BMW M3s have always been about high-revving, naturally aspirated engine and lightweight, nimble handling. In fact, that was the case for all M cars until the M5 came along with a twin-turbocharged V-8, which then made its way into the M6 as well. The E92 generation M3 was the last M car to have a free-breathing engine. The new one, chassis code F80, gets forced induction — much to the dismay of many M car fans. With the help of two turbochargers, the new, 3.0-liter inline-six makes 425 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. That’s a considerable bump over the 295 pound-feet of the previous M3 and it comes on 2,050 RPM sooner. This makes the new M3 much more of a weapon than the E92, which needed to be revved to eternity to really get going. And this shows, as the F80 gets from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds where as the old E92 took 4.1.
Chris Harris seems to think, despite what all of the haters say, that this new M3 is best of the breed. And he should know, being that he used to own an E92 M3 and currently owns an original E30 Sports Evolution M3. Harris say the engine, despite drawing such criticism for its blown-nature, is a masterpiece. It doesn’t sound all that great but it works wonderfully.
The chassis balance, as always with M3s, is fantastic and the gearbox is epic. One place where the new M3 might still draw criticism though, is the steering. It’s electric and many people, including Harris himself, think that it feels a bit artificial, but it’s incredibly accurate and is nicely weighted. Chris seems to think that this new M3 moves the game dramatically forward over the previous generation. If a man who drives some of the most hardcore sports cars out there says that, then I’m going to listen.
Chris Harris makes lovely videos because they help people like me, who don’t always get to drive some of these awesome sports cars, really get a feel for what they’re like. He really beats on the M3 in this video and shows what it can do, drifting through turns on a circuit and bombing a twisty, mountain road. In doing so, we can really get an idea of just how good the new M3 is. It may not be as pure as an E30, but it’s damn close, and that’s good enough for me.