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BMW M3
E92 BMW M3 coupé
Class Sports car
Compact executive car
Sport Compact
Layout FR layout

The BMW M3 is a high-performance version of the BMW 3 Series compact car, developed by BMW's branch BMW M. M3 models have been derived from the E30, E36, E46 and E90/E92/E93 3-series, and sold with coupé, sedan and convertible body styles. Common upgrades over the "standard" 3-Series automobiles include more powerful and responsive (yet at times smaller) engines, improved handling/suspension, more aggressive aerodynamics/body, and multiple interior/exterior accents with the tri-color "M" (Motorsport) emblem.

Contents

E30 M3

E30
BMW E30 M3
Production 1986–1992
Assembly Regensburg, Germany
Garching, Germany
Body style(s) 2-door coupe
2-door convertible
Platform BMW E30
Engine(s) 2.3 L I4
Transmission(s) 5-speed manual
Wheelbase 101.1 in (2568 mm)
Length 171.1 in (4346 mm)
Width 66.1 in (1679 mm)
Height 53.9 in (1369 mm)
Related BMW 3 Series

Based on the 1986 model year E30 3-Series, the first M3 was introduced with a 2.3 L I4 S14B23 engine (or S14 in shorthand). The engine design was based on various BMW genealogy; basic block layout from the M10 4 cylinder (found in the 2002 and 320 series) overbored and reinforced to similar specifications of the BMW M88 inline-6. The valve train and head architecture from BMWs M1 and later M6 inline-6 cylinder was adopted for aggressive breathing, resulting in outstanding performance for the day.

The most notable characteristic of the E30 M3 (relative to later M3 iterations) is its racing pedigree. It was campaigned by BMW as well as other racing teams including Prodrive and AC Schnitzer competing in many forms of racing including Rally, German, British, Italian, Belgian, French and Australian touring car.

One of the main reasons for production of the road car was to homologate the M3 for Group A Touring Car racing. One of the reasons often cited for its creation was that it was to compete with the "2.3-16V"-model of the Mercedes-Benz W201 190E which was introduced in 1983, although this was only speculative. When the E30 M3 was in its final years of top level competition, the 2.5 liter S14 engine in full race trim was capable of over 340 hp (250 kW) naturally aspirated.

The E30 M3 road car

The third car road-going version produced 195 bhp (145 kW; 198 PS) (catalyzed model). Evolution models (not sold in North America) continued with 2.3 liters but adopted revised exhaust-cam timing, increased compression along with the lack of a catalyst producing approximately 215 hp (160 kW). Later the Sport Evolution model production run of 600 (sometimes referred as Evolution III) increased engine displacement to 2.5 L and produced 238 hp (175 kW). 786 cabriolets were also produced, all by hand in BMW's Garching plant; at the time the 215 hp (160 kW) example was the world's fastest four-seat convertible.

Changes from the standard 3-series

The E30 M3 differed from the rest of the E30 line-up in many ways. The M3 was equipped with a revised stiffer and more aerodynamic body shell as well as "box flared" wheel-arches to accommodate a wider track with wider and taller wheels and tires. The only body panels the standard model 3-series and the M3 shared were the hood and sunroof. It also had three times the caster angle of any other E30. The M3 shared larger wheel bearings and front brake calipers with the E28 5-Series. It also had a Getrag 265/5 5 speed gearbox, and rear differential with different final-drive ratio and 25% lockup.

Wrap up

To keep the car competitive in racing following homologation rules changes year to year, homologation specials were produced. Homologation rules roughly stated that the race version must reflect the street car aerodynamically and in engine displacement; therefore, improved models were periodically released for the public. Special editions and homologation specials include: the Evo 1, Evo 2 and Sport Evolution some of which featured less weight, improved aerodynamics, taller front fender arches (Sport Evolution; to further facilitate 18-inch (460 mm) wheels in DTM), brake ducting, and more power. Other limited-production models (based on evolution models but featuring special paintwork and/or unique interior schemes commemorating championship wins) include the Europa, Ravaglia, Cecotto, and Europameister.

Production of the original E30 M3 ended in early 1992.

Having won more road races than any other model in history, the E30 M3 is considered by many to be the world's most successful road-race car. M3s entered by BMW and privateer racing outfits did dominate the competition for the years it was in production. Its wins include the Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft, British Touring Car Championship European Touring Car Championship, Australian Touring Car Championship and even the one-off World Touring Car Championship title in 1987. The E30 M3 is also a multiple winner of Guia Race, 24 Hours Nürburgring and Spa 24 Hours.

Notable publication accolades

In 2004, Sports Car International named the E30 M3 car number six on the list of Top Sports Cars of the 1980s.

