Published on December 16th, 2013 | by Seán Ward0
What’s New With The New M3?
BMW has unveiled the new M3 and M4, but how do they differ to the outgoing M3?
BMW announced their M3 Coupe name changed in amongst a sea of bad press, with many saying that there was no need to separate the saloon and coupe cars to justify a new name.
But here we are, with 2014 knocking on the door, and a shiny new M3 saloon to replace the outgoing model, as well as the M4 to replace the M3 Coupe.
So what’s new apart from the name change? Well, first and foremost is that, unfortunately for M Car purists, the M3 and M4 have gone the same way as the most recent M5 by adopting a turbocharged engine – the hints came with leaked images a while back, as it was clear there was much more ducting and ventilating on the front of the car than on the previous model, but everyone still lived in hope that the V8 might stay.
But, the engine that now sits under the bonnet hardly looks like a slouch: a 3.0 litre, straight-six, twin-turbocharged engine with 431 bhp and 410 lb/ft of torque.
While a turbo-motor probably won’t sound as good as a 4.0 litre V8, there’s no denying the power is ahead of the old V8’s 414 bhp, and the torque figure in a completely different league, with the old car able to produce just 295 lb/ft.
Performance has been marginally improved, with the new M3 and M4s able to get from 0-60 mph in 4.3 seconds (4.1 seconds with a BMW dual-clutch) compared to the old car’s 0-60 sprint time of 4.7 (or 4.5) seconds. The top speed is still limited to 155 mph.
Another new feature that some might turn their noses up at is the addition of electronic steering. The current M5 managed to keep hydraulic steering, and yet the new M3 and M4 have en electric system, a first for an ‘M’ car.
One feature that will delight enthusiasts worldwide is the retention of the manual gearbox. While there were rumours a manual box would go the same way as the manual in the Porsche GT3, BMW has stuck with it, providing a manual ‘box as the standard feature, a box which weighs 12kg less than the one in the outgoing car and manages to blip on downshifts for you. Judge for yourself whether that’s a good thing or not.
The double clutch box is the more interesting one, though, if not the one for the purists. Not only does it shift faster than the one in the E92 M3, but it features a system called Stability Clutch Control, which lets in the clutch when the car is understeering to bring the nose back into line.
Finally there are the issues of weight and economy. The old M3 was famous for its balance, so the new car’s weight is important if the car will be as good as, or better than, the outgoing car’s handling, and weight will also be important in helping with the economy.
So have the new M3 and M4 gotten on the porky side? Luckily, while the old M3 weighed in at around 1,580 kg, the new cars weigh just under 1,500 kg.
Economy has been improved, so rather than 25 mpg, you can now expect to see 32 mpg and as little as 194g of CO2 per kilometre.
The new M3 and M4 will both go on sale in May 2014, with the M3 priced from £56,175, and the M4 from £56,635.
Below is a gallery of the new BMW M3 and M4.