler, GM, Hyundai, Lexus, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Scion, Toyota, Volvo, and Volkswagen.  That is a pretty long list, no?  What will all those brands debut?  Well we don’t officially know yet but if history is an indicator I am sure we will find out about most of the debuts from embargo breakers weeks before the show starts.

However, we are still quite a ways from that as well so how about we play a nice healthy game of speculation?  I am going to list off what I think (or want) each brand on that list is going to debut in LA this year. Feel free to add your own in the comments!

Acura:

Production version of the new NSX (its time Acura, its time…)

Audi:

Production ready e-Tron cars, S3, that cool new R8 with the laser headlights

BMW:

A concept for the Z4 successor, M4 convertible, a new edition to the electric “i” cars (i5, i7)

Chrysler:

We will finally get a production version of the ME Four-Twelve (wishful thinking)

General Motors:

I dunno a truck or somethin’?

Hyundai:

The official successor to the Genesis coupe

Lexus:

Production RC and RC-F coupes

Mazda:

New Mazdaspeed3, Mazdaspeed2 (because we want it), Mazdaspeed6-look they just need to “Mazdaspeed” everything and give it to us.  I want a Mazdaspeed stroller! A Mazdaspeed coffee maker!  Oh, they will also probably show off the new MX-5…and Mazdaspeed it!

Mercedes-Benz:

The new AMG GT Coupe with out that funny looking neon zebra camouflage all over it…that stuff is ugly..

Scion:

The next tC release series, production ready TRD-supercharged FR-S

Toyota:

The next Camry in its new “super beige” color, A somewhat less-concept FT-1 coupe

Volvo:

A consumer version of the semi trucks that Jean Claude Van-Damme did splits on in that crazy viral video

Volkswagen:

Baja bug!

 

 

 

 

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Event Hype: Mother’s Car Polish Exotic Car Show (Gallery)

Posted on 04.17.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Here we are with another gallery from the epic Long Beach Grand Prix weekend.  As you may or may not know, the TUDOR series has their race on Saturday, so come Saturday night their paddock clears out as they head off to the next race.  In its place on Sunday morning is a cavalcade of luxury and exotic cars filling the lot completely and its all furnished by Mother’s Car Polish.  First thing Sunday morning I headed out to the newly filled lot and started shooting away.  Granted, not every car there was photo worthy but I snapped the best stuff and now I am presenting it all to you in a new gallery.  Just scroll down to check it out.

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Hype Video: I Scoop All The Big Boys With The First Review Of The BMW M4 Coupe!…Kind Of….

Posted on 02.06.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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The new M4 Coupe and M3 sedan made their world debuts a while ago and ever since then auto journalist all over the world have been waiting with baited breath for that coveted press drive invite from BMW.  I however am not waiting because I am pretty bloody sure my invite is going to get “lost in the mail”.  I mean I am appreciative of all the readers of this blog but I know my viewership isn’t up there with the Autoblogs and Jalopniks of the world.  However, just because I’ll be under BMW’s radar doesn’t mean I can’t still drive the new M4 coupe!  I just did it in a different way.  If you want to know exactly what I mean and what I think about the new M4 coupe then just watch the video below.  Also, keep in mind that this was all done in fun so please don’t fire bomb me!  Enjoy!

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German Hype: BMW Officially Reveals 2015 M3 & M4 Together. They’re Brothers Seperated By A Few Doors

Posted on 12.12.13 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Why do companies even have embargos anymore? Ah that’s a discussion for another time.  Anyhow the new M cars are here! Yesterday BMW “officially” debuted the 2015 M3 sedan and M4 coupe respectively.  This is a long time coming, especially for fans of the “M” and it also marks the final leg of a transitional stage in BMW between the outgoing 3 series and the incoming 4 series.

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The M3 is now strictly a four-door affair while the coupe is now badged as an M4.  Although, that’s about where the differences end.  Doors and badges aside the M3 and M4 are pretty much identical where it counts.  Both will be powered by an all new 425 horsepower twin-turbocharged inline six engine.  Yes, BMW has brought the inline six back to the M.  Their brief flirtation with V8 power was fun but they felt the need to get back to business and make more power with less mass.  Now, before any of you V8 lovers fret over any lost “umph” note that not only does the new engine make more power than the V8 but it also makes 406lbs-ft of torque starting as early as 1,800rpm!  More than enough grunt to put a smile on the faces of the most jaded drivers.

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Both cars (you’ll notice I am going to use the word “both” a lot) will also come standard with a manual six speed transmission and both will have the option of a dual clutch 7 speed gearbox.  Either choice comes with its own fun quirk.  The manual transmission for example will have a “blip” feature that will automatically match revs during downshifts, eliminating the need to use the “heel and toe” technique.  While this might be a bummer for some purists, its a welcomed feature for those who don’t quite have the coordination to dance across the pedals.  The 7 speed DCT gets a “Drivelogic” launch control system that promises acceleration times that are faster than can possibly be achieved with the manual gearbox.

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When it comes to styling you’ll notice that both cars pretty much look the same with the exception of the number of doors so there isn’t too much to write home about there although you may notice a more “aggressive” design in the front than on a standard 3 or 4 series, but isn’t that always the case with M cars?  What you may not notice is an increased use of carbon fiber reinforced plastic or CFRP on body panels and other bits which helps reduce weight significantly over the previous model.  The driveshaft is made with carbon fiber as well.

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All in all the new M’s are lighter and more fierce than what came before; at least on paper.  We will have to wait until BMW starts inviting journalists to test drive (an event I’m sure I won’t be invited to) before the world at large knows if the new Ms manage to retain the pure driving spirit that is instantly invoked when we think about the M3, and in this case M4.

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BMW says that the new M’s will hit dealerships as a 2015 model in the spring of 2014 and at some point before that we will get more specific details on the new cars such as weight, engine displacement, price, etc.  Chances are those details will become available when the M3 and M4 make their American debuts at the Detroit Auto Show.  For now enjoy all the pretty pictures by clicking any of the thumbnails you see in this post and if you feel so inclined you can read the very lengthy press release below!

Press Release:

Woodcliff Lake, NJ – December 11, 2013, 6:10pm Eastern Time…  BMW today announced the all-new BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe models, which capitalize on the strengths of the latest 3 Series Sedan and fresh 4 Series Coupe models as their respective foundations. As the first-ever BMW M cars to feature the achievement of an engineered-in reduction in curb weight from one generation to the next, the all-new M3 and M4 stand poised to attack corners, hills, and braking zones, and will vigorously defend BMW M’s decades-strong position as segment leader around the world.