In 2007 "Evo" Magazine rated the E30 M3 Sport Evolution top of all the M series BMWs at time of print

In 2007 "Automobile Magazine included the E30 M3 in their "5 greatest drivers cars of all time" under the 25 Greatest Cars of All Time.

E30 performance

[1]

  • (2.3 L-16v I4) - 195 PS (143 kW; 192 hp) − 0-62 mph: 6.9 s. Top Speed: 146 mph (235 km/h)
  • (2.3 L-16v I4) - 215 PS (158 kW; 212 hp) − 0-62 mph: 6.7 s. Top Speed: 149 mph (240 km/h)
  • (2.5 L-16v I4) - 238 PS (175 kW; 235 hp) − 0-60 mph: 6.1 s. Top Speed: 154 mph (248 km/h)

Production figures

Model Power (kW) Coupe and Sedan Convertible
Euro model 143.5 kW (195 PS; 192 hp) / 147 kW (200 PS; 197 hp) 8,661
US model 143.5 kW (195 PS; 192 hp) 4,996
Evo 1 147 kW (200 PS; 197 hp) 505
Europa late model 158 kW (215 PS; 212 hp) 1,519
Evo 2 162 kW (220 PS; 217 hp) 500
Convertible 143.5 kW (195 PS; 192 hp) / 158 kW (215 PS; 212 hp) 786
Sport Evolution 175 kW (238 PS; 235 hp) 600
Sport Evolution Convertible 175 kW (238 PS; 235 hp) 1
Europameister
(all signed by Roberto Ravaglia)
143.5 kW (195 PS; 192 hp) 148
Cecotto
  • 25 as special edition Ravaglia
  • 50 as Cecotto Switzerland (throttled to 155 kW)
158 kW (215 PS; 212 hp) 505
Total ~18,000

Significant victories in auto racing

BMW M3 Group A, DTM, 1987
Championships
Races

E36 M3

E36
1996 BMW M3 coupe, North American version
Production 1992–1999
71,242 built[2]
Assembly Regensburg, Germany
Body style(s) 4-door sedan
2-door coupe
2-door convertible
Platform BMW E36
Engine(s) 3.0 L I6
3.2 L I6 (1996)
Transmission(s) 5-speed automatic
5-speed manual
6-speed manual
Wheelbase 106.3 in (2700 mm)
Convertible: 106.7 in (2710 mm)
Length 174.5 in (4432 mm)
Lightweight: 178.0 in (4521 mm)
Width 67.3 in (1709 mm)
Sedan: 66.9 in (1699 mm)
Height 52.6 in (1336 mm)
Sedan: 53.7 in (1364 mm)
Curb weight 1,460 kg (3,219 lb)
Convertible: 1,560 kg (3,439 lb)
Related BMW 3 Series

The E36 M3 debuted in February, 1992 and hit the dealers' showrooms in November that year; it was the first M3 powered by a six-cylinder engine, displacing 2990 cc and developing 286 PS (210 kW; 282 hp). Initially available as a coupé only, BMW introduced M3 convertible/cabriolet and saloon/sedan versions in 1994, the absence of any M5 models in the BMW line-up between the end of e34 M5 production in 1995 and the launch of the e39 M5 in 1998 prompting the introduction of the four door Motorsport model.

Also in 1994, BMW produced the limited-edition M3 GT as a racing homologation special; all GTs were British Racing Green and featured an upgraded 295 PS (217 kW; 291 hp) 3.0 liter engine. 350 GTs were built.[2]

In summer, 1995 M3 coupé and saloon were upgraded to a 321 PS (236 kW; 317 hp) 3.2 liter inline-6; at the same time, the cars received clear indicator lenses, new wheels and a 6-speed gearbox. The Cabriolet did not receive these changes until spring 1996.

The majority of E36 M3's were produced at the Regensburg factory, however a small number of detuned right hand drive M3's were assembled at BMW's Rosslyn plant in Pretoria, South Africa.[3] In total, 46,525 coupés, 12,114 Cabriolets and 12,603 saloons were produced. Saloon production ended in December, 1997; the coupé ceased production in late 1998; and the Cabriolet in December, 1999.[2]

North American models

The first E36 M3 to be imported to the United States was the 1995 model, which received a 3.0 L 24-valve DOHC inline-six engine with 240 bhp (179 kW; 243 PS) and 305 N·m (225 lb·ft) (S50B30US), a different suspension and a 0-60 mph (97 km/h) time in about 6 s. It was available with 5-speed manual and automatic transmissions.

A CSL (Lightweight) M3 was produced in limited numbers for the 1996 model year:

The 1996-1999 model years had displacement bumped up to 3.2 L, still with 240 bhp (179 kW; 243 PS) , but torque increases to 320 N·m (240 lb·ft) which is the same S52B32US engine used in the early M Roadster and M Coupe. The manual gearbox remains a 5-speed despite the European versions being upgraded to 6-speed. It was also available as a sedan starting in model year 1997, and as convertible in 1998. Production of the sedan was halted in 1998, while the other models continued until 1999.

