04/10/2007 – Within the BMW M GmbH model range, the BMW M3 has always been that very special model living up in full to its motorsport heritage. Indeed, this already applied to the very first BMW M3 launched in 1986 and continued throughout the two subsequent model generations. And now this supremacy comes out once again most clearly in the 2007 version of the BMW M3.
Its very name is a symbol for unique performance on the racetrack and in everyday traffic. For two decades, BMW M3 has embodied the athletic heart of the brand in its most fundamental and succinct form. Its dominating role in motor sports and the ultimate driving experience it affords the driver on the road are inseparably intertwined. The qualities on which this synthesis is founded have given the BMW M3 the exceptional status it enjoys the world over.
Although the latest generation of the BMW M3 was based in its development on the new BMW M3 Coupe, the new high-performance model differs from the ‘regular’ coupe in terms of both looks and technical features. Apart from the load-bearing structure of the car, only the two doors, the bootlid, the windows, the headlights and rear lights have been carried over from the 3 Series Coupe. All other body components, by contrast, were specially developed for the new BMW M3.
Apart from the car’s unique design as well as its drivetrain and suspension technology conceived from the start for supreme performance, lightweight technology came right at the top in the brief given to the engineers at BMW M. The new BMW M3 is the first production car in its segment to boast a roof made of carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFP). And in all, the new BMW M3, with the exception of just a few components, is indeed completely new in its engineering and design concept, clearly reflecting the successful tradition of BMW M.
The concept study was first presented to the public at the 77th International Motor Show in Geneva (8th to 18th of March, 2007) and gave a first impression of what the BMW M3 would look like. The unique character of the new BMW M3 is obvious at first sight: Over and above the engine compartment lid with its striking powerdome and the two air intake openings, the function-oriented design of the front and rear air dams, the so-called gills in the front side panels, the side-sills also in distinctive design, the roof made of clearly visible carbon fibre, as well as the exterior mirrors and light-alloy wheels in BMW M design clearly characterise the new model from the ground up. The wheel arches accentuate the particularly wide track and optional light-alloy wheels measuring 19 inches. The exterior, in turn, through its athletic and aesthetic appearance, powerfully underlines the sporting qualities of the car.
The new heart of the latest BMW M3 is the eight-cylinder power unit that develops maximum output of 420 bhp (309 kW) hp from engine capacity of precisely 3,999 cc. Further equally impressive factors are the engine’s peak torque of 295 lb-fts (400 Nm) as well as maximum engine speed of 8, 400 rpm. Power is transmitted to the rear wheels by a six-speed manual gearbox interacting with brand-new M differential lock. This setup accelerates the M3 to 100 km/h comes in just 4.8 seconds
A low-pressure version of BMW’s double-VANOS has been developed especially for the new eight-cylinder, reducing charge cycle losses and, in the process, improves engine output, torque and responsiveness, with an equally positive impact on both fuel economy and emissions.
A separate throttle butterfly for each cylinder provides an immediate engine response.
The chassis and suspension of the new BMW M3 is indeed a brand-new development from the ground up, seeking to cope from the start with the significant increase in drive power and save a lot of weight in the process. This is why nearly all components on the newly developed front and rear axles are made of aluminium and more weight is saved with the high-performance brake system with its compound brake discs. The change in axle geometry offers new axle kinematics tailored to the high power of the car and its particular character. The new final drive on the BMW M3 comes complete with a Variable M Differential Lock providing up to 100 per cent locking action in a completely variable process whenever required and thus ensuring optimum traction on all surfaces.
In designing the interior, the specialists at BMW M have succeeded in offering the occupants maximum driving pleasure Double circular instruments with white illumination and red needles, the M leather steering wheel and the newly designed centre console all characterise the cockpit of the new BMW M3. The door cutout trim embellished by the characteristic M logo, the support for the driver’s left foot made of brushed metal, the special design and colour of the inner door panels, as well as the trim strip made of high-quality, sophisticated materials exclusive to BMW M such as leather in carbon design or aluminium, all serve to underline the supreme and truly unique position of the new BMW M3.