Featuring a return to the inline-6 engine format made famous by BMW M, the all-new, 3.0-liter BMW M3 and M4 engine is approximately 10 kilograms lighter than its V-8 predecessor and packs an even stronger punch. With 425 horsepower from 5,500 – 7,300 rpm, 406 lb-ft of torque from 1,850 – 5,500 rpm, and capable of 0-60mph in 3.9 seconds when equipped with the M-DCT transmission (4.1 seconds with standard 6-speed manual), the all-new BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe will debut at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and will begin sales as 2015 models in early Summer, 2014 (Editor’s notes: All specifications preliminary. Complete US-specific specs, pricing, options, and packages will be announced closer to the on-sale date).

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 six-cylinder 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 passion-fuelled development work has underpinned the creation of two high-performance sports cars that set new standards in terms of overall concept, precision and agility.”

The high-revving, inline-6 engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology freshly developed for the new BMW M3 Sedan and new BMW M4 Coupe produces a maximum output of 425 hp. Its peak torque of406 lb-ft is available across a wide rev band and outstrips the figure recorded by the outgoing BMW M3 by roughly 40 percent. And yet the engine also achieves a reduction in fuel consumption and emissions of nearly 25 percent. Both the BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe cover the sprint from 0 to 60  mph in 4.1 seconds with the standard 6-speed manual transmission and even 3.9 seconds with the optional 7-speed M Double Clutch Transmission.

In the interests of maximizing 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 curb 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-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) and aluminum 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.

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-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) and aluminum body components, and the diffuser at the muscular rear end are not merely design flourishes; they also fulfill 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 minimize turbulence in the front wheel arches. Together with the aerodynamically optimized 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.

Sophisticated cooling concept for maximum performance.

The exceptional performance potential of the BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe places extremely exacting demands on temperature management in the engine and peripheral assemblies. In order to ensure optimum operating temperatures in everyday use, on short journeys around town and out on the race track, the BMW M GmbH engineers have developed an extremely effective cooling system. For example, alongside the two ultra-dynamic turbocharger units, the air intake system of the six-cylinder engine also includes an indirect intercooler, maximizing charge pressure and engine output. As well as a main radiator, the track-ready cooling concept also comprises a water cooler repositioned to the side for the high- and low-temperature water circuits, and the engine and transmission oil (if the M Double Clutch Transmission is specified). These ensure a consistent temperature balance and therefore high performance on the track as well as the road. An additional electric coolant pump cools the turbocharger bearing mounts when the car is stationary.

6-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 26.4 lbs lighter. As a means of increasing shift comfort, the manual gearbox uses innovative new carbon friction linings in its synchronizer 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.

7-speed M Double Clutch Transmission with 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 7-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. 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 center bearing. As well as a weight saving of 40 percent 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 optimize 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 analyzed 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 percent – 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 vigor. Optimizing traction in this way also provides unbeatable driving stability in challenging conditions and allows impressively dynamic acceleration out of corners.

M Dynamic Mode – a sub function 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.

Aluminum suspension elements ensure sharper dynamics.

The core expertise of BMW M GmbH resides in developing M cars that offer impressive steering precision, on-the-limit adjustability, agility and driving feeling, together with unbeatable traction and outstanding directional stability – all without neglecting everyday usability. In order to achieve these aims with the significantly increased performance capability of the new BMW M3 Sedan and new BMW M4 Coupe, the axles of the outgoing BMW M3 have been redesigned with painstaking attention to detail.

Here again, low weight and a high level of rigidity for the axle systems 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 elastomeric 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 structure all help to increase the rigidity of the front end.

Also lighter than the construction in the outgoing BMW M3 is the new five-link rear axle. All the control arms and wheel carriers are manufactured using forged aluminum, which reduces the unsprung masses of the wheel-locating components by around three kilograms compared with the previous model generation. The rigid connection between the rear axle subframe and the body – without the use of elastic rubber elements – is borrowed from motor sport and serves to further improve wheel location and therefore directional stability. “The double-elastic mounting for the rear differential within the rear axle subframe – which is bolted to the body structure – has allowed us to achieve a new level of driving precision, but without neglecting comfort,” says Albert Biermann, citing another example of the perfect symbiosis of pure-bred motor sport technology and excellent everyday usability.

The development of the tires for the cars was incorporated into the construction process for the axles from the outset. For high-performance sports cars like the BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe, in particular, steering feel and precision are the foremost considerations in the development of tires for the front axle, alongside lateral stability and braking forces. At the rear axle, meanwhile, traction, lateral stability and directional stability take center stage. For this reason, both cars will leave the factory on low-weight 18-inch forged wheels (front axle: 9 J x 18, rear axle: 10 J x 18) with mixed-size tires (front axle: 255 mm, rear axle: 275 mm). 19-inch wheels and tires are available as an option. The specially developed forged wheels make a significant contribution to the reduction in the cars’ unsprung masses and, in turn, to the optimization of dynamic qualities and efficiency. The experienced M engineers have taken great care to ensure all the components between the steering wheel and tires work together harmoniously and therefore provide maximum driving precision and lateral stability, along with good ride comfort.

Unique Electric Power Steering with three settings.

The electromechanical steering system in the new BMW M3 Sedan and new BMW M4 Coupe represents a new development from BMW M GmbH and the critical component in the link between driver and car. It offers the gifts of direct steering feeling and precise feedback. The integrated Servotronic function electronically adjusts the level of steering assistance according to the car’s speed, providing optimum steering characteristics at all speeds. The steering for the BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe also offers the driver three settings as standard, which can be selected at the touch of a button. COMFORT, SPORT and SPORT+ modes allow the level of steering assistance to be adapted to suit the situation at hand and the driver’s personal tastes.

“Together, the rigid front and rear structures, precise axle kinematics and an impressively responsive electromechanical power steering system help to deliver the outstanding steering and handling characteristics of the BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe,” sums up Biermann.

The optional Adaptive M suspension likewise comes with COMFORT, SPORT and SPORT+ modes, enabling the driver to choose between a more comfortable damper setting for urban driving, for example, a stiffer set-up for dynamic driving on country roads, and a third option that minimizes body movements and maximizes dynamic performance for use on the track.