US sales figures include a total of 18,961 coupes, 7,760 sedans and 6,211 convertibles.[4]

E36 performance

Version Power 0-60 mph[citation needed] Top Speed
3.0 L-24v I6
Euro 210 kW (286 PS; 282 hp)
5.4 s [5]
155 mph (249 km/h)[5] (electronically limited)
U.S. 179 kW (243 PS; 240 hp)
5.6 s
137 mph (220 km/h)[6] (electronically limited)
3.2 L-24v I6
Euro 236 kW (321 PS; 316 hp)
5.2 s
155 mph (249 km/h) (electronically limited)
U.S. 179 kW (243 PS; 240 hp)
5.5 s
139 mph (224 km/h) (electronically limited)

The E36 M3 was also available as a saloon in the UK for a limited period during 1995-6, during which around 400 RHD models were sold in the UK. This variation had slightly softer suspension but could be purchased with the firmer coupe set-up if the customer wished. Performance figures did not change with the standard 286 bhp (213 kW; 290 PS) (more than the US model by some margin). The 3.2 Evo was introduced with 316 bhp (236 kW; 320 PS) .

E36 special models

There were six special-edition models of the E36 M3 produced: the M3 Euro-Spec (Canadian Edition), M3 CSL (M3 LTW), M3 GT, M3 GT-R, M3-R and the Imola Individual GT2 (the last of the E36s)

There was also an M3 Anniversary Edition only produced in 1999 for Australia. This was the final year of production for the E36, with only 50 coupes and 70 convertibles being made. Furthermore, "BMW Individual" were able to custom design an M3 with specific coloured leather, woodgrain and other personalized options including polished magnesium alloy wheels from the Anniversary edition. Convertibles lacked the sports seats found in the coupe but retained every other feature.

M3 Euro-Spec (Canadian Edition)

In 1994 agreements existed between Canada and several countries in Europe which allowed any car authorized in one participating country to legally be sold in any of the others.[citation needed] Though BMW had unveiled the next generation E36 M3 in Europe in 1992, the company felt that the production version would need to be priced much higher for export to North America than the market would allow. While the engineers worked on a less expensive North American version of the E36 M3, BMW Canada seized the window of opportunity: 45 numbered European specification M3 coupes were specially produced and imported into Canada.

Even with a base price of $59,900 (a substantial sum for the day given that the standard equipment list did not include forged lightweight wheels, air conditioning, a sunroof or even metallic paint), all 45 cars were spoken for in just 3 days. Unlike the other special versions of the E36 M3, buyers were free to choose any colors and options they wanted on their cars. The cars all came equipped with the 286 PS (210 kW; 282 hp) 3.0 L inline 6 cylinder engine, vented brakes with floating rotors, glass headlights and other European standard equipment. They were initially delivered to Toronto, then shipped all across the country to the dealerships where they were ordered.

Canada would not see another E36 M3 for sale until two years later, when BMW finally made the American versions of the 1997 M3 available for sale. Forty five Euro-Spec Canadian Edition cars were built, each one having a numbered engraved plaque in both the glovebox and the custom leather case which holds the owners manuals. Only the Australian M3-R was built in lower numbers.

M3 LTW (E36)

Beginning with the first E36 M3s delivered, BMW racers began pressuring BMW for a race-ready version with which to compete against Porsche 911s in sports-car racing.

In 1995, BMW relented and began building batches of the M3 LTW at BMW Individual. Upon completion they were sent to Prototype Technology Group (PTG) Racing in Virginia for final preparation, which included the front and rear Motorsport flag decals, and "trunk goodies." In the boot there was a different oil pan with dual pick up oil pump, longer oil dipstick tube, front strut bar, lower x brace that owners could install at the risk of voiding the standard BMW warranty. The car also came with the normal M3 low wing mounted but most dealers installed the special high wing when prepping the car for sale. An adjustable front lower lip/spoiler was installed. Each new owner was given a 1 page legal document to sign stating that any installation of trunk items voided the new car warranty. The ECU had the top speed limiter removed which resulted in a drag induced top speed. Forged 17" alloy wheels, 7-1/2" wide in the front and 8-1/2" wide in the rear, mounted with identically sized 235/40-17 tires front and rear were an additional difference from the standard 17" x 7-1/2" wide cast alloy wheels mounted with 235/40-17 tires on standard M3's. A 3.23 rear differential was installed vs the normal 3.15 installed in 1995 model year M3's.[7]

Although BMW promised to build at least 85 examples, BMW never released the number of M3 LTWs built, and because of the peculiar assembly line, to this day may not be known. However, enthusiasts now believe that there exist approximately 120 models.[8]

The first two cars, which were used as press cars, are not technically M3 LTWs as they were regular production M3's that PTG made similar in appearance to the not-yet-built LTW. After press duties, those two cars were brought back into the PTG stable.

