24 hours and six fueltanks with the new BMW M3 V8! [Now with 10 minute video]
24 hours with the BMW M3 V8 (E92)
This is a shorter testdrive. A longer testdrive (weekend) and MOVIES will come very soon so stayed tuned!
250 liters of fuel (five tanks) in 24 hours
More than 250 smiles
One new generation of a BMW M V8 with 105 HP per liter
4 liter engine developing 400 Nm and 420 HP. Redlines at 8400 rpm. THat means that 3rd gear reaches 180 km/h (112 mph) and 4th gear 240 km/h (150 mph) and 5th (almost revlimited) and 6th (electronically limited) gear (168 mph) tacho speed. On idling max speed is 7000 rpm
15 kg lighter than the former straigh six
Sensivity of the throttle can be set in three stages via M Mode on the i-Drive; Normal, Sport and Sport Plus
The only body panels that are similar on the regualr 3-series coupe are the doors, luggage compartement lid, the window and front and rear lights.
M Drive optional
19 inch wheels optional
MDM optinal in the MDrive package
BMW created the M5 segment and market. BMW also created the BMW M3 segment and market. Let's see how it can uphold it... Looking back a day ago I think the new BMW M3 is a great sporty car. However, this must be judge with the fact that I drive the BMW M5 E39, which is a heavy car and not as sporty as the M3. I have owned both the BMW M3 Coupe 3,0 (286 HP E36 Euro version) :
and the BMW M3 3,2 Sedan (321 HP M3 3,2):
I am now used to a heavier and more comfortable and not as sporty car as the BMW M3 E36 was.
That said, I was overall impressed with the M3. I was not as impressed with the straighline performance as I was with the V10 BMW M5 and BMW M6 when they arrived in 2005. But I was not expecting that either. Realizing that we are speaking the BMW M3 here the car goes very fast, espeically considering it is a 6-speed manual gearbox. It's very high redline at 8400 rpm wants you to redline the car everywhere: you are surprised of how much it revs and the acceleration surge at 3rd and 4th and 5th gear all the way to 8400 rpm.
Considering it only has 400 Nm compared to the BMW M5 and M6 500 Nm, it feels like it is more torque in the midrange than the BMW M5 and M6; the V-10 seems to require more higher revs. Also, when comparing in sound only, the BMW M3 sounds better than the V-10, it startes to have a great throaty intake sound at 3-4000 rpms and then at over 5-6000 rpm is screams more like the M5's V-10 than the V8 that of the E39 M5. It seems to be a much more sportier V8 than in the E39 M5. That said, the E39 M5 has a much more relaxed feeling to it and makes the power more accessible, for example in city driving. The redline at 8400 rpms doesnt "bounce off", it stops revving gradually, in a smooth way. And if you never redlines your car everyday or goes to ovrer 8000 rpms, please buiy a 335i and not an M3...
So compared to the BMW M5 and M6 V-10 the M3 is definetly has not the power surge at the higher RPM's and straight line acceleration; there the M5 will be faster and I have not expected anything less. But compared to more regular cars I feel confident that the BMW M3 definetly will outrun a Porsche 911 Carrera S or a Audi RS4 in the straigh line, no doubt. In a few weeks we will find out, check gtboard.com. The high rev limit and instant throttle response will help the car at higher speeds; it is definetly not slow at higher speeds.
This evening I came back from a testdrive of the Audi R8 and subjectively the Audi R8 handling felt wonderful, but comparing the feelings after pushing the BMW M3 to the limits I would say that if you drive the BMW M3 hard with the M Dynamic Mode on vs an Audi R8 with ESP on a M3 will definetly outrun the R8. It also felt that the M3 was way faster above 200 km/h (120 mph) than the BMW M3.
Also, the M Dynamic Mode (MDM) which is the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) "light" let the BMW M3 get to the very limit and start a very small slide, for maximum corner speed. In the wet it could be a 45 degree angle controlled (albeit small) slide. However the MDM system makes you be an expert driver in the wt as well; outrunning an Audi S6 V-10 in the rain certainly worked!
The cornering ability -coming from a M5 E39 driver- was impressive; especially at higher speeds. With the optinal EDC dampers that autmatically switches to Sport when needed the cornering ability felt very good: road feedback and cornering speed felt high and controlled. As a bonus, the leather on the steerign wheel of the BMW M3 was alot softer than on the previous M Models and it felt great to grip.
Top speed limiter is apparantly 272 km/h (170 mph) on the digital tacho at 5th and 6th gear; the analogue speedometer then shows 270 km/h (169 mph).
