Just Car Blog
|2013 BMW M3 Lime Rock Park Edition Review & Test Drive||
Ever since the conception of the current BMW M3, purists have had their short-lived doubts about the M3 still having its benchmark heritage that all started when German engineers wanted to turn a race car into something street worthy and comfortable enough for commutes. Today the latest BMW M3, making its last naturally aspirated run, still pays homage to its roots even if you need to dig a little deeper into its enthusiastic makeup and soft interior.
As far as having a soft approach to performance, the 2013 BMW M3 really makes its enthusiast oriented demeanor well known. The lofty 4.0-liter V8, revving to an astonishing 8,400 rpm, begs for punishment. It is the type of engine that happily endures through the pain of hammering through the rpm band as you row through the 6-speed manual transmission, of course after the dynamic rpm gauge has indicated proper operating temp by raising the redline to its designated position. Part of it asking for punishment starts with a light flywheel and ends with proper deceleration giving you optimal feedback and a resilient connection to the road, as expected from an Ultimate Driving Machine.
The all-new 2013 BMW M3 Lime Rock Park Edition is an exclusive one-off variation of the M3 for this year with only 200 fine examples produced. Having one of the 200 examples in my driveway shining bright in its Fire Orange paint job, brings about a certain critique of how different the Lime Rock Park Edition is from any other M3 that can be had from your local BMW dealership. Of course I would be misleading you by saying the Lime Rock Park Edition is just like any other M3, though you could easily argue the case being that its exclusivity remains limited to the flat-bottom alcantara steering wheel with a 12 o’clock blue stripe and the combination of the easily attainable Competition package, Fire Orange Paint, carbon fiber front air dam splitters and carbon fiber rear spoiler. Conveniently, the Fire Orange paint can be had on any M3 through special order, but you would miss out on having the Lime Rock Park Limited Edition M3 Coupe sticker in the rear driver’s window signifying its originality and paying homage to the Lime Rock Park Track located in Lime Rock, Connecticut – home to the beginnings of Skip Barber.
The proper nomenclature of the new 2013 BMW M3 Lime Rock Park Edition lies within every other new BMW M3’s race track aptitude. Of course there are other exclusive variations of the M3 for model year 2013 that can be had in limited production numbers as the E92-generation and naturally aspirated engine run comes to an end later this year. As possibly one last hurrah for the current M3, BMW puts forth efforts to inject a taste of the exclusivity found in their prided European BMW M3 GTS. Of course the GTS, only attainable across the pond, sports additional power and an onslaught of added track-focused goodies that can only dream up here in the states. What we do get in the current run of the M3 is the high-revving 4.0-liter V8 producing 414 horsepower at 8,300 rpm and 295 ft-lbs. of torque at 3,900 rpm. Of course pitted against other naturally aspirated V8 engines you would be right in your guestimation that the M3’s engine is a torqueless wonder but it makes up for it plenty with a smooth power delivery and high redline at 8,400 rpm. Output is enough to get things moving from 0 to 60 mph in as quick as 4.2 seconds.
Most times any one-off special edition vehicle with a high performance attitude receives additional power. In the case of the exclusive-touted M3 Lime Rock Park Edition, BMW elects to keep the powertrain virtually the same but adds a titanium muffler to the mix for an intoxicating sound -possibly to signify you having one of the 200 examples of a “special” M3. As far as the M3 Lime Rock being special to someone, you would just base your common insight on any current M3’s performance capabilities and easy of transformation into a civilized and luxurious cruiser.
The heritage of the BMW M3, since the very first E30 M3 in 1985, signified BMW transforming a race car into a daily-commuter-worthy road car that you could take to the track on the weekends and then wear your suit and tie during the week. That common trait is still relevant in the current BMW M3 even though some have allowed its new plushness inside of the cabin to affect their initial perception. Thankfully after driving the 2013 BMW M3 those of us who appreciate and respect the perpetual benchmark for sports cars, can also find pleasure in the true abilities of the new BMW M3 underneath everything that makes this car pretty.
The 2013 BMW M3 Lime Rock Park Edition is a stunning vehicle not only because of its flamboyant exterior color, but due to the throaty-sounding exhaust and trumpet-playing intake manifold of the long winded V8 engine. A curb weight of 3,704 pounds for my M3 Lime Rock test vehicle equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission is hardly noticeable. The perfectly balanced 50/50 weighted chassis is a wonder allowing novice drivers to pilot the M3 through apexes with easy and confidence. At the press of the steering wheel ‘M’ button, the optional active dampers into put into their most aggressive setting while advancing the throttle input to give you a lively experience on and off of the track. Of course, with dynamic stability control disabled, you can dial-in as much oversteer as you want when the M3 begs for you to gracefully swing the rear-end out with the rpm gauge hanging anywhere in between 4,000 and 8,400 rpm. After spending a few minutes in the M3 power delivery becomes predictable and mostly addictive.