Racing History

In an ironic twist, the car that BMW built to race was hardly raced.

Outside of multiple cars raced in the BMW CCA Club Racing series (an amateur series specific only to BMW models) PTG had between two to four models that they raced in IMSA. It seems that one of those cars was sold to Jeff McMillian, in which he won the SCCA World Challenge series, without winning a single race. One was raced in the SCCA's Touring 1 class by John Browne, and one or two may have been raced in the extinct Motorola Cup.

M3 GT

1995 BMW M3 GT Individual

The M3 GT Coupe was a limited-edition mainland Europe only edition of which 356 were made, 50 further M3 GT Individuals were made in right-hand drive for the UK market. All built in 1995.

Famous for being British Racing Green with a Mexico Green interior - a peculiar choice when the traditional German national racing colors were white with red numbers.

The BMW M3 GT was a homologation series special built to allow the E36 M3 to compete in the FIA-GT class II, IMSA GT and international longdistance races.

M3 Evolution Imola Individual (M3 GT2)

The M3 Evolution Imola Individual was a limited-edition (200 units for Europe with part VIN WBACB5103-AN307--, 50 for the United Kingdom) car sometimes referred to as the M3 GT2. The engine and performance characteristics of the car were unchanged from the 1996+ euro M3, and a special exterior and interior colour combination was once again chosen by BMW; Imola red (405) paint with Nappa leather & Amaretto seats in Imola red and anthracite seats. It also included side airbags, the M3 GT Class II rear spoiler, front class II corner spoiler extensions, electric seats, and double-spoke polished alloy wheels.

Prior to the release of the Imola Individual there was a pre-production model made which was used as the basis of the special edition, it featured the Class II front and rear spoilers, special order Imola red Paint, special order Nappa + Anthracite Amaretta interior, SMG gearbox, GSM Phone Kit, headlamp washers and double-spoke polished alloy wheels.

This car is believed to be the car BMW used for the Imola individual advertising though not officially confirmed.

1999 BMW M3 Evolution Imola Individual

M3-R

Fifteen M3's were ordered by BMW Australia in 1994 to race in the Australian Super Production series. All were delivered to Frank Gardner Racing for final preparation. 11 were made available to the general public, (who have to possess a CAMS license to be allowed to buy one), 4 were retained for the race series, the M3R had locally sourced King springs fitted to group n adjustable struts and rear perches, AP racing twin plate clutch and 4 piston brake calipers, dual pickup sump, an oil restrictor in the head, A C Schnitzer cams, a 3.25:1 ratio medium case diff and M5 driveshaft, cold air snorkel into air filter box replacing left hand fog light, non functional rear seat, air conditioner delete and more aggressive tune, GT front splitter and rear spoiler with extensions and gurney strips. this was the most powerful production E36 made with 240 kW (326 PS; 322 hp). a bolt in FIA approved roll cage was also a factory option (locally produced by Dencar)there were several differences between the cars depending on customer requirements, early numbers had non staggered BBS wheels, later had staggered BBS wheels (individually numbered plaque fitted to centre console below emergency brake lever)

M3 compact

To celebrate the 50th birthday of the German automobile magazine Auto Motor und Sport in 1996, BMW M GmbH handbuilt (at least) one official BMW E36 M3 compact. The car was tested and written an article about in the June edition of the named magazine.[9]

The car embodied all the technical (engine, driveline, suspension) and optical (bumpers, wheels, mirrors, dashboard) characteristics of the stock E36 M3. It was powered by the 321 DIN-hp 3.2-litre engine, and its color was red with a black cloth/alcantara interior. It had the forged Styling 24M 5-doublespoke wheels that came standard on the M3 cabriolet, an exhaust with fairly centered quad exhaust tip, Recaro sports bucket seats, red four-point seat belts and an alcantara wrapped steering wheel and gear lever.

The car was donated to the automobile magazine, but there are no details of the car's present whereabouts.