The three different powersettings for the gas pedal response are nice; the most "no compromise" mode is very sporty and feels more sportier than the previous M Models: you could also say it was alot jerkier in traffic. The usual setting for high speeds was MDM on and EDC in II and with the Power set to most sporty.
So in short the BMW M3 is beautiful, has a nice but not the most powerful M engine but definetly the best handling and best sounding M car today. And bad news for upcoming M3 owners: your fuel bill will be double the one you have today if you won a BMW M3 E46... The BMW M3 is almost as "frugal" as the BMW M5 and M6!
Also, I have not been following the magazines reports about the BMW M3: but to me I feel it is definetly the best BMW M3 yet; you can outrun many fast cars in the straighline, but combine that power with state of the art cornering and roadfeel you have a winner, and that is exactly what the M3 was on the street these 24 hours... It has the roadfeel of a traditional M3 but the high speed capabilities of the M5 and M6 in terms of stability, focus, comfort and noise (but maybe that extra acceleration edge the 7-speed, SMG and V-10 engine will deliver to you). It's a great package and it will never be an M5 or M6, just as the M5 never will have the roadholding of an M3: it simply physics: weight, length, height and center of gravity and different purposes of use. It's a much more comfortable car than a Porsche 911 Carrera and more versatile. Also, today you cannot expect this car to be an M3 E30 gocartlike: it must have the safety and comfort, and also various electronically safety nets are required with 420 HP; just as it was with the BMW M5 E39 when launched in 1998.
Speaking of M5, the BMW M3 had as you may know a manual speed gearbox. There where some instances you felt that manual gearbox was an annouance, as when shifting gears at very high speeds of out of sweeping corners, where you would have prefeered SMG. On the other hand, annouances like "Oh, I forgot I was in P400 mode" was not present either. It was a special feeling to have a regular manual gearbox in a new M car, the clutch was very light but it definetly did not feel out of place.
And, yes I was out driving until 2.30 a.m. from 10 a.m; it was alot of fun and I didn't see any major drawback apart from the small gas tank / fuel consumption.
Parked near the only other BMW M V8: the S62 BMW M5 and Z8 engine with 5 liters displacement and a redline at 7000 rpm: 500 Nm and 400 HP. From this angle the E39 5-series bodyshapoe surely looks a bit dated.
The horisontal lines on the rearlights can be regognized also on the facelift of the BMW M5 that came in 2001. The E39 has four linesand the M3 has three.
This BMW M3 had the optional M light-alloy double-spoke 220M, forged and polished 19-inch wheels that to me looks alot better than the standard wheels.
Drilled front and rear brakes: they do the job and feels great. Harder pads for track or seriosly repeted hard driving might be good. Aftermarket brakes would feel liek a parachute has been released behind the car!
Integreated blinkers in the thermoplastic side panels. The panles reduce the overall waight by 3 kg, contributing to the ideal axle load distribution on the BMW M3.
In front of Villa Pauli in Djursholm outside Stockholm, Sweden, designed by the same architecht of Stockholm City Hall. It was finished 1907.
Notice how the side liens continues and ends at the side gills in the front. This is especially enhances on the Alpine White BMW M3.
The Powerdome houses the volumnius intake air plenum. On this generation of the BMW M3, the hood is needed for be able to close the hood with the V8 on the car.
Here it is noticable how large the BMW M3 has become in relation to the older generation BMW M5.
The second generation BMW M3 Sedan was significantly smaller (and lighter).
BMW M3 E92 behind a BMW M5 E39. Large vertical bars define the position and contours of the air intakes; these air intakes are arranged and laid out exactly in accordance with the requirements of the engine and it's ancillary units.
Old Town, Stockholm. This part of Stockholm was setup in the 13th century with an influence of North German architechture.
Outisde the restaurant "Den Gyldene Freden", doing business since 1722 and both the interiour and the surroundings are unchanged since the restaurant started. Tranbslated to English the name is "The Golden Peace", which was refeerred to the peace between Sweden and Russia in 1721 that ended the Great Northern War where Sweden lost many privinces to Tsar Peter I "Peter the Great" of Russia. This ended the Swedish Empire.
On the narrow streets of Old Town it helped with the electronically retractable exteriour mirrors.
Foglights are just as on the BMW M5 and M6 removed for better air intake capability. The M3 engine needs a large supply of air for combustion and for cooling the engine, steering and transmission oil.
The Royal Guard overlooking the Royal Castle.
The diffuser and "Gurney" (spoiler lip) have been aerodynalically opitimized to ensure controleld airflow, low turbulence and increased downforce at higher speeds. Overlooking Skeppsholmen, positioned strategically at the Baltic Sea entrance to Stockholm, it has traditonally been the location of several military buildings. Today it mostly hosts several museums.
