The BMW 3-Series began production back in 1975 and is one of the German automaker’s luxury sedans. The 2012 model year will mark the 3-Series’ sixth generation since its birth and will incorporate all of the current versions for the luxury car: 2-door coupe and convertible, 4-door saloon, 5-door touring, and 5 door liftback. The new 3-series is expected to be powered with new aluminum four-cylinder gasoline engines ranging from 135 to 220 horsepower.
The current model is powered by a choice of four different engine. The 3.0L I-6 produces 230hp and 200 lb-ft of torque, while the 3.0L twin turbo diesel gets 265hp and 425lb-ft of torque. Another option is the 3.0L twin turbo I-6 getting 300hp and 300 lb-ft of torque, and the final engine option is a 4.0L V8 producing 414hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. Engines can be mated to a six-speed manual transmission or a six- or seven-speed automatic.
BMW has announced the launch of a new special edition M3 specially designed for its US customers. The new M3 Coupe Frozen Limited Edition will be available in a choice of three frozen exterior colors - Frozen Red, Frozen White, and Frozen Blue - and will be priced at $76,395. Only 150 units will be built and production will begin in January 2013.
The new M3 Coupe Frozen will be offered with the standard Competition Package that includes a lowered suspension and new 19" alloy wheels painted in matte black. The car’s frozen exterior will be combined with high-gloss black on the kidney grills, side grills, and the exhaust pipe tips.
For the interior, the BMW will receive black Extended Novillo leather with contrast stitching in the vehicle’s chosen exterior color on the seats, headrests, door inserts, armrests, middle console, and door pulls.
Hit the jump for a full list of specifications for the BMW M3 Coupe Frozen Limited Edition.
It’s not every day the words "BMW M3" and "Electric" get thrown together, but today is one of those days. Rimac Automobili - yes, the same guys that introduced the Concept One - have taken a 1984 BMW M3 and converted it to an electric piece of automotive wonder.
The idea came about when Mate Rimac - the founder of Rimac Automobili - blew out the engine of his Bimmer while racing. He then started to read about how to develop electric vehicles and after one year of work, his end result netted him a heavy and not very powerful vehicle with a very limited range. Since that time, Rimac’s BMW has gone through five development phases during which almost everything about the car was changed. The time Rimac spent on this vehicle and the help he received from experts in the electric car field, gave way to the Rimac e-M3, which has become one of the fastest and most exciting electric cars in the world. Its electric motor delivers a total of 600 HP and 664 lb-ft of torque, which sprints the car from 0 to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds up to a top speed of 174 mph. It also has a range of 111 miles.
The Rimac e-M3 has already smashed five world records (three of which are still waiting for official FIA approval) when he took the car on a two-mile long military runway near Zagreb on April 17th, 2011.
Hit the jump for a full list of the Rimac e-M3’s new world records and a list of performance specs!
BMW is trying to come back from it 5-Series GT disappointment by offering a GT of its most popular model: the 3-Series. The 3-Series GT is the third model in the 3-er lineup and is taking its turn on the Nurburgring, providing a spectacular show of lifting its wheel during the famous Karussell turn.
BMW has seemingly learned from the 5-Series GT’s less than stellar sales by adopting a sleeker design for the new 3-er GT. The model will be built on the LWB platform from the Chinese version of the 3-series sedan and will therefore offer more interior room for the rear passengers. The new 3-Series GT will drop the twin-door hatch design in favor of a normal one piece hatch. It will also be 15 inches longer than the standard model and offer the added bonus of more headroom due to the shooting brake layout. The four-door coupe designed body will combine a set of raised, sliding rear seats with a high lifting tailgate that should make accessing the larger cargo area trouble-free.
The engine and transmission line-up will be shared with the standard 3-Series, meaning that customers will have a choice between four engines - two petrol and two diesel - with power ranging from 163 HP to 306 HP. It is rumored that BMW will also offered a range of smaller engines, but we do not expect to see an M version for it.
The significant drop in cammo for the BMW 3-Series GT leads us to believe that the launch will be here sooner rather than later, so stay tuned!
We often find ourselves in that position where initial thrills eventually lead to realizing that our enjoyment came with a price.
For drivers of forced induction BMW M3s, that realization may have presented itself when they realized that while powerful in its own right, they would need to ring up the revolutions in order to achieve the kind of throaty roar they’re looking for. Comes with a price, right?
VF Engineering has the answer, thanks to their new VF540 Streetsport Supercharger. Taking in a few components from the Vortech V3si supercharger, particularly the V3 blower that drives the supercharger at a much lower rpm. From there, VF Engineering also installed an ECU upgrade, improving the M3’s throttle response while also using a HEX Flash system that allows for remote tuning and functions as a diagnostic cable that can clear off engine codes.
With all these modifications in tow, VF Engineering turned a powerful-at-a-cost M3 and its 420-horsepower and 295 lb/ft of torque output into one that delivers 540 horsepower and 370 lb/ft of torque.
The V540 Streetsport package retails for a reasonable price of $8,295. Should you be interested in something a little more powerful, you can avail the VF620 program - 624 horses and 400 lb/ft of torque numbers - for $13,495 or go for the top-of-the-shelf VF650 program - 650 horsepower and 420 lb/ft of torque - that comes with a price of $16,495.