The Ultimate Driving Machine slogan is mostly prevalent when you strap behind the wheel of a new M3 and really push it in an attempt to find that high-strung limit. The sticky 19-inch 265/35 Michelin Pilot Sport tires in the rear and 245/35 up front, give the M3 a smooth yet assured ride where each instance of traction loss can be easily communicated so you are able to make proper adjustments in cases that the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) is fully disabled. As far as traction control and dynamic stability control manage goes, the M3’s standard M Dynamic Mode (MDM), accessible through the steering wheel ‘M’ button, provides a slight delay before stability control and traction control steps in to prevent wheel spin or lateral body movement. The system does great for spirited driving around town but can be a serious damper to your best efforts put forth on the track. The system somewhat saps momentum between hard gear shifts by reducing throttle electronically, potentially reducing speed for a moment. Surprisingly, the system works very efficiently and effectively keeping the M3 in line and you out of a bad insurance claim.
Comfort is the BMW M3’s alternate forte where the front passengers can really enjoy a relaxing and refined cabin, which made the M3 a unique offering for many years. Basically, it continues to provide a perfect balance between comfort and sport without too much compromise in either department. The inside of the 2013 BMW M3 Lime Rock Park Edition isn’t much of a dispensation from any other M3 with the exception of the sports steering wheel and Lime Rock Park Edition badging. Of course through customization the Lime Rock Park Edition M3 Coupe can get the 7-speed dual-clutch DSG transmission or have it like my test vehicle, the way purists like it, with the 6-speed manual transmission. The cabin, just like the driving character, can be a transformable entity where for a minute you are banging through the gears listening to the audible intake manifold runners sing you a song or the titanium muffler with M3 logos stamped on the tips growl a little bass in the mix. I assure you the M3 could be a desirable symphony for those who appreciate the sound and optimally tuned naturally aspirated V8 engine. The metallic clattering sounds during cold start-up and mid-range-throttle emit nicely into the cabin, just the way you want it. Though, traveling on the highway at a constant speed can transversely be an enjoyable experience as the engine delightfully purrs without much drone from the exhaust.
The front seats are a marvel in themselves whether you opt to have the cloth inserts and leather bolster areas (Anthracite & Black Cloth/Leather) or full extended leather blending subtly into the lower dashboard areas at an additional cost. In true BMW fashion, the M3 Lime Rock Park Edition can be configured with many optional amenities. Though, most of choosing a new M3 Lime Rock Park Edition will get you the upgraded Fire Orange paint and Competition Package including Dynamic Damper Control and 19-inch alloy wheels. Added on to my M3 Lime Rock Park Edition test vehicle was the Premium Package (power folding auto mirrors, comfort access keyless entry, power rear sunshade, power front seats, carbon leather interior trim, rear park distance control, navigation system, voice-command and real-time traffic information), heated front seats and BMW apps. Of course due to the fuel consumption of the high-revving V8 engine, getting an EPA estimated 16 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway, there is a gas guzzler tax of $1,300. During my drive of the new M3 Lime Rock Park Edition, I took notice to being able to outdo the highway EPA estimate of 20 mpg highway. I yielded about 23 mpg on my highway excursions on a 40 mile trip hovering between 65 and 70 mph. Although, during my “exciting” city driving I saw about 14 mpg as I admittedly drove like a lunatic but as I attempted to keep things civilized I returned a respectable 17 mpg in city traffic.
Standard start-stop technology is included with the new BMW M3, which is somewhat of a novelty when you consider how much gas you are burning as you rip to that high 8,400 rpm redline. Nevertheless, stopping the engine at the light, provided your foot is off of the clutch, may conserve a drop or two over several stops, just enough to for one gear change after money-shifting off of 8,400 rpm. Speaking of stopping, the large 4.2-inch front and 13.8-inch rear cross-drilled floating rotors and use of effective single-piston calipers bring the M3 to a stop from 70 mph to 0 in just 153 feet.
Probably the most difficult pill to swallow in the combined efforts of BMW to really give birth to something one-off from the rest of the M3 line, is the M3 Lime Rock Park Edition’s price starting at $70,100, which is $10,000 above the standard M3’s base price. With the added features on my test vehicle it brought the price to $77,395 including an $895 destination charge. Although some will have no qualms of adding a bit of extra water to get this price pill down, it still begs you to ask if deciding on the un-coated pill may have gone down just as easy and still have the same potency especially with no real performance advantage over the Lime Rock Park Edition exclusivity. Morpheus asks that you choose wisely.
Copyright: 2013 AutomotiveAddicts.com
- Price: Base M3 Coupe $60,100 / As-Tested M3 Coupe Lime Rock Park Edition $77,395
- Engine: 4.0-liter DOHC V8 414 horsepower @ 8300 rpm / 295 ft-lbs. torque @ 3900 rpm
- Wheelbase: 108.7in.
- Total length: 181.8in.
- Total width: 71.5in.
- Total height: 55.6in.
- Track: f/r-60.5/60.5in.
- Headroom: f/r-38.4/36.8in.
- Legroom: f/r-41.8/33.7in.
- Fuel tank: 16.6-gallons
- Turning circle: 38.4-ft.
- Curb weight: 3,704lbs.