The Carbon Fibre Reinofrced plastic contrasts well to lighter colours, especially in Alpine White. To the left it is Old Town visible in the middle and to the left of Skeppsholmen is Grand Hotel, Stockholm's best hotel.
The darker look of the roof seen from the side makes the roof pillars look lower, thus optically reducing the height of the car.
The McDonald's Drink Holder test
Approaching the drive in of the gourmetrestaurant...
...served the largest coke available with a friendly Swedish smile.
Fast food test Passed! However we do not have larger cups than this in Sweden, there are larger ones in USA. Notice the fuel consumption: 1,68 liters/ 10 km and 2,78 liters/ 10 km...
The side gills follows the lines of the body. The chrome bracket separating the two sections and bearing both the stretched out direction indicator as well as the logo of the BMW M3again enhances the three dimensionl structure of this unique element. In the background is the Fredriksborg fortification built in 1710. This is placed between the islands of Rindö and Värmdö and has been of significant military strategic value.
The M3 emblem is very small: at least 60% of that of the M6.
The Carbon Fibre reinforced plastic reduces the overall weight by 5 kg.
The engine compartement engine lid of aluminium has coolign intakes and the "powerdome" is needed to fit the engine. Notice the M3 logo on the hood. THe BMW Engine Plant in Munich assemples the M3 V8 engines as wel las the BMW M5 and M6 V-10 engines.
Taking a ferry...
The BMW M3 mirrors are charachterize by the black coloured double bar holding the mirrors and reminiscent in its design of the wings of an aircraft.
At this angle the sidelines of the car is not as visible. The front section is slightly longer than that of the 3-series coupé due to changed gemoetry and larger engine components.
Aggressive! The left opening channels additional air to the intake air plenum and the right one is integrated for reasons of symmetry.
Bi-exenon headlights is standard
One more ferry and not alot of fun cars on this ferry...
Fueling up for the second time that day.
BMW M3, built in 2007 and driven by Gustav. Waxholms Castle, built in 1544 by King Gustav Vasa.
Yes, there are very bad drivers and carowners in Sweden as well...
The nice rearlights that dimson and off as "Welcoem lights" when closign and openign the car.
Power and EDC settings can be preprogrammed on the key.
Fueling up for the third time that day...
Compared to the BMW 335i the BMW M3 looks much more sporty.
The BMW M3 is faster but also a much more complete package than the 335i.
Fueling up for the fourth time that day.
Leaving the car after a long day... The car worked flawlessly, but was thristy!
Below is my first SHORT one hour review of the BMW M3
*Disclaimer, just a short 45 min ride, a more complete run will come later on with a white BMW M3*
Coming form a E39 M5, I think the steering was precise and it felt it had more mid range torque than the E60 M5, but not the kick like a E60 M5 at higher RPMs. It was more like a M5 E39 engine on steroids with a 1000 rpm higher rev limiter. Coming from a E39 M5 the transition was smooth, just a manual gearbox. My friend that is used the E60 M5 was constantly flipping his fingers in trying to change gears on the steeringwheel.
It never really, felt slow and it had a very distinct growl to the intake airbox (I assume). I only heard it for a short while from outside, but it really heard like an M5 E39, that distinct V8 growl. Switching back to a M5 E60 Touring afterwards, the sound from inside the M5 was more higher pitched and higher revving, with not as much airbox sound as the M3.
Also, Sport and Sport Plus was a new feature, but it seems just like and extra step between Sport and normal accelerator feedback. Also, MDM really sucked and was way to intrusive and the car understeered badly, and no tail out at all. The M5 had some degrees of angle of the end with MDM, which the M5 does not have. But the car inspired confidence when driving hard, no doubt.
The gearing seemed to be quote nice for a six speed: with some pushing 180 km/h is available on 3rd gear and 240 km/h on 4th gear, which will eb a notch higher than the RS4 and other competitors is my guess. Felt good. Also, the rev limiter went in very smooth and not abruptly.
Coming from an M5 E39 it is like a smaller, more nimble, highly tuned and more modern M5 E39. Coming from an E36 M3 3,2 (321 HP) it is more soft but more comfortable and usable engine. Coming from an M5 E60, it is low tech (manual 6 speed), a little more torquer with a better roadfeeling and faster steering response than an M5 E60. But definetly not as fast on the highway as the M5.
All in all, a very nice car, never felt slow and inspired confidense when pushed. Alot more thumbs up from passerbys than an M5 Touring...