E46 M3

E46 M3
BMW M3 Coupe (US)
Production 2001–2006
Assembly Regensburg, Germany
Body style(s) 2-door coupe
2-door convertible
Platform BMW E46
Engine(s) 3.2 L I6
Transmission(s) 6 Speed Manual
6 Speed SMG Drivelogic
Wheelbase 107.5 in (2731 mm)
Length 2000-02: 176.8 in (4491 mm)
2003-05: 176.9 in (4493 mm)
Width 70.1 in (1781 mm)
Height Coupe: 54.0 in (1372 mm)
2001-02 Convertible: 53.7 in (1364 mm)
2003-05 Coupe: 53.9 in (1369 mm)
Curb weight Coupe: 3,415 lb (1,549 kg)
Related BMW X3
BMW 3 Series

The E46 M3, first introduced in October, 2000, appeared worldwide with the new 3.2 L S54 M-tuned engine. At the time of the car's introduction, this engine had the highest specific output naturally aspirated engine ever made by BMW, producing 333 horsepower (248 kW) and 365 N·m (269 lb·ft).

BMW M3 Convertible

The E46 M3 was offered with a standard 6-speed GETRAG transmission, but optionally came with a SMG drivelogic transmission (also known as the SMG II). This is the standard 6-speed GETRAG transmission with an electrohydraulically actuated clutch pedal. Shifts are made via the SMG gear knob or the steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. The engine had a redline of 8,000 rpm. As with most M engines, the S54 again had 6 independent throttle bodies and this time electronically operated throttles (drive-by-wire throttle with no cable). Of interesting note the Double VANOS system used on the E46 was developed with Jamie Gray.

In the US, the E46 M3 came with similar engine output as the European version, unlike in the E36, whose engine was derived from the M50/52 series engine. Power was now at 333 bhp (248 kW; 338 PS) due to an extra catalytic converter. In 2009, Road and Track Magazine announced the 2006 M3 with the SMG transmission as its favorite sports car of all time.

E46 performance

The M3's S54 naturally aspirated engine produces more than 100 horsepower (75 kW) per litre (343 horsepower (256 kW)/3.2 litre).]]

EUR Models

  • 343 PS (252 kW; 338 hp) @ 7900 rpm
  • Torque: 365 N·m (269 lb·ft) @ 4900 rpm
  • 0-100 km/h (62 mph) — 4.7 s for SMG, 4.9 s for Manual, 5.1 s for cabriolet
  • 1/4 Mile — 13.3 s @ 104 mph (167.4 km/h)
  • Top Speed: 188 mph (303 km/h)[citation needed]
  • Skid Pad: 0.89g[10]

US Models

  • 333 hp (248 kW; 338 PS)
  • Torque: 262 lb·ft (355 N·m)
  • 0-100 km/h (62 mph) — 4.8 seconds for SMG, 4.7 seconds for Manual, 5.1 seconds for cabriolet
  • 1/4 Mile - Coupe: 13.3 sec @ 104 mph (167 km/h)[11], Convertible: 13.7 sec @ 104 mph (167 km/h) [12]
  • Top Speed - Coupe: 155 mph (249 km/h) (electronically limited),[13] 185 mph (298 km/h) (delimited)[11]
  • Skid Pad - Coupe: 0.89g,[10] Convertible: 0.81g [12]

E46 special models

There were three different models of E46 M3s produced: Model M3 (Sport, Winter, Competition), the M3 CSL and the M3 GTR V8 (limited production).

M3 GTR

An E46 GTR came to life on February 2001, powered by the P60B40 a 3,997 cc V8 producing 444 bhp (331 kW; 450 PS) (race version—street version produced 380 bhp (283 kW; 385 PS)). Unlike the straight-six powered M3 versions, which were outpaced by the Porsche 996 GT3, the racing version of the E46 M3 GTR 16 was very successful in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS), entered by Schnitzer Motorsport. Rivals such as Porsche pointed out that this car was more of a prototype as no V8 engine was available in the road-going BMW E46, which is in violation of the spirit of Gran Turismo. In 2001, ALMS regulations stated that cars must be for sale on two continents within twelve months of the rules being issued. To fulfill this rule, BMW put 10 road going GTRs on sale after the 2001 season, for 250,000 euros (then $218,000) each, allegedly only available for select customers.

Due to this, the ALMS rules were altered for 2002 to state that 100 cars and 1000 engines must be built for the car to qualify without penalties. Although BMW could have raced the V8 with the new weight and power penalties under these new regulations, they chose to pull out of the ALMS, effectively ending the short-lived M3 GTR's career.

Two Schnitzer Motorsport GTR cars saw a comeback in 2003 at the 24 Hours Nürburgring, winning 1-2 in 2004 and 2005, as well as entries in the 24 Hours Spa. Onboard coverage recorded in 2004 Hans-Joachim Stuck, Pedro Lamy, Jörg Müller & Dirk Müller on the Nürburgring and Spa-Francorchamps.

Private teams (Scheid, Getrag, etc.) also have fit 3,997 cc BMW V8 engines into the E46 body to race on the Nürburgring, winning some VLN races in the last years.