- EPA mileage: 16 mpg/city, 20 mpg/highway
- 1/4 mile: 12.6 seconds @ 113 mph
- 0-60mph: 4.2 seconds
|2013 BMW M3 Convertible Review & Test Drive||
‘SUPER HIGH PERFORMANCE LUXURY CONVERTIBLE’
The fourth-generation BMW M3 hardtop convertible is one sweet ride. Racecar looks, a powerful V8 engine, seven-speed double-clutch automatic transmission, race-bred independent suspension, incredible stopping power, a luxurious and ergonomic interior with the ability to drive the car in all types of weather situations. With a bright sky it is time for the sun on your face and the wind racing through your hair.
Front to back, the design of the 2013 BMW M3 hardtop convertible shows its sporting character with structural rigidity at the lightest most efficient weight thanks to the use of the most modern components and computer-aided design. The front fascia is signature BMW with the double-kidney grille with chrome surround, and the flat headlight units with standard Xenon headlamps and halo daytime running lamps. Three large air intakes below the grill include two side intakes to keep the brakes as cool as possible during time at the racetrack putting the car through its paces. Since the structure and configuration is determined to primarily feed air into the engine compartment, the BWM M3, like all M-cars, forgoes foglamps. The hood features a power dome bump-flanked by an air intake on each side-in the middle of the hood which, though longer, thanks to its aluminum composition also is lighter.
The two flared front fenders feature side gills which incorporate the tri-color M logo. The power-remote/power-folding/heated/self-dimming sideview mirrors are aerodynamically designed with an open space between the mirror and the body, letting air freely pass through reducing air resistance. Further down the side-line the pronounced side-sills give the M3 a light and sporting look. Deep side extensions are sculpted to enhance stability a high speeds. A full perimeter chrome strip adds a bit of elegance to the side styling.
The new M3 looks muscular from behind and reflects the looks of the front end. A lip spoiler on the trunklid optimizes the car’s streamlining and reduces lift on the rear axle. In its contours, the split diffuser beneath the rear bumper takes up the shape of the air intakes at the front end as the air is guided and the dual exhaust tailpipes move towards the centerline of the car, visually contracting the rear end at the lower center point. The circular shape of the chrome four straight tailpipes is typical BMW M style. My stunning 2013 BMW M3 was painted Melbourne Red and turned eyes at me and the car wherever I traveled and parked the car.
Power to quickly move the M3 comes from the race-bred 4.0 liter V8 engine that generates 414hp at 8,300 rpm and 295 lb.ft. of torque at 3,900 rpm with 85% of the maximum torque available consistently through 6,500rpm. The potent small V8 engine features the company’s variable double-VANOS camshaft management. Offering extremely fast and responsive valve timing, the technology reduces charge cycle losses and improves the output, torque and response of the engine to my inputs while reducing emissions and increasing fuel economy. A separate throttle butterfly for each cylinder-eight-is a feature adapted from BMW’s M’s racing heritage and provides immediate reaction to the gas pedal at all times. Two steeper motors operate the four throttle butterflies on each row of cylinders, giving the engine a particularly sensitive response at low speeds together with an immediate reaction whenever I pressed down the throttle pedal for extra power and performance. A volume flow-controlled, pendulum-slide cell pump supplies the engine with lubricating oil, delivering the quantity required by the engine. Wet sump oil lubrication, optimized for dynamic performance, ensures consistent oil supply to the high-rpm engine at all times, particularly in extreme braking maneuvers. The system features two oil sumps-a small oil sump in front of the front axle subframe and a large oil sump behind it.
A new comprehensive electronic engine management system coordinates all engine functions with optimum efficiency and maximizes operating integration with the clutch, gearbox, steering and brakes. Also, the engine control unit performs a wide range of on-board diagnosis functions and masterminds the ancillary engine units. Increased performance with better fuel economy comes from the lightweight engine. At 445 pounds, it is 7% or 33 pounds lighter than the previous inline 6-cylinder engine. Lightweight components do not stop with the alloy engine block. The crankcase is made of special aluminum-silicone alloy eliminating the need for cylinder liners. Despite the need to resist high combustion pressures and engine speeds-this is the ‘fastest’ production engine ever produced by BMW as it can reach 8,400rpm-the engineers managed to keep the compact and rigid crankcase weight down to 44 pounds.
A close-ratio six-speed manual gearbox is standard but I was lucky to have the optional M double clutch seven-speed transmission with Drivelogic specially designed for the high-rpm engine which was a thrill to operate. The M double clutch transmission with Drivelogic (M DCT Drivelogic) shifts gears without the slightest interruption in the flow of power. You’ll feel the power seamlessly from first through seven gears. The process of shifting gears is basically the same as on BMW’s proven Sequential M Gearbox, meaning that even when shifting gear manually there is no need for a clutch pedal and I could keep the throttle on the floor during the shift process. The Drivelogic control offers 11 different shift programs to suit your every need. Drivelogic offers 5 programs that allow for automatic operation of the transmission as well as 6 manual programs. Manual operation can be performed via a new sports shift lever or via paddle shifter on the steering wheel. M DCT Drivelogic is amazing to use and is a $2,900.00 option but well worth it if you want the best that BMW M has to offer for thrilling driving. You can set the different programs via the iDrive controller located on the center console. BMW’s new automatic Start/Stop system is fitted as standard equipment. This system saves fuel in heavy stop-and-go traffic situations. When the car is stopped for 3 seconds, the engine is instantly stopped. All accessories continue operating. When I lifted my foot off of the brake pedal or moved the steering wheel the engine restarts instantly. The system can be shut off by pushing a console mounted push button.
