2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 15:44
BMW celebrates a premiere in the new M3. For the first time in 15 years, a 420 hp V8 provides impressive propulsion in the Bavarian racing machine.
From Frank Mertens
One thing is clear. But Gerhard Richter still likes to refer to it. A vehicle like the BMW M3 is of course tested where many of its buyers want to move it at some point: namely on the legendary Nürburgring. There the new M3 successfully passed its endurance test. "The time we chased him across the track was definitely better than 8:10 minutes," says Richter, who is responsible for business at M-GmbH, with a smile.
With all the propensity for sportiness that one expects from a vehicle from M-GmbH, the developers have not exaggerated it. No, the new M3 is not a thoroughbred piece of sports equipment. Rather, the sports car presents itself as an all-rounder: the racetrack feeling is just as important to it as its suitability for everyday use. "We attach great importance to this," says Richter, who can safely be called "Mister M". After all, he's been with us for 20 years and has been involved in every new high-tech product from the Munich-based racing car manufacturer.
Of course, from the outside, with its hump on the bonnet, the four tailpipes and the redesigned exterior mirrors, the new M3 looks extremely sleek and well-trained. But not ostentatious - and that's what makes the Munich-based athlete so charming. But once you have pressed the start-stop button, fun is over. Then the engine hums beguilingly and gives an idea of what to expect.
V8 has 420 hp
For the first time in 15 years, the current M3 is no longer a six-cylinder, but a 4-liter eight-cylinder. And its output of 309 kW / 420 PS is a whopping 114 PS above the top engine in the current 3 series, the 3.0 liter in-line six-cylinder.
As it is the credo of the BMW developers, the new unit not only has significantly more power than the 343 hp six-cylinder engine of the predecessor, but has also become 15 kg lighter at 202 kg. "Our customers' expectations of a new M3 are high," says Richter. Accordingly, the new M3 not only received a new engine, but also 80 percent new parts. "This car is completely new."
High speed concept
The V8 in particular is a delight after the touch of the accelerator. Responsible for this is the high-speed concept, which the engineers have taken to the extreme. If you want - and you should want - can drive the V8 up to the maximum speed of 8300 rpm. You are surprised to see how confidently the power is developed. Expressed in numbers: The maximum torque of 400 Nm is reached at 3900 rpm, and 340 Nm is available from 2000 tours.
This ensures a lot of steam from the lower speed range. Accordingly, you can click your tongue about the acceleration values: From 0 to 100 km / h, the V8 catapults the four-seater, which weighs 1655 kg despite a large number of lightweight components, in 4.8 seconds. The speedometer goes up to 330 km / h, but BMW doesn't let it get that far. At 250 km / h it is limited. The steering of the M3 works just as precisely as the manual six-speed gearbox.
The trolley can be moved effortlessly. But after the test drives on the winding roads around Malaga, one thing remains to be said: 420 hp is 420 hp and pushes a rear-wheel drive M3 with an optimal weight distribution of 50:50 to its physical limits. Where the road is uneven, the M3 noticeably struggles with grip.
The stern tries its hand at occasional pull-outs. However, all of this takes place within a framework that puts an additional smile on the face of sporty drivers. Driving the M3 on the racetrack is an especially great experience - in this case the 5.4 km long private course (13 left, 13 right turns) Ascari, which belongs to a Dutch millionaire. Its cornering speed is simply impressive.
Allegedly, the M3 should only consume 12.4 liters, eight percent less than its predecessor. That doesn't correspond to reality. With a leisurely driving style, the V8 swallowed more than 15 liters and if you really drive it, you can easily count on four liters more. But anyone who spends 66,650 euros on such a car also has money on the fuel bill. The CO2 emissions are as high as the consumption: it is 295 grams per kilometer!
Anyone who thinks that M3 drivers only get their toys out of the garage on weekends is wrong. As a survey showed, the majority of M3 buyers cover around 25,000 km in everyday sports cars. With the M5 it is even 65,000 km. The BMW managers did not want to say anything about the sales expectations for the new M3. But after around 90,000 customers of the third generation of the M3 opted for this piece of sports equipment between 2000 and 2006, there should definitely be no fewer. Incidentally, BMW sold 180,000 vehicles of this series worldwide in the past 20 years.
Even if BMW is silent about this, the new M3 will also be available as a convertible. When is not yet officially determined. “Mister M” didn't want to say anything more about this either.