After providing an extensive tuning package for the 3-Series sedan, AC Schnitzer has moved on to its station wagon sibling to provide similar upgrades. Their new package for the BMW 3-Series Touring improves upon the exterior and interior look of the vehicle, as well as its power output.
The exterior upgrades include a new front spoiler, a chrome front grille, a rear roof spoiler, and a rear skirt. There is also a wide variety of wheels to choose from, ranging from 18" to 20" and different designs and colors. The interior combines aluminum elements with a very cool Black Line package.
The full line of engines for the 3-Series Touring was updated, providing an increase minimum of 28 HP. The 318d now delivers 171 HP, up from 143 HP; the 320d produces 218 HP, up from 184 HP; the 328i delivers 294 HP, up from 245; and the 335i pushes 360 HP, up from 306 HP. These updates were achieved with the addition of a sports rear silencer and a new exhaust system. There is also a new suspension spring kit combined with a lower suspension to bring the car closer to the ground by 25 mm.
BMW will be trooping to the 2012 Paris Motor Show with a presentation of their new add-on toys that are part of the M Performance Accessories. Comprised mostly of aesthetic and power kits, the accessories cover a whole range of BMW models, including the 1-Series hatch, the 3-Series Touring, and models that feature the automaker’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel engine.
The accessories kit comprises of various new components, including carbon finished exterior mirror caps, a choice of new wheels, diffuser inserts for the rear apron, and side sill foliations. The 1-Series 3-door hatchback and 3-Series Touring models also get a slew of new goodies in the suspension, drive, and aerodynamics departments.
As far as performance upgrades are concerned, the M Performance Accessories come with plenty of options for the 120d, the 320d, and the 520d. Likewise, the automaker’s aforementioned 2.0-liter diesel engine also gets a power upgrade from the standard 181 horsepower and 197 lb/ft of torque all the way up to 197 horsepower and 310 lb/ft of torque.
The official debut of the new generation BMW M3 is still a few months away so, until then, all we can do is enjoy all of the spy shots and videos we can find. This latest video is a three minute compilation of the M3 in various settings performing different maneuvers and driving actions on and around the Nurburgring race track.
The next BMW M3 will be powered by an inline 6-cylinder engine that will deliver about 450 HP and will be mated to both a DCT and manual transmission (both versions have been spotted testing). The engine will feature a strengthened aluminum block with a heavily modified cylinder head that will help it deliver the best-in class fuel economy.
The new BMW M3 will be making its official debut in late 2013 or early 2014, but a concept version will arrive at an earlier date.
BMW USA is continuing to expand its M3 special edition line-up with a new M3 Lime Park Edition Coupe. The new model was built as tribute to the historic Lime Rock Park racing circuit located in northwestern Connecticut and, as Skip Barber describes it, is "a classic car for a classic track." This new model is also a great way to send off the current M3, in preparation for the future generation.
The BMW M3 Lime Rock Park Edition Coupe will be offered in a very cool Fire Orange exterior paint and comes standard with the Competition package, which includes 19" Style 359M silver wheels. The exterior package comes equipped with carbon fiber front chin splitters, a carbon fiber rear deck spoiler, a carbon fiber roof panel and a lightweight inconel-titanium exhaust muffler. For the interior, BMW is offering Anthracite and black cloth manual-adjustment seats with Nappa Leather trim, an Anthracite Alcantara steering wheel with flat-bottom design and a blue index stripe, and carbon leather trim.
The BMW M3 Lime Rock Park Edition Coupe will be limited to only 200 units and will go on sale in September 2012 at a starting price of $70,995 including $895 Destination and Handling. The company only plans to build 25 units a week, meaning that in two months, the production for this limited edition will be over.
UPDATE 09/14/2012: BMW has unveiled a new video featuring the M3 Coupe Lime Rock Park Edition driven at... Lime Rock track. Enjoy!
Usually a photo shoot implies the following: you take the car and shoot some pictures in the studio, and then comes the magic. By "magic," we mean Photoshop. For each picture taken in the studio, a very talented man will be behind the computer providing a different background.
This time, however, BMW decided it was time to do things differently. The company took the BMW M3 GT2 Art Carto a very cool location: on the famous Pulpit Rock (or Preikestolen), Norway. The images taken are part of a seven art car exhibition at the Stavanger Museum close to the actual shoot location.
The BMW M3 GT2 Art Car was designed by Jeff Koons who put together images of race cars, related graphics, vibrant colors, speed, and explosions. What he ended up with was a design that was meant to display power, motion, and bursting energy.
We are all waiting for the new generation BMW M3 to be launched onto the market sometime in 2013, but the long wait is making us weary and the testing sessions are getting too few and far between for our liking. Luckily, we found this video of the upcoming model as it accelerated out of the Karussell on the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
The future BMW M3 will drop the current 420 HP engine and will replace it with a new twin-turbo 3.0 liter straight-six engine. The engine will take the output up to impressive 450 HP. This video provides us with the chance to the amazing sounds of the future turbocharged inline six-cylinder motor of the upcoming M3.
The new BMW M3 will be a 2013 model year car in Europe, but will be labelled as a 2014 car for the North American market.