Getting all of the power to high-performance handling capability on the road or track is the M3’s fantastic aluminum chassis developed specifically for the M3. First off is the great 47.2/52.8% front/rear weight distribution to give the car a very neutral feel. Almost all of the front-end components are aluminum, including the front struts, swivel bearings, central subframe and an additional thrust panel below the engine serving to maximize lateral stiffness of the entire front end. You’ll also find an aluminum two-piece strut tower brace at the back end of the engine further increasing rigidity when turning sharply. From the rear subframe through the transverse arms and track arms to the wheel mounts reconfigured in their kinematics and stiffness, to the mounting points for the longitudinal arms and the aluminum shock absorbers, virtually every detail on the five-arm rear suspension is made of aluminum and is new for the M3. These weight-reduction measures help reduce weight by approximately 5.5 pounds when compared to the previous M3. Both front and rear axles feature hollow anti-roll bars optimized for their function and weight. Incorporating two additional longitudinal reinforcement bars, axle kinematics are perfectly tailored to the overall character of the car. The result, in terms of both stability and weight, conforms to the balanced performance concept of the M3 convertible.
With BMW’s Servotronic power-assisted rack & pinion steering you feel like you are piloting a super-high-performing touring racecar. It just goes where you point it to go with little effort and pinpoint accuracy. The rear-wheel drive keeps the rack & pinion steering free of drive forces. The hydraulic Servotronic power assist controls steering forces as a function of road speed. When M-Drive is ordered, there is also a choice of two different control maps activated through the M-Drive programming menu. In Sport mode the M3 provides direct and immediate response with a relatively high steering effort. In the Normal mode, power assistance is comfort-oriented are requires less steering effort. I never felt more confident when driving through curving roads at high speeds.
Helping me to feel that confident is the latest generation of Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) which monitors driving conditions and intervenes through the application of brakes and reduced engine power to stabilize the car and help avoid major over-or-under-steer situations. In addition to engine controls and the ABS, other systems integrated in the DSC are All Sean Traction (AST), 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 curve. The latest version of DSC includes additional functions for even greater driving safety. Whenever you are 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 Brake Drying feature removes water film from the discs in wet conditions, this reducing the chance of water interfering with the initial braking process. Furthermore, the optional M-Drive personalizes the driving characteristics of the new M3. The steering wheel mounted Power button changes the throttle response from either comfort to direct/sporting, the DSC button may be switched off and will return when you re-start the engine. The EDC button (optional) is adjustable offering Sport/Normal and Comfort modes. The M-Drive button made its first appearance on the M5 and includes the M Dynamic mode function for the DSC system that allows for some wheel slip for very active driving while still maintaining much of the benefit of DSC and the selection of two different control maps (Sport/Normal) for the Servotronic steering activated through the M-Drive programming menu. In Sport mode the M3 provides direct and immediate response with a relatively high steering effort.
With all of this ‘go-fast’ with control parameters, strong and sure footed brakes are of paramount importance and BMW doesn’t disappoint. The internally-vented, cross-drilled cast iron discs measure 14.2 inches up front clamped with six-piston calipers and 13.8 inches in the rear clamped with dual-piston calipers. The feel during regular or hard braking is very linear knowing how much pressure to apply to safely stop.
The new BMW M3 rides on M-style light-alloy spoked wheels. Standard are 18 inch wheels but my M3 came with the optional 19X8.5 inch front and 19X9.5 inch rear wheels. These beautiful wheels were wrapped with Michelin 245/35ZR19 front and 265/35ZR19 inch Pilot Sport high-performance, low profile tires for fantastic grip and a smooth quiet ride.
The interior mirrors the high power and performance under the skin with a very racecar oriented yet very comfortable and luxurious interior. Surrounded in the finest leathers and powerful contours and flowing lines highlighted in particular with concave and convex surfaces. The horizontal lines dominating the area around the dashboard as well as the harmonious surfaces on the side linings give the interior a more dynamic look. Adding luxury to the interior is the dark wood found on the dashboard and doors. The cockpit control area tapers out between the front bucket seats with lumbar/side bolster, height and reach adjustments, into a newly designed center console which discreetly ‘swings’ towards you. The controls, buttons, dials are all ergonomically placed for easy reach and use. The unique nature of the M3 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. The M3’s leather-wrapped/tilt/telescopic steering wheel feels perfect in your hands. The spokes within the wheel incorporate the remote control buttons for the audio system, and mobile phone, as well as the optional M-Drive button. A premium AM-FM-CD player 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. The Navigation system’s 8.8 inch color screen is clearly seen with a hood to keep the sun’s glare to a minimum. The 4th generation IDrive system is found on the center console and is more simple and intuitive to use. I liked how well it anticipated my next moves and needs.
