BMW shows smaller can be beautiful and fast
BMW S fabulous next M3 will no longer thrill with the roar of a V8. The 4-litre engine is replaced with a twin turbo straight six 3-litre, the first turbo in the model series.
With 425bhp it beats the V8 s figure, while its torque of 405 lb ft is an extra 110 lb ft. It is 80kg lighter and gives a 25 per cent improvement in mileage and CO2 emissions. Both the M3 four-door saloon and the M4 coupe have a carbon- plastic roof to save weight and lower the roll centre.
The models are dense with technical improvements. The famous six-cylinder engine gets a forged, lighter, high torque capacity crankshaft. It reduces rotating masses, resulting in improved throttle response and acceleration.
Here’s Albert Biermann, head of development at BMW M division: “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.”
Both cars can sprint to 62mph in 4.3 seconds, improving to 4.1 seconds with an optional twin clutch automatic gearbox. Top speed: a mundane 155mph unless you get the restrictors removed. Economy: 32mpg (34mpg auto). Emissions: 204g/km CO2 (194g auto). Showroom launch: June 21, prices: M3 saloon £55,500; M4 coupe £55,960.
PACKED WITH TECH: The new BMW M4 coupe.