With their supreme dynamic attributes in mind, the BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe also come as standard with BMW M compound brakes boasting impressive feel, outstanding stopping power and high resistance to fade. Far lighter than conventional equivalents, these brakes contribute to a substantial reduction in unsprung masses and therefore help to enhance dynamic performance. Even lighter BMW M carbon ceramic brakes can also be specified as an option, their further optimized performance attributes equipping them even more effectively for track use and giving them even greater durability.

The new inline-6 M 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, and 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 soulful 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 V-8 to 425 hp, which is delivered between 5,500 and 7,300 rpm. Peak torque has been increased by roughly 40 percent to 406 lb-ft, and is maintained over a very wide rev band (1,850–5,500 rpm). The standard sprint from zero to 60 mph takes the new BMW M3 Sedan and new BMW M4 Coupe 4.1 seconds respectively. Equipped with the 7-speed M Double Clutch Transmission, this number even falls to 3.9 seconds. Top speed is 250 km/h / 155 mph (electronically limited), The new engine also boasts excellent fuel efficiency: the BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe achieve consumption nearly 25 percent better than 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 mono-scroll 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 arc-sprayed 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 minimize 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 minimize curb 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 DIN curb 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.

BMW M3 Sedan also features CFRP roof for the first time.

On the outgoing models, the CFRP roof was confined to the Coupe version. Now, for the first time, the four-door BMW M3 will get this striking design and functional feature as well. The CFRP roof brings weight savings of five kilograms (11 lbs) in the case of the BMW M3 Sedan and more than six kilograms (> 13 lbs) in the case of the BMW M4 Coupe. It also lowers the vehicle’s center of gravity, which has a positive impact on driving dynamics.

Made from aluminum rather than conventional steel, the front side walls and the hood (with power dome) make an important contribution to the models’ lightweight design concept, while at the same time improving axle load distribution.

On the BMW M4 Coupe, the contoured roofline with central channel continues into the trunk lid, emphasizing the even sportier personality of the new model. The newly developed trunk lid not only provides extremely effective tail end styling, its geometry is at the same time precisely tailored for optimized aerodynamics, while the use of carbon fiber and plastics makes for additional weight savings.

The new BMW M3 Sedan and new BMW M4 Coupe also feature a CFRP propeller shaft. The high rigidity and low weight of the CFRP tube mean that the propeller shaft can be produced as a single-piece component, without a center bearing. This achieves weight savings of 40 percent over the previous model and a reduction in rotating masses, which in turn results in more dynamic powertrain response.

The CFRP strut brace in the engine compartment is a further example of how all weight-saving measures on these vehicles have also been tailored to the improvement of driving dynamics. Weighing only 1.5 kilograms (3.3 lbs), the strut brace offers superior rigidity to a comparable aluminum component and at the same time plays a key part in the excellent steering response and precision of both vehicles.

The use of carbon in these models is a reminder that BMW is a global leader in high-strength, lightweight CFRP construction, and that it was BMW who brought out the first mass-production vehicle with a body consisting entirely of this material – the innovative BMW i3.

Development input from professional racing drivers:           BMW works driver Bruno Spengler on the technical highlights.

When developing the new BMW M3 Sedan and new BMW M4 Coupe, the BMW M engineers could count not only on track-honed technologies, but also on the driving talent of experienced racers. For example, Bruno Spengler and Timo Glock, BMW Motorsport works drivers in the DTM Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (German Touring Car Masters) series, took part in extensive testing and set-up runs on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife circuit.

“I’m proud to have made a contribution to the set-up work on these two cars,” says 2012 DTM champion Spengler, who also took third place in the 2013 series. “The suspension has a very sporty set-up, the feedback from the front axle is extremely direct, the grip at the rear axle is phenomenal and the engine performance is awesome. This is the ideal basis for our DTM car.”

Bruno Spengler on the six-in-line engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology:

“As a race driver, I’m very impressed by the instant, lag-free response from the two turbos as soon you step on the gas. This is a sensational feature of this engine which translates to more fun at the wheel and is perfect for sporty driving.”

… on the electronic power steering:

“The electronic power steering is very precise, and from my point of view as a race driver that’s very, very important. It responds instantly to inputs and provides excellent feedback.”

… on the rear axle:

“The rear axle has a very progressive locking action, due to the electronically controlled limited-slip differential, and generates huge amounts of grip. The electronic control system is configured so that when you lift off the gas going into corners, the differential opens up and the lock-up effect is reduced to zero, resulting in very eager turn-in. When you accelerate out of the corner again, the lock-up engages progressively all the way up to 100 percent full lock, for optimal traction.”

Design: Striking use of forms underlines standout performance capability.

The design of the new BMW M3 Sedan and new BMW M4 Coupe visualizes in eye-catching style the outstanding performance capability and impressive handling properties of the two new models. “The superior performance of the BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe should be obvious at first glance,” explains Karim Habib, Head of Design BMW Automobiles. “Indeed, the exterior design of the new BMW M3 and BMW M4 has a visual impact that elevates the BMW M design language to a new level of expression, highlighted by a purposeful character, emotional appeal and dynamic verve.”

The front end: the powerfully expressive face of BMW M.

Viewed from the front, the BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe stand out most prominently with their powerful contours and a strongly defined three-dimensionality, which lend them a powerfully expressive face. Characteristic design elements leave no doubt that these cars are the work of BMW M. There is the modern take on the twin headlight arrangement (with optional LED technology), for example, not to mention the distinctive twin-bar kidney grille with black painted grille bars – which reflect the design of the characteristic BMW M double-spoke wheels and bear the M logo – and the powerfully designed front apron with its trio of large intakes supplying cooling air to the high-performance engine and brakes. Among the other hallmark BMW M design features on display is the characteristic power dome on the hood, which hints at the potential of the brawny M TwinPower Turbo engine and creates space for the intercooler. And the striking exterior mirrors – with their suggested twin-stalk mounts – also demand particular attention, their design optimizing the aerodynamics of the new BMW M3 Sedan and new BMW M4 Coupe.

The flanks: low-slung silhouette and dynamic lines.

The sides of both cars extend the dynamic impression created by their respective front ends. The hallmark BMW proportions of a long hood, long wheelbase, set-back glasshouse and short front overhang are lent further emphasis by familiar M design elements. “The muscular wheel arches and eye-catching surface forms clearly underline the dynamic potential of the BMW M3 and BMW M4,” adds Habib.