Both M3 GTR Road and Race Cars were featured in the game Gran Turismo 4, both as prize cars that could only be won and couldn't be bought. The road-going M3 GTR is also featured in the game Forza Motorsport 3, where the player may either buy it or win it while progressing through the career mode of the game. It was also featured as the cover car for Electronic Arts' racing game Need For Speed: Most Wanted.

M3 CSL

A silver BMW M3 CSL.

The BMW M3 CSL (coupe sports lightweight)[14] was a limited edition version of the M3, with only 1,400 cars being produced for its 2004 model year run.[15] The CSL was never released into the North American market,[16] and was only available in two colours - Silver Grey Metallic and Black Sapphire Metallic. [17]

As its name suggests, an emphasis was put on reducing weight. The M3 CSL has a kerb weight of 1,385 kg (3,050 lb), 110 kg (240 lb) lighter than the regular M3.[18][19][20] The CSL features many weight saving technologies taken from BMW's Formula One racing applications.[21] A large proportion of the M3's sound insulation has been removed, as have the power windows, electric seats, and navigation systems.[16]. Air conditioning and stereo systems could be retrofitted free of cost, but were not available standard.[19] The CSL's unique body pieces are all crafted from carbon fiber reinforced polymer.[18] Glass-reinforced plastics are used throughout structural points in the car.[19] The rear glass window was replaced with lightweight plastic.[19] Although the CSL loses a considerable amount of kerb weight from its original version, the focus was put on strategically reducing or moving the weight in the car rather than the raw amount of weight that could be lost.[22] This is to retain the ideal 50:50 weight distribution characteristics the E46 has.[18] For example, the roof is constructed from carbon fiber reinforced plastic.[18] While this only reduces the kerb weight of the car by 7 kg (15 lb), it lowers the center of gravity of the car and decreases body flex.[17][22]

A black M3 E46 CSL.

In order to improve the handling ability of the car, the entire suspension system was further refined.[18] Specially developed racing springs and dampers are given to the CSL, and a tightened steering ratio (14.5:1 vs 15.4:1 on the regular M3) improves responsiveness.[21] The braking system is also modified, with larger front and rear floating rotors and calipers from the E39 M5.[16][17] The CSL is given a retuned dymanic stability control system with a "M track mode" setting that allows the car to be pushed to its absolute limits before being activated.[21]

The 3.2l engine used in the M3, the BMW S54, has been modified to increased output by 17 hp (13 kW) and 5 N·m (1 lbf) over the European M3.[17][21] This is achieved through a high flow carbon fiber air intake, modified valve and camshaft timing, and a retuned DME.[17][21] However, the engine is further modified in order to reduce weight - it features a lightweight exhaust manifold and thinner exhaust piping.[21] Additionally, the intake and exhaust manifolds are slightly straightened to improve engine responsiveness.[16]

The CSL also has various aesthetic modifications over the standard M3. It received an aerodynamic lightweight body kit which included carbon fiber front splitters that improved downforce at high speeds by 50%,[18] as well as a carbon fiber rear diffuser. The front bumper has a distinct hole that is used to draw cool air into the newly designed air intake.[18] The boot lid is redesigned to incorporate a raised lip, unlike the standard M3 where one is simply added on to a flat boot.[18] The CSL was sold with distinct 19 inch lightweight forged BBS alloy rims that came with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup semi-slick racing tires.[17][23] The interior of the CSL is redesigned with a sporty-weight saving theme. The CSL obtains fiberglass front racing bucket seats,[18] and fiberglass backed rear seats.[18] The center console, door panels and trim, and headliner are all formed from carbon fiber[17][18], and the steering wheel is redesigned with cruise control, stereo, and phone controls removed to include just a single button that activates the M track mode.[17]

Unlike the standard M3, which was offered with a standard 6-speed GETRAG transmission, or optionally a SMG drivelogic transmission (also known as the SMG II), the CSL was offered only with the SMG II transmission.[21] This is the standard 6-speed GETRAG transmission with an electrohydraulically actuated clutch pedal, similar to an Formula One style transmission.[17] However, the CSL received a more advanced drivelogic unit than the standard M3 that was capable of making shifts in 0.08 of a second.[17][21]

M3 Competition Package

While it is known as the M3 Competition Package in the US and mainland Europe, it is also known as the M3 CS (Club Sport) in the UK.

