BMW M3

Yesterday we brought you the full suite of pictures of the new BMW M3 Sedan and M4 Coupe, and now we have all the juicy details to go along with it. As you’d know by now, the fifth-generation M3 is now confined to a sedan body, while those who think that four doors is two too many, will have to buy an M4 Coupe instead.

This is the first time that the high-performance line is introduced in both sedan and coupe bodystyles simultaneously. Also a tradition-breaking first is the use of a turbocharged engine in an M3 (and M4), completing BMW M’s all-turbocharged range next to the M5, M6, X5 M and X6 M. We’ll get to specs and performance figures in due time.

As before, the M3 Sedan takes the sportier-looking coupe model’s front end, just as the X5 M shares its face with the X6 M. The blacked-out double-bar kidney grilles, first introduced on the M6 (and now on the M5), are present here too, complete with their respective model designation badges.

BMW M4

The front apron is classic BMW M – full of aggression, yet subtly dips below the OTT threshold. Other hallmark design features include the power dome on the bonnet and striking wing mirrors. The latter continues the twin-stalk design used in the outgoing models, but the upper ‘mount’ is no longer directly connected to the body.

Even more prominent than before are the heavily bolstered wheelarches, which use carefully optimised surface forms to draw attention to them. The M gills have been re-designed, and like standard 4 Series, feature Air Breathers exit slots that team up with the Air Curtain intakes positioned within the front bumper to improve aerodynamics.

Round the back, the BMW M3 Sedan gets a small Gurney boot lid spoiler to reduce lift, while the M4 Coupe boasts a bespoke tailgate with an integrated rear spoiler for a starker standalone appearance. Another cool addition is the pair of character lines that run along the top of the M4, starting from the power dome, through the carbon-fibre roof to the end of the boot lid.

BMW M’s signature pair of twin exhaust pipes have been updated yet again – now with slanting cut-offs. These are put on display, beautifully framed by the integrated diffuser within the heavily sculpted rear bumper. Standard-fit wheels are 18-inch items with mixed-sized tyres, while the 19-inchers pictured here are cost options.

Inside, you get the usual mix of carbon-fibre trim and leather-upholstered sports seats, along with a collection of M-badged extras (door sills, driver’s footrest, gear lever, etc.) The traditional BMW M circular instrument panel with white graphics and M leather steering wheel with three-colour contrast stitching are all here too.

Another thing to shout about are the seats, which are said to be modelled from the bucket seats in racing cars. The entire back panel, including the headrest, is formed off a single piece. Also new are the illuminated BMW M logos on the seat backrests. Too cool or too much? Your call.

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The timely swap to a 3.0 litre straight-six M TwinPower Turbo engine brings healthy gains in both performance and efficiency over the outgoing modelsnaturally-aspirated 4.0 litre V8 motor. Power is up from 420 hp to 431 hp at 5,390 to 7,000 rpm. That’s a tiny jump by anyone’s measure, but maximum torque sees a significant hike from 400 Nm to 550 Nm, which is now available across a wider rev band too (1,800-5,390 rpm).

It revs up to 7,600 rpm – unnaturally high for a turbocharged engine – while promising a linear power delivery and a characterful engine note. Zero to 100 km/h takes just 4.1 seconds in both the M3 Sedan and M4 Coupe (with the M DCT’s Launch Control; manual is 0.2 second slower), and top speed is limited to 250 km/h. Tick the M Driver’s Package option, and you get access to 280 km/h.

Efficiency (12.0 km/l) and emissions (194 g/km) are 25% better than before, thanks to the advancement in engine technology and various weight saving measures. The BMW M3 Sedan and M4 Coupe weigh 1,520 kg and 1,497 kg respectively, down 80 kg from before. Lightweight carbon-fibre roofs are fitted to both new models, making the M3 Sedan the second four-door M car to have it, after the M6 Gran Coupe.

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The standard transmission is still a good old six-speed manual gearbox. It’s not exactly old, though, as it’s an all new design. Other than being more compact and a full 12 kg lighter than the one before, the M DIY ‘box also features throttle blipping on downshifts, which was previously reserved for the M DCT. So you can now “heel-and-toe” perfectly every time. Perfect.

Those too lazy to work their left legs can specify the optional seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission (M DCT). There’s a Launch Control function for easy optimum take-offs, and for an extra bit of fun (or hoonery) there’s a unique setting called the Smoky Burnout function. It’s a self-explanatory function, we think.

On the options list are Adaptive M suspension and lightweight M carbon-ceramic brakes (with special gold calipers as pictured here; standard brakes are blue). However, drift-friendly Active M Differential is fitted as standard.

So there you have it – the re-birth of an all-time legend. BMW M3 Sedan or M4 Coupe? Pick your poison.

BMW M3 Sedan

BMW M4 Coupe