Those dynamics-accentuating details include likewise newly designed M gills, which perform both a stylistic and a functional role. Integrated into them are Air Breathers, which team up with the Air Curtains in the front apron to help optimize the airflow around the wheel arches and therefore improve aerodynamics.

The dark color of the CFRP roof (with its contoured roofline) gives both models a lower-slung and more compact appearance, as the eye perceives the roof pillars – painted in body color – to be the uppermost point of the car. A flowing roofline lends the already sporting overall appearance of the BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe an extra elegance and finesse. The line gains in momentum once again as it heads rearwards, increasing aerodynamic downforce and giving the rear a more muscular look at the same time.

The rear: BMW M4 with spoiler integrated into the trunk lid.

The design of the rear end displays striking differences in the two models. The BMW M3 Sedan, for example, is fitted with a Gurney spoiler to reduce lift, while the tailgate of the BMW M4 Coupe features an integrated rear spoiler and is made from particularly lightweight carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic. As well as performing a functional aerodynamic role, the tailgate also contributes significantly to the BMW M4’s standalone design. Indeed, the pair of lines which begin life flanking the power dome in the hood – and score a clearly defined path over the CFRP roof – complete their journey in the trunk lid.

A shared feature of the two models is the prominently flared rear wheel arches which, in combination with the wide track, underline the confident appearance of the BMW M3 and BMW M4. A characteristic BMW M detail of the rear end are the high-gloss polished, now slanting pair of twin exhaust tailpipes, which are framed like jewels by the sculptural rear apron with its integrated diffuser.

The interior design: flawless ergonomics in a sporting ambience.

Climbing into the BMW M3 and BMW M4, drivers will be greeted by the interior architecture familiar from the BMW 3 Series and BMW 4 Series, complete with unimpeachable ergonomics and clear driver focus. In keeping with the character of the two models, however, the interior fulfils an even more sharply defined sporting brief. To this end, the host of traditional BMW M equipment details includes M door sill finishers, an M driver’s footrest, M gearshift lever, M-design circular instruments with white graphics, M leather steering wheel with chrome trim, color contrast stitching and electroplated-look shift paddles (if the M-DCT gearbox is specified).

The front seats also represent an evocative expression of BMW M’s motor sport genes. Taking visual inspiration from the bucket seats fitted in racing cars, the seats feature a full-size single-piece back panel. This means the construction of the seats is very flat, while the high, width-adjustable side bolsters and low-set seat surface allow an ideal seating position and provide excellent support. Despite their undeniably sporty design, the BMW M sports seats can be equipped with comfort-enhancing features including electric adjustment and heating. On the seat surface, the stitching, upholstery segmentation and perforation lend the seats a slim-fitting feel. Illuminated for the first time, the BMW M logo on the seat backrests adds a new and exclusive highlight.

Equipment: Extensive standard equipment joined by a host of options that enhance dynamics and comfort.

The new BMW M3 Sedan and new BMW M4 Coupe leave the factory with a thorough selection of equipment on board which reflects their character as extremely performance-oriented cars offering excellent everyday usability. In addition, customers can choose from an extensive range of optional equipment to give the high-performance sports cars an even more uncompromising sporting edge or push their comfort levels to the maximum.

Carbon roof as a visible sign of the commitment to lightweight design.

The CFRP roof, which was fitted to the Coupe version only of the outgoing BMW M3, is a standard feature of both the new BMW M3 Sedan and the new BMW M4 Coupe. The “exposed” styling of the carbon-fiber construction accentuates not only the exclusivity of the two models and their direct links to motor sport, it also emphasizes clearly the lightweight design philosophy underpinning the cars.

Other standard-fitted and exclusive exterior details include the lightweight hood with eye-catching power dome, the font side panels made from aluminum, the sculpted front apron with three large air intakes, the black double-bar kidney grille, the hallmark M exterior mirror casings, the rear apron with integrated diffuser, the exhaust system with four tailpipes, and the trunk lid with fitted Gurney on the BMW M3 or the aerodynamically shaped lightweight tailgate with integrated spoiler of the BMW M4. Both models come as standard with forged 18-inch BMW M light-alloy wheels with mixed-size tires. Forged 19-inch light-alloy wheels with mixed-size tires can be ordered as an option, in either Ferric Grey or Black.

Interior with exquisite materials and motor sport ambience.

The BMW M3 and BMW M4 also stand out with an interior that is exclusive and functional in equal measure. For example, the M Sport leather multifunction steering wheel is fitted as standard, as are bucket-style M sports seats and the BMW Individual roof liner in Anthracite. Like the front seats, the distinctively contoured backrests of the rear seats also offer exceptional lateral support. They are made from a lightweight composite material and can be folded in a 60:40 split. This gives the BMW M3 and BMW M4 a degree of variability and everyday usability that is well beyond the norm for high-performance sports cars of their level.

Drivers of the BMW M3 and BMW M4 can look forward to piloting their car from behind a double-spoke M leather steering wheel. The M logo, chrome trim and color contrast stitching are central elements of the cabin’s racing ambience. Both models come as standard with a six-speed manual gearbox, while the 7-speed M Double Clutch Transmission is available as an option. M-DCT allows the driver to change gears using either the selector lever on the center console or the shift paddles mounted on the steering wheel.

Innovative driveline and chassis technology deliver unbeatable dynamics.

The optional M-DCT Drivelogic changes gear with no interruption in the flow of power, enabling it to reduce shift times, while a Launch Control system optimizes acceleration off the line.

The standard-specification Active M Differential at the rear axle guarantees optimum traction, while the likewise factory-fitted electromechanical M Servotronic steering with three settings delivers sporty, direct responses. Both the new BMW M3 and new BMW M4 are equipped as standard with BMW M compound brakes, but customers can also order their car with even lighter and more effective BMW M carbon ceramic brakes, which come with the additional visual highlight of gold-painted calipers.

Optional add-ons for comprehensive driver information.

BMW has developed a free BMW M Laptimer app, which allows owners to analyze their personal driving style. Once their smartphone is hooked up to the BMW – via USB cable or the car’s snap-in adapter – customers can operate the BMW M Laptimer app easily using the iDrive Controller. The app then gets to work without delay, recording the car’s speed, longitudinal and lateral acceleration, engine revs, the gear engaged (if the M-DCT or automatic gearbox is specified), steering angle, accelerator position and fuel consumption. That means, when the data is subsequently analyzed via graphic displays on the customer’s smartphone, the driver’s reactions can also be assessed. Another feature allows two recordings on the same track to be compared corner-by-corner. The readings used here can be either the driver’s own or data shared via email.

The BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe are also available – needless to say – with the wide variety of driver assistance systems and mobility services introduced under the BMW ConnectedDrive banner, some of which will already be familiar from the BMW 3 Series and BMW 4 Series. Among the highlights are a new generation of the Navigation system Professional, offering extra capability, sharper graphics and 3D elements for the map display, Active Driving Assistant, which warns the driver of a looming collision with a pedestrian, and the adaptive full LED headlights,

The optional Head-Up Display in the BMW M3 and BMW M4 comes with additional, M-specific functions such as a gear display, rev counter and Optimum Shift Indicator.

Production: Return to the birthplace of the BMW M3.

It was at the Preußenstraße headquarters of BMW Motorsport GmbH in Munich 28 years ago that the company’s then managing director Paul Rosche developed the idea for the BMW M3. Production began just a few months later at the original BMW plant next door. A total of 17,970 units of the first-generation BMW M3 were built here up to 1991. And now, almost 23 years later, production of the iconic sports car – long since guaranteed legendary status – is returning to its birthplace. BMW Plant Munich will host production of the new BMW M4 Coupe, while the BMW M3 Sedan will be built at BMW Plant Regensburg, where 222,293 units of the second, third and fourth generations of the BMW M3 combined have been produced since 1992.

Full integration into the regular manufacturing process.

One of the reasons for the decision to split production of the BMW M3 and BMW M4 between the two facilities centered on the company’s commitment to integrating the two high-performance sports cars into the production processes for their respective donor models. For example, the BMW M4 will be built alongside models including the standard BMW 4 Series Coupe in Munich, and Regensburg is the venue for production of the BMW 3 Series Sedan as well as the new BMW M3. Among the benefits of “mixed” production on a shared line is that the plants can respond quickly to market fluctuations by making adjustments to unit figures as required. As well as efficient production planning and logistics, the essential ingredient in this approach is the single-line system: both M models will be built alongside their respective donor models on the same production line.

Intensive experience-sharing ensures a smooth production start-up.

This will be the first time the Munich plant has handled production of a lightweight design concept bringing together an aluminum hood and side panels, CFRP roof and lightweight tailgate in this combination. The bonding facility for the carbon roof in the paint shop is also new to Munich. The intensive sharing of experience with colleagues in Regensburg helps ensure that the employees in Munich maintain an outstanding level of manufacturing expertise when it comes to lightweight design technologies. Indeed, Plant Regensburg can call on many years of experience in lightweight design. As well as production of the outgoing generation of the BMW M3 with its carbon roof, the Regensburg factory has also been responsible for the manufacture of numerous BMW Motorsport touring cars built for race action.

Hall of fame: The evolution of an automotive legend over three decades.

The new BMW M3 Sedan and new BMW M4 Coupe represent the fifth generation of a pure-bred sports car offering excellent everyday usability – one which has raised the bar in the ultra-high-performance mid-size sedan/coupe segment at every turn over the last three decades. “The BMW M3 has been our iconic model in the high-performance sports car segment since 1985, when the company unveiled the first generation of the BMW M3 at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt,” recalls Dr Friedrich Nitschke, President BMW M GmbH. “Today, 28 years later, the new BMW M3 Sedan and new BMW M4 Coupe are set to extend this tradition into a fifth generation and take the car’s unique combination of outstanding dynamics and unrestricted everyday usability to yet another new level.”

The first generation: forming the basis for the world’s most successful touring car.

In spring 1985, the BMW Motorsport department began development of a racing machine to line up in touring car competition. The road going version required for homologation – 5,000 examples of which had to be built for sale per year to satisfy the sporting regulations for this category of racing – was conceived from the outset as a race-ready Group A machine. The inaugural BMW M3 celebrated its premiere in September 1985 at the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA), with the market launch following in summer 1986. Its naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine developed 143 kW/195 hp (version without catalytic converter: 147 kW/200 hp) from a 2.3-litre displacement, accelerated from 0 to 100 km/h / 62 mph in 6.8 s (6.7 s) and had a top speed of 230 km/h / 143 mph (235 km/h / 146 mph).

In this trim, the first-generation BMW M3 exceeded all sales expectations. Including the Convertible variant, the various evolution stages of the car and the special-edition models, BMW had sold a total of 17,970 units worldwide by the time production was wrapped up in 1991.

The second generation: three variants of a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”.

The successor to the original M3 was not designed as the basis for a racing car. However, it was developed from the outset in three body variants. The two-door Coupe, which made its debut in 1992, was followed onto the market in 1994 by a Convertible and – for the first time – a four-door Sedan. All three models were powered by a six-cylinder 3.0-litre engine developing 210 kW/286 hp, which powered the car to 100 km/h / 62 mph from a standstill in under six seconds. Top speed was electronically limited to 250 km/h / 155 mph. A small-series M3 GT variant was added to the range in 1994, its 217 kW/295 hp sending it straight to the top of the M3 performance scale at the time. In 1995 the car’s displacement was increased to 3.2 liters and output rose to 236 kW/321 hp.

In 1997 the BMW M3 became the world’s first volume-produced car to be made available as an option with the Sequential M Gearbox (SMG). This transmission variant was based on the conventional gearbox for the M3, but with a clutch that was activated electro-hydraulically to change gears. M3 drivers no longer needed to press a clutch pedal; all they had to do to change gear instantly on one level was pull or push the gearshift lever. Initial skepticism was defied by impressive success, and by the time production came to an end almost one in every two examples of this generation of the M3 generation was fitted with an SMG gearbox. The M3 had grown from a niche sports car to a resounding sales success: 71,242 units of the Coupe, Convertible and Sedan combined were produced at Regensburg.

Several design features of the second-generation BMW M3 also cemented their places in the driver’s consciousness. They included special light-alloy wheels in double-spoke design and the specially formed, aerodynamically optimized exterior mirror casings with their two wing-shaped struts. These highlights have been revisited time and again in subsequent generations of the M3 in the form of some fascinating design cues.

The third generation: enhanced dynamics in a sharper design.