Although the M3 CSL was never exported to the United States, for 2005 BMW introduced an M3 Competition Package in both Europe and the US (a.k.a. CS/Club Sport in the UK): a $4,000 option which offered a number of upgrades taken from M3 CSL. The package includes:

  • 19-inch BBS spin-cast (flow formed) alloy wheels (marketed as "forged"); 19"x8"front, 19"x9.5"rear: weigh 26 lb (12 kg).
  • Specially tuned spring rates for the Competition Package; this was carried over to all M3 production from 12/04 on.
  • CSL steering rack: More direct steering ratio of 14.5:1 (vs. standard M3's 15.4:1)
  • CSL's M-Track Mode DSC with a button mounted on the steering wheel (deletion of cruise control and steering wheel mounted radio/phone controls)
  • CSL's Compound cross-drilled rotors; larger front rotor of 13.6 inches (from 12.6 inches) with black painted calipers
  • Alcantara steering wheel, gear lever and hand brake
  • Interlagos Blue exterior paint available as an exclusive color option.
  • Unique cube aluminum interior trim

E90/92/93 M3

E90/92/93
2009 BMW M3 convertible (US)
Production 2008–present
Assembly Regensburg, Germany
Body style(s) 4-door sedan
2-door coupe
2-door convertible
Platform BMW E90 (Sedan)
BMW E92 (Coupe)
BMW E93 (Convertible)
Engine(s) 4.0 L V8
Transmission(s) 6-speed manual
7-speed M-DCT
Wheelbase 108.7 in (2761 mm)
Length Convertible: 181.7 in (4615 mm)
Coupe: 181.4 in (4608 mm)
Sedan: 180.4 in (4582 mm)
Width Convertible: 71.6 in (1819 mm)
Coupe: 70.2 in (1783 mm)
Sedan: 71.5 in (1816 mm)
Height Convertible: 55.8 in (1417 mm)
Coupe: 54.2 in (1377 mm)
Sedan: 55.9 in (1420 mm)
Curb weight Convertible: 4,145 lb (1,880 kg)
Coupe: 3,704 lb (1,680 kg)
Sedan: 3,726 lb (1,690 kg)
Related BMW 3 Series
BMW X3

The fourth generation BMW M3 was announced on the 2007 Geneva Auto Show (Switzerland, March 6-18th, 2007) with the BMW M3 concept. As was the case with the E46 M3 Concept and E60 M5 Concept, the M3 Concept hid almost nothing of the looks of the production version, that had its world premiere on the 2007 Frankfurt Auto Show IAA (Germany, September 13 to 23rd).

Just as the previous M3 generations all introduced a completely new engine, the fourth generation M3 did the same: the BMW S65 engine was introduced. This S65B40 is a naturally aspirated, high revving 4-litre V8 (based on the S85B50 5-litre V10 that powers the E60/E61 M5 and the E63/E64 M6 to date), delivering 414 bhp (309 kW; 420 PS) at 8,300 rpm, with peak torque at 400 N·m (300 lb·ft) at 3,900 rpm, which represents a power increase of 22% over the E46 M3. The engine weighs 15 kg (33 lb) less than the outgoing six cylinder for a total weight of 202 kg (450 lb). A six-speed manual transmission is standard. As from April 2008, BMW offers a new Getrag double-clutch gearbox, called M-DKG (Doppel-Kupplungs-Getriebe) or M-DCT (Double Clutch Transmission) as an option, which reduces shift pauses to less than a tenth of a second and shortens the car's 0-100 km/h (62 mph) sprint time by 0.2 seconds vs. manual. It features both automatic and manual modes in a manner similar to the SMG gearboxes in the E36 and E46. The E92 M3 coupe inherits the carbon-fiber roof from the E46 CSL as part of the weight-saving program. For 2009, the E9x M3 received the same revisions as the non-M 3 series. The changes include revised front and rear bumpers, and LED tail lights.

The M3 Cabrio.

The new M3 is once again available as a 4-door sedan, based on the E90 3-Series, but unlike the regular models, this car shares the coupe's front end, including headlights. However, it does not get the 2-door's carbon-fiber roof. The E93 hardtop convertible version joins the lineup shortly after the E92's launch, while an E91 wagon is due in the first quarter of 2009. A CSL lightweight version is heavily debated and longed for amongst car enthusiasts, but while cars suspected to be the new M3 CSL have apparently been spotted at the famous Nordschleife (North Loop) of the German Nürburgring, the M division have stated that they do not plan to offer an e9x M3 CSL and are instead focussed on producing M versions of the X5 and X6 in a significant departure from M's historic practices[24]

BMW Motorsport announced in February 2008 that Rahal Letterman Racing will campaign two factory-backed E92 M3s in the American Le Mans Series in 2009, following a two-year absence by the brand.[25]

E92 M3 GT2

The fourth generation BMW M3 was announced on the 2007 Geneva Auto Show (Switzerland, March 6-18th, 2007) with the BMW M3 concept. As was the case with the E46 M3 Concept and E60 M5 Concept, the M3 Concept hid almost nothing of the looks of the production version, that had its world premiere on the 2007 Frankfurt Auto Show IAA (Germany, September 13 to 23rd). The previous M3, the E46 was available only as a coupé. The high-revving 4.0-litre 420 hp V8 engine, the same as in the coupé, makes the M3 E90 Sedan to accelerate from 0-100km/h in just 4.9 seconds, a mere 0.1 seconds slower than the coupé despite being 30 kg heavier. Power is transmitted to the rear wheels by a manual six-speed gearbox with integrated, temperature-controlled oil cooling and mass inertia optimised two-disc clutch. So now the Bavarians are truly prepared with the BMW M3 E90 Sedan to engage in battle against the traditional rivals: the Audi RS4 and the Mercedes C63 AMG.

