Among so many innovations introduced in its three decades, the BMW M3 has long been most strongly identified by its engine. The 2017 BMW M3 is powered by an inline six-cylinder 3.0 L BMW M TwinPower Turbo engine, exclusive to M models. The engine produces 425 horsepower from 5,500 – 7,300 rpm and a remarkably flat 406 lb-ft of torque from 1,850 – 5,500 rpm, which is a 40 percent improvement over the previous M3. Upgrades in power result in 0 to 60 mph times of 4.1 seconds with the standard six-speed manual transmission and a muscle-car like 3.9 seconds with the optional seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission. Despite its exceptional performance, the BMW M TwinPower Turbo engine also achieves a reduction in fuel consumption and emissions of nearly 25 percent.
This increase in performance is due largely to significant upgrades internally that created the 3.0 L BMW M TwinPower Turbo engine, not simply adding a second turbocharger. First, it features an entirely different engine block than other six-cylinder BMW models. Instead of the easier to cast and machine open-deck block design, BMW M cast the engine block in the more rigid closed-deck configuration. At that time engineers took the opportunity to revise the bore-stroke ratio to provide for better high rpm performance. A stronger, lighter weight forged crankshaft is utilized as well as pistons that feature a low-friction coating. A water-to-air heat exchanger reduces the temperature of the intake charge after compression by two mon-scroll turbochargers – one for each three cylinders.
To ensure optimal operating temperatures regardless of whether the driver is commuting across the Bay Bridge or lapping Sonoma Raceway the M engineers developed a highly efficient cooling system for the BMW M3, comprised by a main radiator supplemented by additional radiators that are engaged as required. Oil, too, is well controlled utilizing a magnesium sump with a sophisticated oil return system that assures sufficient pressure event during hard cornering at track day events.
The Active M Differential is a multi-plate limited-slip differential electronically controlled in conjunction with the Dynamic Stability Control system and which evaluates the position of the accelerator pedal, the rotational speed of the wheels and the car’s yaw rate to determine how much power to apply to each rear wheel.
On the exterior there are a number of significant changes versus the standard BMW 3-Series. These include the increased use of lightweight materials such as carbon fiber and aluminum for a number of chassis and body components, including a carbon fiber roof. Aerodynamics played a clear roll in development with its front apron, smooth underbody and clearly defined Gurney spoiler at the rear of the M3 the combination of which balance aerodynamic forces by an equal degree at the front and rear of the car so as to help produce optimum handling traits.
During the course of the development of the BMW M3 thousands of laps of the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife were covered. And testing wasn’t limited to BMW M engineers and test drivers. BMW factory DTM drivers Bruno Spengler and former Formula 1 driver Timo Glock took part in the extensive testing and set-up work carried out at the 14.173 mile Nordschleife circuit.
But a BMW M3 shouldn’t be read about, it should be driven. Please take this opportunity to contact BMW of San Francisco to set an appointment for a test drive of the ausgezeichnet 2017 BMW M3.