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2015 BMW M3 Preview

2015 BMW M3 Preview

By Jeff Youngs, December 14, 2013
Fast Facts:
  • Lighter, more powerful, more fuel-efficient than previous M3
  • V-8 engine replaced by turbocharged inline 6-cylinder
  • Exposed carbon fiber reinforced plastic roof construction
  • Optional next-generation technology and safety features

Returning to the 3 Series lineup for 2015, the performance-tuned BMW M3 is offered only as a 4-door sedan, the former 2-door coupe migrating to the new 4 Series lineup and now called the BMW M4. The new 2015 BMW M3 will compete with other high-performance vehicles including the Audi S4, the rumored Cadillac ATS-V, and the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG.

Exterior Features
Visually, the 2015 BMW M3 Sedan is easily distinguished from the 3 Series Sedan upon which it is based. Restyled in front, with larger air intakes and a built-in Venturi effect to reduce front axle lift and improve steering feel, the new BMW M3 is equipped with an aluminum power dome hood, exposed carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) roof, Gurney-style rear spoiler, and a rear diffuser panel. Flared wheel arches and M-style side gills with what BMW calls "air breathers" are standard, along with a black grille treatment, twin-stalk aerodynamic side mirrors, and a smooth underbody.

Interior Features
Inside, BMW ensures that the M3 Sedan stands apart from the 3 Series through the use of numerous M-badged upgrades, as well as white gauge graphics, an M Sport double-spoke, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and M Sport front seats with single-piece front seatbacks and M logos. The seats are wrapped in leather, feature exposed color-contrast stitching, and sit beneath a BMW Individual Anthracite-colored headliner. The standard 60/40 split-folding rear seatbacks feature additional contouring for improved lateral support compared with a 3 Series.

Optional Features
BMW has, as this preview is written, named just a handful of the 2015 M3 Sedan's available options. Highlights include power-adjustable front seats, heated front seats, a next-generation iDrive system with the latest BMW Professional navigation system, and a head-up display with specific M3 readouts. The new M3 can also be optioned with adaptive LED headlights and an Active Driving Assistant designed to reduce the likelihood of a collision with a pedestrian.

Under the Hood
For the 2015 M3 Sedan, BMW swaps out the previous 4.0-liter V-8 engine in favor of a new turbocharged, 3.0-liter, inline 6-cylinder engine rated to make 425 horsepower between 5,500 rpm and 7,300 rpm, and 406 lb.-ft. of torque between 1,850 rpm and 5,500 rpm. In addition to proving itself more powerful, and capable of generating far more torque, than the previous M3's V-8 engine, this new turbocharged 6-cylinder engine is expected to return a 25% improvement in fuel efficiency.

The M3's engine is equipped with a dry sump oiling system and a track-ready cooling system, and BMW reduces drivetrain weight and rotating mass by employing a forged crankshaft and a CFRP propeller shaft. The result of the latter upgrades, according to BMW, is improved throttle response and acceleration. When equipped with the standard 6-speed manual gearbox, BMW claims the new M3 accelerates to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds. For 2015, the M3 Sedan's manual transmission features automatic throttle blipping when the driver downshifts.

A 7-speed M Double Clutch Transmission (M-DCT) is optional, shaving two-tenths off the run to 60 mph, BMW says. It includes paddle shifters, rev matching, Launch Control, and Drivelogic powertrain settings. A new Stability Clutch Control system is designed to reduce understeer.

Every M3 Sedan is equipped with an Active M Differential and an M Dynamic Mode that relaxes the traction and stability control system in order to deliver a wider performance envelope. A twin-pipe exhaust system with four polished outlets is standard, along with lighter-weight aluminum suspension components and a CFRP strut tower brace. An optional Adaptive M Suspension includes Comfort, Sport, and Sport+ settings, which are matched by the standard M Servotronic electric steering system. BMW M compound brakes bring the standard staggered-width M double-spoke 18-inch forged aluminum wheels and tires to a halt. Options include both BMW M carbon ceramic brakes with gold calipers and optional 19-inch forged aluminum wheels in Black or Ferric Gray finishes.

The 2015 BMW M3 Sedan's safety-related features include adaptive LED headlights that help to improve visibility, as well as an Active Driving Assistant feature that is designed to help the driver to avoid low-speed collisions in congested areas.

A BMW M Laptimer App will be available to M3 Sedan buyers. Pair a smartphone to the car and this feature will record key performance data that can be analyzed later to help improve driver skill on a particular racetrack.

Additional Research:

  BMW Unveils First-Ever 2018 M3 CS Special Edition Sport Sedan for U.S.
BMW this week revealed its first-ever 2018 M3 CS special-edition compact premium car that combines performance modifications and more power in a practical sedan.
  BMW Honors First M3 with 2017 "30 Years" Limited Edition
To mark the 30-year anniversary of BMW building its first M3 performance sports car, the German luxury car maker will produce just 500 “30 Jahre M3” Limited Edition copies for worldwide sales.
  2015 BMW M3 Preview
Returning to the 3 Series lineup for 2015, the performance-tuned BMW M3 is offered only as a 4-door sedan, the former 2-door coupe migrating to the new 4 Series lineup and now called the BMW M4.
  2013 BMW M3 Preview
The BMW M3 has long been the standard by which newcomers like the Cadillac CTS-V and Lexus IS F have been measured. For 2013, the track-friendly BMW returns in coupe and convertible body styles and a generous bounty of standard features.
  2008 BMW M3 Preview
Critical Knowledge:Fourth-generation BMW M3First M3 with a V8 powerplantCarbon-fiber roof to lower the center of gravityAvailable 6-speed manual transmissionM Drive allows driver customization of vehicle dynamicsAggressive styling differentiates it from the standard 3 SeriesBMW claims 0 to 62 in about 4.8 secondsNorth American sales start in 2008IntroductionThe first-generation BMW M3, introduced twenty years ago, was powered by a 2.3L inline 4-cylinder engine rated at 195 hp. Flared wheel arches and large spoilers (radical at the time for a street driven vehicle) differentiated the M3 from the standard versions of the BMW 3 Series. BMW specifically designed the M3 to homologate the car for Group A Touring Car racing so the coupe was light, nimble, and built to race. Popular with the public (nearly 18,000 units were sold), it was also a winner-many consider it the world's most successful racecar. Two decades later, with its first V8 powerplant, the fourth-generation 2008 BMW M3 takes a bow.
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