We are less than 24 hours away from the official launch of the 2014 BMW M3 and M4 Coupe. The much awaited sports coupe and sedan have been around the world showcasing their fancy new bodies and along the sidelines, BMW has been steady releasing details about the powertrain and other technical bits to the media. There’s excitement in the air as the zero hour approaches.
Meanwhile, insiders close to the journalism fraternity are hard work trying to get as much information out to the public as possible. A few hours ago, we brought you the first official high-resolution images of both the cars, which had apparently leaked onto the internet earlier in the day. Now, AutoBild has blown the lid off of the embargo by posting a video showing both the M3 and M4 being thrashed around the Ascari circuit in southern Spain.
Unfortunately, the video is in German. We’re sure those who understand the language will enjoy the introductory video shot by AutoBild magazine, and those of you who do not understand can still understand the language the in-line, six-pot engine speaks. The short video also includes the original E30 M3, giving us an idea as to how much the M3 has evolved in the past three decades.
How does it compare to the 1985 E30 BMW M3?
The fifth generation of the BMW M3 arrives on December 12, 2013 and while BMW has released most of the technical details about the car, we’re pretty sure there’s more segment-dominating stuff that will debut on the F80 generation BMW M3 and F82 BMW M4.
The new M3 may be chock-full with technology but it has humble beginnings. It first arrived on the scene in 1985, almost three decades back. The E30 BMW M3 is still a favorite among driving enthusiasts, thanks to its potent four-cylinder engine and analogue feel.
Who would’ve thought back then that a simple, rear-wheel-drive car with four-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual gearbox would go on to win the hearts and minds of millions across the globe. The E30 is now regarded as a modern classic, so be ready to shell out anywhere between $18,000 and $20,000 for a good example. Prices of the original have certainly skyrocketed over the years as BMW just 19,000 units.
The original E30 featured a 2.3-liter, in-line four-cylinder engine with close to 200 horsepower. Later, the engine was upgraded to a 2.5-liter block for the EVO3 version, but the race-bred BMW M3 was never about galactic levels of horsepower. On the generations to follow, the M3 switched to in-line, six-cylinder engines and enthusiasts embraced the change. The new F80 generation marks the return of the in-line six, albeit with the aid of a turbocharger.
Over the decades, power output has doubled from 200 horsepower on the E30 to 424 horsepower on the F80. The new engine puts out some serious amount of torque too, as 500 Nm (369 pound-feet) of twisting force is applied to the rear wheels, creating lots of tire smoke in the process. Since, the E30 came out, the M3 has grown a set of doors too — the E90 generation M3 was the first to be offered with four doors.
Now, for the first time, BMW is using the M4 moniker on the coupe. Based on the 4 Series coupe, the M4 is the new two-door version, while the four-door model will use the M3 tag. Anyway, we will have to wait until we get to drive one them new M cars.