The third generation of the BMW M3 – launched in 2000 and available in coupe or convertible form only – added another, now traditional, signature feature to the model: a power dome on the hood. The new model also raised the bar another not inconsiderable notch in terms of performance and dynamics. Its six-cylinder in-line engine still had 3.2-litre displacement, but now developed 252 kW/343 hp. And that meant the M3 could accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h / 62 mph in 5.2 seconds (Convertible: 5.5 s), should the occasion demand. Almost more impressive still, though, was the sprint from 80 to 120 km/h / 50 to 75 mph, which could be dispatched in a mere 5.4 seconds. Evidence of the six-cylinder engine’s exceptional pulling power could not have been provided any more emphatically.

For the first time, the BMW M3 now also came with a variable differential lock at the rear axle allowing anywhere between 0 and 100 percent lock. The results were noticeable benefits in terms of traction and grip when pulling away and cornering at pace. Added to which, the second generation of the Sequential M Gearbox (SMG II) now also allowed the driver to change gear using paddles on the steering wheel.

The sporting flagship of this M3 generation was the BMW M3 CSL introduced in 2003. The three-letter suffix stood for “Coupe Sport Lightweight”, a billing justified by elements such as a carbon-fiber roof, center console and door panels, a lighter rear window and the omission of numerous comfort-oriented features. With a curb weight of just 1,385 kilograms, it tipped the scales some 110 kilograms below the standard M3. All 1,383 units of the 265 kW/360 hp “cornering king” were sold within just a few months.

The fourth generation: V-8 engine and intelligent lightweight design.

2007 signaled a break with tradition as the BMW M3 took to the stage for the first time in 15 years without the straight-six unit so frequently crowned Engine of the Year. Instead, the fourth-generation car – which appeared in coupe, sedan and convertible form (the latter joined the range in 2008) – was powered by an eight-cylinder unit. The new 3,999cc engine developed 309 kW/420 hp and some 85 percent of its maximum 400 Newton meters (542 lb-ft) of torque was available across a huge 6,500 rpm rev range. The engineers continued along the path of lightweight design with the Coupe in particular. On the back of positive experience with other M models, the roof was once again made from carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic. The hood with its striking power dome was made from aluminum, as were large sections of the newly developed lightweight chassis.

Among the highlights of the fourth-generation car’s production run were the exclusive small-series variants of the BMW M3 which shone an even brighter spotlight on its racing-inspired characteristics. Here, the BMW M3 GTS – road-registered but developed for club sport racing – stood out in particular. The displacement of the standard M3’s V-8 engine was expanded to 4.4 liters to produce peak output of 331 kW/450 hp. Specially developed chassis components and aerodynamic measures, plus a two-seat cockpit conceived for track use, equipped this exclusive special-edition model (only available in show-stealing Fire Orange paintwork) for competitive action on the track and generated a particularly intense M feeling on the road. 135 examples of the BMW M3 GTS were delivered to customers.

The BMW M3 CRT (Carbon Racing Technology) presented in 2011 was limited to just 67 units. Exclusively manufactured lightweight components and modified chassis technology imbued this 331 kW/450 hp model, which was based on the BMW M3 Sedan and built at the BMW M GmbH factory, with exceptionally precise handling balance. The hood of the BMW M3 CRT was made from two CFRP moldings encasing an aramid honeycomb structure, its bucket seats featured two CFRP layers wrapped around a recycled-paper honeycomb, and a carbon layer made using conventional production technology was added to visible areas. A rear spoiler and an air-channeling element integrated into the front apron (both made from CFRP) rounded off the exclusive lightweight elements found on the BMW M3 CRT.

BMW Group In America

BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975.  Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003.  The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, a strategic design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country.  BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group’s global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupes.  The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 338 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 139 BMW motorcycle retailers, 119 MINI passenger car dealers, and 34 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers.  BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group’s sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

 

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2013 LA Auto Show: BMW Puts The “i” In Hybrid (Video)

Posted on 11.27.13 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

 

BMW easily had one of the biggest presences at the show this year.  Not only did they have their standard booth but just outside of the convention center there was a station with 50 brand new BMW i3’s at what was dubbed “The i3 experience” just waiting there for anyone to test drive.  In fact, I don’t even think you need a LA Auto Show ticket to go on a test drive.  I could be wrong though so double check if you are planning to head to LA for the show.

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Back inside, however it was all about the “i” as BMW gave the production-spec i8 coupe its North American debut; yet, I only have one picture of it.  Why? Because the i8 coupe was absolutely swarmed with international media for nearly the entire stretch of press days!  Even from the one clear shot I did get, its easy to see why there was such a crowd around it.  The i8 coupe looks like a street legal spaceship!  More than a handful of the styling cues from the concept made it to the production version which means no matter what this thing will turn its fare share of heads.

Behind all the crazy futuristic bodylines and sculpted LED lights sits one of the most advanced hybrid systems that BMW has ever produced, bolstered by a supercharged 3 cylinder engine that makes 231hp and a 131hp electric motor.  The power numbers may seem a bit less than impressive but when you take into account that much of the car is made from a special carbon fiber reinforced plastic then the power to weight ratio becomes something to consider.

Although I think the more impressive number is the price.  The i8 will start at $135,ooo!  With an MSRP like that I have to wonder if the i8 will be a serious sales contender of this is just more of a PR stunt by BMW to showcase hybrid tech that they plan to include in future models.  If the latter is the case then I think the concept would have been more than enough to get the point across.

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Beyond the i8, BMW debuted the 4 series convertible.  While cool, it wasn’t something that really stopped me in my tracks.  I mean who didn’t expect them to take the top off the new 4 series?  Additionally BMW debuted the X4 concept.  The X4 is essentially what it sounds like and will be a new crossover vehicle to replace the X3.  It looked like a great soccer mom van alternative and it will probably do quite well in the luxury crossover segment.

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One of my favorite things at the BMW booth however was a 3 series sedan totally decked out with M performance accessories.  Sometimes the add-ons really are worth it!

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If you would like to see the official intro video for the i8 coupe just scroll down.  For pictures of everything at the BMW booth just click any of the thumbnails to enlarge.

