BMW will unveil one of the most anticipated new cars of the year as it raises the performance benchmark once again with the North American premieres of the 2008 M3 Coupe and Sedan at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The all-new 4th generation 2008 M3 Coupe and the all-new 4 door M3 Sedan will arrive in the spring of 2008 and will feature a high-revving V-8 engine developing 414-horsepower at 8,300rpm, a first in a series-production BMW M3 and the highest-performing M3 ever offered by BMW’s M division.
The BMW M3 Coupe will feature a unique carbon fiber roof panel that reduces weight by 44lbs versus the optional steel roof panel with moonroof. Both the M3 Coupe and Sedan will feature driver-adjustable settings for crucial dynamic controls including steering, damping and stability (and an available steering-wheel-mounted "MDrive" button to store the preferences) and a sports oriented interior that can be optimized to a driver’s desires. including the comprehensive entertainment/navigation system operated through BMW’s latest iDrive controller.
Lightweight, efficient V8 at the heart of the BMW M3
The move to eight cylinders in the fourth generation BMW M3 provides a powerplant offering the seemingly disparate characteristics of more power, increased efficiency and reduced weight when compared with the previous six-cylinder M3 engine. Displacing 3,999 cubic centimeters (4.0 liters), the new light-alloy engine produces 414 hp at 8,300 rpm and 295 pound-feet of torque at 3,900 rpm with 85 percent of the maximum torque available consistently through 6,500 rpm. This power output represents a 17% increase over the six-cylinder from the last generation M3 yet the new engine weighs 7% less and consumes 8% less fuel than its predecessor.
Manual transmission, twin-disc clutch and Variable M Differential Lock
Power from the BMW M3 Coupe and Sedan’s V8 is transmitted to the rear wheels through a close-ratio six-speed manual gearbox. The performance parameters of the M3 dictated heat management as a key design factor for both the transmission and clutch. The transmission features integrated temperature-dependent oil cooling management, while internal ventilation maximizes heat dissipation for the twin-disc clutch.
The new final drive comes with a Variable M Differential Lock generating up to 100 percent locking action with fully variable action whenever required, ensuring optimum traction on all road surfaces.
Latest-generation of Dynamic Stability Control
The electronic Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) monitors driving conditions and intervenes through the application of brakes and reduced engine power to stabilize the BMW M3 and help avoid major over- or under-steer situations.
In addition to engine controls and the ABS, other systems integrated in the DSC are Automatic Stability Control (ASC), which prevents the wheels from spinning on surfaces with reduced traction; the Start-Off Assistant, which prevents the car from rolling back when setting off on a grade, as well as Cornering Brake Control (CBC), which prevents the car from spinning or swerving out of control when applying the brakes in a bend.
The latest version of DSC includes additional functions for even greater driving safety. Whenever the driver is likely to apply the brakes in full within the next few seconds, the system builds up pressure in the hydraulic brake circuit and pre-loads the brake pads to ensure an immediate response. The Dry Braking feature removes water film from the discs in wet conditions, thus reducing the chance of water interfering with the braking process.
Electronic Damper Control recognizing the driver’s style of driving
The optional Electronic Damper Control (EDC) allows the driver to tailor the vehicle’s chassis dynamics to his or her preference through one of three modes: Sport, Normal and Comfort.
The response of all dynamic driving systems is carefully tailored to the power and performance of the new BMW M3, with electronic intervention of the various systems naturally taking the dynamics of the car into account. Indeed, the driver even has the option to individually configure specific parameters, thus adjusting the response of the car to his personal preferences.
Interior design oriented an active driving experience with luxury
There is no question as to the heritage of the vehicle upon opening the door of the new BMW M3 thanks to the M car logo in the door sills. The unique nature of the vehicle carries to the dash where the dual circular instruments typical of BMW - the speedometer and fuel gauge as well as the tachometer and oil temperature display - are in specific M style. A feature typical of BMW M cars is the variable warning zone on the tachometer that informs the driver of the recommended engine speed depending on the engine oil temperature.
The M3’s leather steering wheel, with its thumb contours resting firmly in the driver’s hands, provides an optimum grip for precise movement of the steering wheel. The spokes within the steering wheel incorporate the remote control buttons for the audio system and mobile phone, as well as the optional MDrive button. An additional auxiliary button may be programmed through the optional BMW iDrive system.
A premium AM/FM/single-disc CD audio system comes standard with an auxiliary input jack. Individual entertainment options include SIRIUS satellite radio, HD radio and a USB-enabled port for control of an Apple iPod or iPhone media player. These three options can be bundled together in the Technology Package, should one choose to have them all together.
For vehicles equipped with Navigation, the comprehensive information and entertainment systems are controlled by the refined BMW i Drive. Selecting the Navigation/iDrive option also brings the performance-oriented, steering-wheel-spoke-mounted Mdrive button.