Standard equipment not mentioned above includes express up/down windows, one touch hardtop convertible control button on the center console, rain-sensing wipers, cruise control, dual map lights, dual storage pockets in each door, deep glove box, dual lighted vanity mirrors, and floor mats front and rear.
Standard safety systems include the rigid body structure, front/rear crush zones, steel beams in each door, four-3-point safety belts with front pretensioners/load limiters, driver/front passenger airbags in front and at the sides, side curtain airbags for the front and rear, and a rollover sensor with quickly activated roll bars that rise behind the headrests.
The new 2013 BMW M3 hardtop convertible is awesome in every respect for a compact two door super coupe. It has the racy looks, the high-performance attributes needed to back it up plus the most comfortable, modern and safe cabins in the segment. Take a test drive and hold on tight!
COPYRIGHT: 2013: HARVEY SCHWARTZ
- Price: Base M3 Convertible $68,750 / As-Tested $71,345.00 plus available options
- Engine: 4.0-liter DOHC V8 414hp @ 8,300 rpm / 295 lb.ft. of torque @ 3,900 rpm
- Wheelbase: 108.7 inches
- Total length: 181.8 inches
- Total width: 71 inches
- Total height: 54.8 inches
- Turning circle: 38.4 ft.
- Track: f/r-60.6/60.6 inches
- Ground clearance: 4.48 inches
- Legroom: f/r-42/32 inches
- Headroom: f/r-38/36.5 inches
- Trunk volume: 9 cu.ft.
- Fuel tank: 16.6 gallons
- Curb weight: 4,145 pounds
- Drag coefficient: 0.32
- Final drive ratio: 3.15
- 0-60mph: 4.9 seconds
- EPA fuel economy: 14 mpg/city, 20 mpg/highway
|Matt Farah Pilots Turner Motorsport’s BMW M3 Race Car & 535HP Frozen Gray M3: Video||
Sometimes horsepower isn’t everything, which Turner Motorsports is known for demonstrating in many vehicles that they build for the racetrack and for customers. Matt Farah, once again gets to pilot some rare nicely modified vehicles – this time its Turner Motorsport’s 535 horsepower Frozen Gray BMW M3 (Will Turner’s personal car) and the 2011 Continental Tire Series Championship-winning E92 M3 Race Car driven by Bill Auberlin and Paul Dalla Lana.
The BMW M3 is already a well-balanced contender among big-power sports cars and even exotics. Turner Motorsports is known for many years of race-proven experience to take the E92 M3 to new levels extracting additional performance with carefully selected modifications, including the recently released KW DDC (Dynamic Damper Control) Coilovers. Check out the exclusive DRIVE network TUNED video with Matt Farah behind the wheel of both Turner Motorsports BMW M3s.
|2012 BMW M3 Review & Test Drive||
“Still the benchmark driving machine”
The BMW M3 remains to be the quintessential benchmark for sports and GT cars. At its largest size, the 2012 BMW M3 stays aboard the perfectly balanced scale offering enthusiasts with complete practicality while possessing the potential to take home both the fun-factor and track trophy.
The 2012 BMW M3 will be the last generation of naturally aspirated BMW Motorsport vehicles. With the upcoming BMW M3 going the way of forced induction, the current BMW M3 has a special disposition from its high-revving 4.0-liter V8. Although the 2012 BMW M3 is somewhat short on torque, only 295 ft-lbs., it makes up for the slight shortcoming with its extremely long legs reaching a lofty 8,300 rpm to produce 414 horsepower.
Ever since the introduction of the E92 body style BMW M3 (including E90 sedan) in 2008, just about every enthusiast eagerly anticipated the performance numbers on paper mainly because the M3 has been a benchmark for more than two decades. There are not many vehicles that can perfectly handle the task of every-day practicality, comfortable commuting, and the most demanding tracks with such style as the BMW M3. This year, in its last naturally aspirated run, the 2012 BMW M3 continues a tradition offering an incredibly balanced no-compromise vehicle that is among the best in the business at communicating the road to the driver.
For 2012, the BMW M3 loses the E90 sedan but gains the standard features of a USB/iPod interface, Bluetooth, BMW Assist (BMW’s cellular-based ‘SOS’ roadside assistance) and an anti-theft alarm. It is hard to believe that the BMW M3 was never equipped with a standard alarm system and it has taken over 20 years to make such an option standard. Aside from the trivial options that really do not matter to die-hard enthusiasts, the 2012 BMW M3 remains virtually the same from the 2008 model year with the exception of a slight front fascia refresh in 2011.
There are very few vehicles that are as well rounded as the BMW M3. As you may already know from numerous reviews and track competitions pitted against the BMW M3, it is not the fastest car around nor is it the most sought-after sports car. For BMW, as I have come to learn in owning a BMW M3 myself, the M3 is a true drivers car. Basically, the M3 is perfectly suited for enthusiasts who appreciate attention to driving dynamics, balance, and every-day practicality wrapped up in an extremely stylish package. Not to mention, the BMW M3 is one of the best handling cars on the road today.