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German Hype: BMW 2 Series Coupe Revealed! (Gallery And Video)

Posted on 10.25.13 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Most are still just starting to mourn the loss of the 1 series that inspired so much joy and then out of no where BAM!  BMW flanks us all with a surprise attack and reveals a brand spanking new 2 series!  How cool is that?  The answer to that should be “very”.  Anyhow lets get into the details…

As mentioned earlier BMW designed the new 2 series to replace the 1 series; just like the coming 4 series will replace the 3 series (what a concept!).  The new 2 series will be the entry into the BMW brand for those who don’t quite have enough cash for a 4 series or may just be in the mood for something a bit smaller.  Although the 2 series coupes will be significantly larger than their 1 series predecessors.   The 2 series will comprise of the 228i and the performance-minded M235i coupe (pictured above).  You can imagine which one has me excited…

The 228i will be powered by a 2.0 liter “TwinPower” turbocharged four cylinder engine that will make about 240HP (258 ft/lbs of torque as early as 1,250RPMs) at the crank and will be offered with the choice of a 6 speed manual or an 8 speed “sport” automatic transmission.  The 228i will have a few trim options: “sport” and “M sport”.  However those trims are mostly exterior and interior goodies and won’t upgrade engine performance.

The M235i on the other hand is a whole different story.  First of all it gets two more cylinders than the 228i as the M235i is powered by a 3.0 straight six which also features a “TwinPower” turbocharger unit.  The extra displacement combined with the forced induction brings the M235i’s horsepower total to 322 with 332 ft-lbs of torque.  Like the 228i, the M235i can be had with a 6 speed manual or an 8 speed “sport” automatic transmission.  Although the M235 can also be had with an optional “M Performance” mechanical rear differential rather than the standard electronic locking diff.  This option is not available for the 228i.  BMW says the M235 can get to 60mph from a dead stop in about 4.8  The M235 also has a sport tuned suspension and lightweight 19 inch alloy wheels.  Essentially the M235i is a smaller, lighter E46 M3, thus making it the 2 to have for the track day junkies.

When it comes to pricing the 228i will start around $33k while the M235i will tip the wallet to the tune of $44k.  The 2 series IS coming to the states and will make its American debut at the North American International Auto Show (AKA Detroit Autoshow) in January.  Personally, I find that a bit unfortunate as I would love to see this thing up close at the LA Auto Show next month.

For now the official photo gallery and teaser video will have to do.  Scroll down to see the photos and teaser for yourselves as well as a very lengthy press release with all the juicy details!

Teaser Video:

Flickr Slide Show:

Press Release:

A new dimension for The Ultimate Driving MachineTM

Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – October 24, 2013 – 6:00pm EDT/3:00pm PDT . . .BMW today announced the introduction of an entirely new model series with the introduction of the all-new BMW 2 Series Coupe. This new take on The Ultimate Driving MachineTM will arrive in the US in the first quarter of 2014 as the 228i and the M235i.  The BMW M235i, the first M Performance Automobile offered in the US, includes an impressive list of performance enhancing features. This successor to the successful 1 Series Coupe will continue the decades-long tradition of premium sub-compact coupes with impeccable driving dynamics when it makes its world debut at the North American International Auto Show in January 2014. The 2014 BMW 2 Series Coupe will be offered at a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $33,025 for the 228i and $44,025 for the M235i, including $925 destination and handling.

The BMW 2 Series Coupe

  • BMW celebrates the premiere of another new model series – The BMW 2 Series  Coupe which raises the bar in the premium sub-compact segment in terms of dynamic ability, aesthetic appeal and emotional allure; a distinctive vehicle concept unique in its segment, with a two-door body in classic three-box design typical of BMW Coupes, four seats, rear-wheel drive and a pair of engines and chassis set-up focused squarely on sporting ability; market launch from March 2014, line-up to include a BMW M Performance Automobile – the BMW M235i Coupe.
  • Newly designed Coupe series with significantly larger dimensions than its predecessor, the BMW 1 Series Coupe; length increased by 2.8 inches (72 mm) to 174.5 inches (4,432 mm), width by 1.3 inches (32 mm) to 69.8 inches (1,774 mm), wheelbase by 1.3 inches (30 mm) to 105.9 inches (2,690 mm), front track width by 1.6 inches (41 mm) to 59.9 inches (1,521 mm) and rear track width by 1.7 inches  (43 mm) to 61.3 inches (1,556 mm); improved interior space, including 0. 7 inches (19 mm) of extra front headroom and 0.8 inches (21 mm) of additional rear legroom. Trunk capacity increases by 0.7 cu.ft. (20 liters) to 13.8 cu.ft. (390 liters), based on EU measures. Optimized aerodynamic details result in a low Cd of just 0.29 for the 228i Coupe.
  • Engines with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology deliver segment-leading figures in terms of both sporting ability and efficiency. The BMW 228i Coupe is the first sub-compact BMW model to be powered by the 240 hp version of the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. The range-topping, the BMW M235i, is the most powerful gasoline-driven BMW M Performance Automobile. It has a unique M Performance 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder with TwinPower technology delivering 322 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. It features M-specific chassis tuning which, for the US will include standard M Adaptive suspension, M Sport Braking system, variable sport steering and Michelin Pilot Super Sports tires. Even the exhaust has been specifically tuned for the M235i.
  • Efficiency is further increased by the extensive use of BMW EfficientDynamics technology, including Air Curtains and the Auto Start/Stop function in conjunction with both manual and automatic transmissions; ECO PRO mode is activated via the standard Driving Experience Control switch and includes a coasting function in conjunction with the 8-speed automatic transmission.
  • Unmistakable BMW handling attributes and impressive ride comfort thanks to rear-wheel drive, longitudinally mounted engines, perfectly balanced distribution of weight and sophisticated chassis technology; double-pivot spring strut front suspension and five-link rear suspension with tuning tailored to each 2 Series model; variable sport steering, M Sport braking system and Adaptive M suspension with electronically controlled shock absorbers are all standard on the M235i in the US and optional on the 228i; DSC stability control system including DTC and an electronic locking function for the rear differential as standard; M Performance mechanical limited slip differential available for the BMW M235i Coupe from launch through the Original BMW Accessories range.
  • High-strength and torsionally stiff body structure developed on the basis of the BMW
    1 Series 3- and 5-door, which has been awarded a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating; extensive occupant protection provided by safety equipment including front, side and head airbags; pedestrian protection is optimized by the active hood and defined front end deformation zones.
  • High-quality interior with driver-focused cockpit; dual-zone automatic climate control is standard; iDrive operating system is standard in the US, including a 6.5 inch Control Display in exclusive BMW flatscreen design; optional Navigation system includes an 8.8-inch screen and Touch Controller; wide variety of storage compartments, storage areas and cupholders.
  • Selection of optional driver assistance systems and mobility services from BMW ConnectedDrive unparalleled in the sub-compact segment: High Beam Assistant, Adaptive Headlights, Parking Assistant, rear view camera, Driving Assistant, cruise control system with braking function, extended integration of smartphones and music players, Advanced Real Time Traffic Information (ARTTI) and extended functionality provided by BMW Apps for internet-based services like Facebook and Twitter.
  • BMW M235i Coupe: Six-cylinder in-line gasoline engine with M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology (twin-scroll turbocharger, High Precision Direct Injection, Valvetronic variable valve timing, Double-Vanos).
    – Capacity: 2,979 cc
    – Output: 322 hp at 5,800 – 6,000 rpm, max. torque 332 lb-ft at 1,300 – 4,500 rpm.
    Acceleration [0 – 60 mph]: 4.8 seconds with 8-speed sport automatic transmission
    – Top speed: 250 km/h / 155 mph.
    – Preliminary EPA Mileage Estimates (mpg) – 22 city/32 highway/25 combined for the 8-speed sport automatic. 19 city/28 highway/22 combined for the
    6-speed manual.
  • BMW 228i Coupe: Four-cylinder engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology (twin-scroll turbocharger, High Precision Direct Injection, Valvetronic variable valve timing, Double-Vanos.
    – Capacity: 1,997 cc
    – Output: 240 hp at 5,000 – 6,500 rpm, max. torque: 258 lb-ft at 1,250 – 4,500 rpm.
    – Acceleration [0 – 60 mph]: 5.4 seconds with 8-speed sport automatic.
    – Top speed: 130 mph / 210 km/h (250 km/h / 155 mph with Sport Line or M Sport)
    – Preliminary EPA Mileage Estimates (mpg) – 23 city/35 highway/27 combined for the 8-speed sport automatic. 22 city/34 highway/26 combined for the
    6-speed manual.

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Hype Collab: PUMA x BMW Motorsport evoSPEED Lo

Posted on 09.05.13 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

I have said it before and I will say it again: I love a good collab.  Emphasis on the word “good.”  But I won’t turn this into a rant on bad marketing and such.  Instead I will tell you about these sweet kicks from PUMA that should equate to instant awesome for any BMW fan.  The shoe you see above is the result of a partnership between PUMA and BMW Motorsport, thus birthing a BMW Motorsport evoSPEED shoe that instantly heel toe’d its way into my heart!

I love the “BMW Motorsport” signage across the front strap and adding the iconic “roundel” to the side of the shoe is genius.  If you like what you see as much as I do you can pick up these kicks on the PUMA online store right now.  In fact they are actually on sale for $80 (regular price $100)!

[Source: PUMA Online Store]

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Hype: I Spend Some Time With The John Cooper Works MINI GP Edition

Posted on 06.25.13 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

It seems that in every generation a car is born that somehow manages to achieve “cult” status.  This could happen for various reasons but generally speaking the common denominator is its design and philosophy that greatly differentiates itself from what is conventionally considered “desirable” during that time.  In fact in many ways these cult cars re-define what makes a vehicle “desirable” and finds an audience that was previously never reached.  The MINI Cooper was and continues to be a cult car and I just got to spend some time with perhaps one of the best MINI’s ever made…

When MINI returned under the BMW umbrella sometime back a tuning house known as John Cooper Works was reborn with the mission to make the new MINI as desirable to performance addicts as they are to those who simply wish to have something different from the norm.  John Cooper Works (JCW) soon became the “official” performance arm of MINI and offers various performance and aesthetic parts available through MINI dealers all over the country.  There are even JCW edition cars that can be bought right off the lot.  However, the MINI I visited was a step above a “special edition”.

    

The MINI John Cooper Works GP is a model that has only come around once before and has solidified its status as a true collector car.  The latest JCW GP saw an extremely limited run of 2,000 examples worldwide.  Of those 2,000 only 500 made it to the United States.  Of those 500 two of them currently reside at Long Beach MINI right in my hometown.  After getting some service done at Long Beach BMW (the sister dealership of LB MINI), I was graciously invited to check out the JCW MINI GP they had in their showroom.  That isn’t the kind of invitation one should turn down!  I promptly returned with my trusty Canon and snapped the pictures you see here.

    

OK, those who may be unfamiliar with MINI might be asking what makes this car so special and/or if it really holds to its title.  The more jaded of us are used to models being touted as a “special edition” when the only thing “special” about it are some cheap plastic badges and wheels you can’t get on the others.  However, the JCW MINI GP is not one of those pretenders to the throne.  This car truly is a performance model.

  

JCW starts by literally boosting performance with a turbocharger.  The turbo pushes the power output to 211HP total.  That number might seem modest but consider that JCW also took the liberty to shave some serious weight off by completely ditching the backseats.  Replacing them is a bright red anti-roll bar signaling to all who lift the trunk that this tiny terror means business.  Interior electronics are kept fairly basic with only a stereo and no navigation.  Yet the MINI GP does come with seat warmers.  To enhance the looks and cut through the air better is a limited JCW body kit specifically for the GP, complete with a genuine carbon fiber deck spoiler.

    

Through out the interior, a plethora of JCW branding can be found as well as a pair of custom Recaro seats complete with red seatbelts.  Also, just to remind the passenger that they are sitting in a limited edition car a GP badge is mounted on the passenger side with the production number listed.  Also, if owners want to broadcast which number out of 2,000 they own they can have their production number printed along the driver’s side edge of the roof.

After I was done drooling over the car I was invited to drive it.  However, with it being such a rare car (as well as not a press car) I elected to be a passenger instead. Despite not driving the car it is very easy to feel the power delivery.  For a turbocharged car the power comes on pretty smoothly with minimal turbo lag.  The suspension, while stiff, isn’t unreasonable and the cabin noise never got into the realm of annoyance.

By the numbers the GP is a great car but what makes it special is what it means to MINI fans.  See, the price tag on a JCW GP is around the 40k area.  To most people that kind of price for a MINI seems a bit on the high side.  That is exactly why the JCW MINI GP is not made for “most people”; its made for those who have a true appreciation for MINI and/or those who really want a collector car.  Although, if I owned one it would be hard for me to simply “collect” car that clearly begs to be driven.

I’d like to thank the men and women at Long Beach MINI for affording me the opportunity to get to know this awesome little beast.  If you happen to live in the area and want to buy this particular car feel free to contact Mr. Ali Alnashawati (ali.alnashawati@longbeachbmw.com) for information!

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