0-60 mph times for the current BMW M3 come in from various sources as fast as 4.2 seconds. I can honestly contest to the M3’s handling abilities with the optional dynamic damper control in the most aggressive mode bringing home a 1.00g on the skidpad. Even the brakes are stunning, to put it lightly. When pounded, the brakes are almost like landing an F/A-18 Hornet on an aircraft carrier. You can expect the single-piston calipers biting down on large 14.2-inch front and 13.8-inch rear cross-drilled floating rotors to bring all 3,704 pounds from 70 mph to 0 mph in only 153 feet.
In true BMW fashion, the interior of the 2012 BMW M3 is much softer then previous generations but not overly plush taking away from the vehicles over-all demeanor. The seats on my M3 competition package test vehicle were exceptionally supportive and well enough bolstered for hard-core track days. The cloth inserts with leather bolstering is the ideal choice (standard equipment) if you do not care too much for full-leather seating surfaces. Even in manual seating control configuration, the M3 seats have plenty of adjustments and can be well suited for small to large sized adults.
Given the standard carbon fiber roof, adding extra stability and shaving weight, the interior headroom is plentiful for tall adults. Rear seating is a bit cramped, as expected. Although, if you choose to do so, the two rear seats can be useful provided the front seat occupants do not utilize all of the available 41.8 inches of legroom.
The driver and front passenger will be delighted with soft-touch dashboard materials everywhere with the exception of the deeply brushed aluminum trim. The thick padded and leather wrapped steering wheel, with the traditional red, blue and purple ///M color stitching, fits like a glove, literally.
In traditional German A la cart feature option selections, my 2012 BMW M3 test vehicle was short on gadgetry options such as the latest edition of iDrive with a high-resolution LCD wide-screen and integrated GPS navigation system. Additionally, my BMW M3 lacked optional park distance control and the premium audio system. However, having the competition package, my M3 was equipped with 19-inch light-weight Y-spoke alloy wheels and Dynamic Damper Control, which allows 3 different damper settings; comfort, normal and sport.
One particular option on my test vehicle giving the M3 a different character altogether, is the M Double-Clutch transmission, or DCT. The 7-speed dual-clutch transmission is quite snappy with its shifting when put in the most aggressive setting. Shifts are completed within milliseconds and downshifts are precisely rev-matched with an intoxicating audible exhaust and intake throttle blip sound. One thing to make a note of, the sounds from the M3’s V8 during cold startup, downshift and full throttle all the way to 8,300 rpm will bring a big smile to your face no matter how your day is going. All M3’s receive a limited-slip differential, 18-inch wheels, auto xenon headlights, auto wipers, leather-cloth upholstery, Bluetooth, BMW assist telematics, single-CD HD radio and USB/iPod/Aux connectivity.
To get down and dirty without entering the nearest ditch, depressing the M button on the steering wheel will setup the vehicle in full-sports mode for the dampers, throttle input and dual-clutch transmission within the limits of a M-dynamic traction control and stability control setting. The dynamic setting allows for a slight delay of when the stability control will intervene. Completely shutting off stability and traction control, at the press of a single button for 3 seconds, will allow you to find out how well balanced the M3 is followed by trails of smoke from the rear wheels. Saying that the M3 is balanced is almost an understatement. Having had the time to visit a closed course, I was able to experience forehand how well the 2012 BMW M3 is dialed in for being a true driving machine. The steering rack is perfectly weighted and the chassis’ near 50/50 weight distribution permits easy drifts and follow-through on extreme oversteer excursions. When compared to the standard 6-speed manual gearbox, the DCT transmission helps the driver focus on demanding tracking situations- something trendy for less experienced drivers.
The BMW M3’s highway attitude is not too aggressive for comfy daily commutes, especially when the dynamic dampers are in comfort mode. Fuel consumption is a bit on the bad side with the new M3 getting only 14 mpg city and 20 mpg highway. However, I did notice considerably better fuel consumption on the highway averaging about 23 mpg when I limited banging through the 7-speed transmission’s lower gears. The high-revving V8 still provides enough grunt in 7th gear to over-take cars on the highway with great ease. A start-stop feature, added as standard equipment during the 2011 model facelift refresh, is a nice addition for automatically switching off the engine when the vehicle comes to a halt to save fuel. Simply letting off of the brake pedal quickly re-starts the engine. I found the feature to work virtually seamlessly while keeping the a/c fan and all accessory power running.
Seeing how the BMW M3 has evolved over the years becoming a ‘better’ vehicle in everything that it is designed to do, gives me pleasure in knowing the M3 is still a benchmark that others are still attempting to outdo. Modest pricing remains to be more of an opinion when it comes to the new M3 mainly due to the fact that it competes with cars almost twice its price. My 2012 BMW M3 competition package w/ DCT has an as-tested price of $69,595, which included a $1,300 gas guzzler tax. As a comparison with the M3’s direct competition, the new Benz C63 AMG Coupe has a starting price of $61,430, while a base M3 can be had for $60,100. At whatever price, the new BMW M3 is the best handling production M car to come out of BMW thus far.
Copyright: 2012 AutomotiveAddicts.com
- Price: Base M3 Coupe $60,100 / As-Tested M3 Coupe Competition Package $69,595
- Engine: 4.0-liter DOHC V8 414 horsepower @ 8300 rpm / 295 ft-lbs. torque @ 3900 rpm
- Wheelbase: 108.7in.
- Total length: 181.8in.
- Total width: 71.5in.
- Total height: 55.6in.
- Track: f/r-60.5/60.5in.
- Headroom: f/r-38.4/36.8in.
- Legroom: f/r-41.8/33.7in.
- Fuel tank: 16.6-gallons
- Turning circle: 38.4-ft.
- Curb weight: 3,704lbs.
- EPA mileage: 16 mpg/city, 20 mpg/highway (DCT 7-speed transmission)
- 1/4 mile: 12.6 seconds @ 113 mph
- 0-60mph: 4.2 seconds
|G-Power Tunes BMW M3 GTS to 720 Horsepower||
The BMW M3 GTS is one of the most touted track-oriented street M3’s to date. With a 4.4-liter V8 producing 450 horsepower, rear roll-cage, lightweight carbon fiber components, it would be safe to say that the M3 GTS is the Porsche GT3 RS equivalent of a new M3. Of course the infamous German tuner G-Power could not leave things in their so-called stock form. They had to pimp it out with one of their blowers. Doing so would give the M3 GTS, already a beast, a total of up to 720 horsepower.
G-Power’s specialized supercharger kit, producing 720 horsepower, exceeded their original expectations that had their eyes set on only 600 horsepower. The modification included an engine rebuild replacing stock pistons with low-compression forged pistons. Now the M3 GTS is able to run 0-60mph in under 4 seconds. If you are at all unfamiliar with the M3 GTS, then check out these M3 GTS Triplets in stock form prepping to attack the Nurburgring in the video below.
|BMW M3 25th Anniversary Tiger Edition for China Launch Video||
It’s time to unleash the Tiger all in its fiery orange paint. To celebrate the Year of the Tiger BMW released a special “Tiger Edition” E92 BMW M3. The BMW M3 Tiger Edition uses the same paint scheme as the BMW M3 GTS but unfortunately it does not offer anything special in terms of performance upgrades.
The BMW M3 25th Anniversary Tiger Edition adds to the collection of “special edition” M3’s this year after a much criticized BMW M3 Frozen Gray Coupe for the US. There will be only 250 examples of this special “Tiger Edition” M3 in China complete with Fire Orange Metallic paint, black exterior accents, black Novilla leather with orange tiger heads embroidered into the headrests and black 19-inch wheels.
|Magazine Videos: Cadillac CTS-V Coupe vs. Audi RS5 vs. BMW M3||
In the ultimate battle of the coupes, which one will prevail to be listed as MotorTrend’s pick out of the new 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe vs. the Audi RS5 vs. the benchmark setting BMW M3. Then Car and Driver has posted a preview video that may lead up to a new comparison of their own in the magazine publication. This is much more than just a drag race as we know who may win that one. This is a competition to see which car has enough over-all potency in this segment.
Check out the videos below and then choose if you agree with the iconic magazines in this match-up.
|In My Opinion: 2011 BMW Frozen Gray M3 Coupe||
- Only 30 limited-edition Frozen Gray M3 coupes will be made for the U.S. market.
- They will get a special paint scheme, M3 Competition package as well as other distinct features.
- Delivery of the first batch will begin in June, and priced around $79,000.
- The purchase price will also have track time at the BMW Performance Driving School.
BMW is building a limited run of 30 2011 Frozen Gray M3 coupes for the U.S. market, priced at $78,900. The sticker includes shipping and a $1,300 gas-guzzler tax.
BMW’s limited-edition model marks the 25th anniversary of the M3. The M3 began production in Germany in 1986 and didn’t reach our shores until 1988. The latest model was launched in 2008.
The BMW engineered matte paint on the Frozen Gray M3 gives it a special metallic luster. This is supposed to give the M3 a sculpted character the Frozen Gray effect is supposed to highlight the contours and give it a more athletic appearance compared to normal exterior colors with gloss finish. To me the color looks dead and makes the car look boring. To make this luster, a special BMW Color System (silk matte clear coat) is applied over the Space Gray Metallic base coat. I will repaint mine primer black to get that really good athletic look.
BMW said it will begin taking customer orders by phone (800-245-4269) at 11:30 a.m. Eastern time on Monday, June 21. The first cars will be delivered in late June, and the production run will end in late July.
In addition to the special paint scheme and custom interior upholstery, the Frozen Gray M3 Coupe is fitted with the M3 Competition package, which includes wider-offset 19-inch alloy wheels, a lowered suspension and sport mapping for the electronic damping control and electronic stability control. The car also gets the Premium and Technology packages as standard.
The BMW’s 414-horsepower 4.0-liter M V8 is matched with the M double-clutch transmission (M DCT), which is supposed to give you 0-60-mph acceleration at 4.5 seconds that is 0.2 seconds lower from the standard six-speed manual gearbox.
The full price includes one day at the BMW Performance Driving School in Spartanburg, South Carolina. I will ask if I can deduct that or use it for a car that is worth track time.
As you may tell from some of my comments I am not too happy with this so called limited addition M3. I know people with nothing better to do with 19 Gs but I do. There is nothing too special about this so called special addition M3 and I really expected more from BMW. You can probably get the same thing by paying the extra $2,500 for the competition package and get the same affect but if you want a trinket to put in your garage and see if it increases in value be my guest.
Nearing the 25th anniversary of the original BMW M3, BMW of North America today announced a production run of thirty identically-equipped 2011 Frozen Gray M3 Coupes for the United States. The 2011 Frozen Gray M3 Coupe features a special matte-gray paint with a deep metallic luster to further accentuate the athletic lines of the legendary M3.
Unique Fox Red / Black bi-color Novillo leather interior is also specified. This is the first and only opportunity to obtain Frozen Gray Metallic exterior paint on the M3 for the 2011 model year in the United States.
BMW M enthusiasts will be able to reserve a 2011 Frozen Gray M3 Coupe by dialing 1-800-245-4269 no earlier than 11:30AM Eastern Time (8:30AM Pacific) on Monday, June 21, 2010. The first 2011 Frozen Gray M3 Coupes will become available for delivery in late June 2010 through Authorized BMW Centers, and the production run will be completed by the end of July 2010.
A complete equipment list is provided at the end of this press release. MSRP will be $77,600 Including $875 Destination & Handling and excluding $1,300 federal gas guzzler tax.
Each 2011 Frozen Gray M3 Coupe will be powered by the now famous 4.0-liter, 414-horsepower M V8 and equipped with BMW’s M Double Clutch Transmission (M DCT). Also specified is the new M3 Competition Package, which adds an exclusive set of 19-inch wheels and other upgrades. Additionally, each purchase of the 2011 Frozen Gray M3 Coupe will include a one-day enrollment at the BMW Performance Driving School in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
The 2011 Frozen Gray M3 Coupe continues the tradition of innovation and passion for driving by incorporating key changes to the M3’s dynamic qualities. The equipped Competition Package reduces vehicle ride height by 10mm and includes unique 19″ wheels with wider offset for enhanced stability, standard Electronic Damping Control with enhanced programming, and higher-threshold programming for the M Dynamic Mode. The 2011 Frozen Gray M3 Coupe is also equipped with the M Double Clutch Transmission (M DCT) which lowers the 0-60mph acceleration time of the M3 to 4.5 seconds from 4.7 (6-speed manual).
Introducing Frozen Gray Metallic Paint.
The special BMW Individual matte paintwork on the Frozen Gray M3 adds a rare metallic luster to the vehicle. Compared to conventional exterior colors with gloss finish, the sculpture-like character of Frozen Gray paint highlights the athletic contours of the M3. To achieve this luster, a special BMW ColorSystem silk matte clear coat is applied over the Space Gray Metallic base coat.
25 Years and Four Generations of BMW M3.
Racing provided the reason for the original M3’s 1986 creation. BMW produced the M3 as a road-going homologation version of its 3 Series to gain eligibility to compete in the German Touring Car Championship. Popularity and strong consumer demand substantiated the case to continue developing the M3, making it both a better performer and more inviting road car as it evolved along with the underlying 3 Series, the company’s most popular vehicle. In 1988, North Americans met the BMW M3 for the first time, and its high-revving 2.3-liter inline-4 with 192-hp became a legend on this side of the Atlantic.
The next generation M3 arrived in the 1995 model year with a 3.0-liter (and later, 3.2-liter) 240-hp inline-6 powerplant. That car began the next chapter of M3 Racing history which lasted a decade on both sides of the Atlantic. In 1997 the first M3 Sedan joined the family and the M3 Convertible followed shortly thereafter.
The third-generation M3, available from 2001-2006 as a coupe and convertible, again was offered with six-cylinder power, this time providing a remarkable 333 hp from 3.2 liters. From the 2002 model year, this M3 marked BMW’s first offering of the Sequential Manual Gearbox (SMG) for the United States.
The fourth and current generation M3 was introduced for the 2008 model year as a Coupe, Sedan, and Convertible, featuring an all-new 4.0-liter, 414-horsepower V8 engine with eight individual throttle bodies and an 8,400-rpm redline. Showcasing its remarkable performance envelope, the newest M3 Coupe serves as the basis for the M3 GT2 race car, which successfully competes in endurance races against the most exotic cars from around the world in the American Le Mans Series.
Equipment List: 2011 BMW Frozen Gray M3 Coupe
BMW Individual Frozen Gray Metallic exterior paint.
BMW Individual bi-color (Fox Red with Black) Novillo Leather interior.
M DCT Transmission
Electronic Damping Control, 19″ light-alloy wheels, lowered suspension, sport mapping for EDC and DSC.
Premium Package – Power folding mirrors, universal garage door opener, digital compass mirror, BMW Assist with Bluetooth, Novillo Leather, Carbon Leather trim.
Technology Package – M Drive system, Comfort Access system, Navigation system, Voice Command system, Real Time Traffic Information system.
Heated Front Seats
Rear Park Distance Control
Enhanced Premium Sound System
Satellite Radio with 1-year subscription
iPod and USB Adaptor