The first official images and details of a second body version of the new BMW M3 have been released. The high-performance four-door sedan, from BMW M GmbH, is based on the E90 3 Series Sedan featuring unique design and technology. The four-door body variant adds the functionality of five seats, two extra doors and comfortable access to the rear, to the supreme driving dynamics, stand-out design and everyday driving qualities of the BMW M3 Coupé.

The new M3 is once again available as a 4-door sedan, based on the E90 3-Series, but unlike the regular models, this car shares the coupe's front end, including headlights. However, it does not get the 2-door's carbon-fiber roof. The E93 hardtop convertible version joins the lineup shortly after the E92's launch, while an E91 wagon is due in the first quarter of 2009. A CSL lightweight version is heavily debated and longed for amongst car enthusiasts, but while cars suspected to be the new M3 CSL have apparently been spotted at the famous Nordschleife (North Loop) of the German Nürburgring, the M division have stated that they do not plan to offer an e9x M3 CSL and are instead focussed on producing M versions of the X5 and X6 in a significant departure from M's historic practices[24]

The front-end design of the BMW M3 Sedan matches the specific look and high-performance character of its Coupé sibling; however the side-sills, front side panel “gills” and rear air dam are uniquely tailored for the sedan. The M3 Sedan is powered by BMW’s all-new 4.0-litre V8 developing maximum output of 309 kW and maximum torque of 400 Nm at 3,900 rpm. The four-door M3 accelerates to 100 km/h in 4.9 seconds and records average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle of 12.4 litres/100 kilometres.

BMW Motorsport announced in February 2008 that Rahal Letterman Racing will campaign two factory-backed E92 M3s in the American Le Mans Series in 2009, following a two-year absence by the brand.[25]

E92 M3 GT4

BMW Motorsport announced on July 7, 2009 the launch of a line of BMW M3 race cars which meet the FIA's GT4 spec and are oriented for sale to private teams and drivers. The BMW M3 GT4 price is expected to be approximately 120,000 Euros.

"The new BMW M3 GT4 now also provides private teams with numerous opportunities," says BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen. "For over 50 years customer racing has been a cornerstone of BMW’s motorsport programs. After all, what better global ambassador for the performance pedigree of BMW cars than a privateer who is competing for victory in a BMW vehicle."

On April 10 2009, the week after the debut of the GT4, BMW's Customer Racing program announed it had partnered with Schubert Motorsport (sponsored by Motorsport Arena Oschersleben) to run the BMW M3 GT4 in the annual 24 Hours Nürburgring race SP10 class. The race took place on the weekend of May 23 and 24 in 2009, with drivers Jochen Ubler, Jorg Muller and Andy Priaulx at the wheel. The team finished sixth in their class and 153rd overall[26].

The BMW M3 GT4 also raced in the ADAC Westfalenfahrt in April 2009 at The Ring, taking the win in the SP10 class and finishing 30th overall.

The M3 GT4 is offered in Europe as a homologated production race car for sale to the general public. According to Larry Koch, BMW NA M-brand manager, a feasibility study is currently being conducted to evaluate the possible sale of the M3 GT4 in North America. However, without an FIA sanctioned GT4-class racing series in the USA, the sale of the M3 GT4 in the States is not likely.

E90/E92 M3 performance

  • 0-60 mph (97 km/h): 4.4-4.2 seconds for the 2009 E90/E92 M3,[27] 5.1 sec for the convertible
  • 1/4 mile: 12.7 seconds @ 183 km/h (113.7 mph) [27], Convertible: 13.1 @ 109 mph (175.4 km/h)
  • Top Speed: Electronically limited to 249 km/h (155 mph), delimited ~290 km/h (180 mph)+
  • Skid Pad: 0.98 g
  • Slalom: 114.9 km/h (71.4 mph)

E92 M3 GTS

BMW announced the M3 GTS in November 2009. The car is powered by a 4.4-litre V8 based on the 4.0-litre engine found in the standard M3, which produces a maximum of 450 bhp. A total of only 99 units will be produced. In Germany deliveries begin in May 2010 while other countries are scheduled for the summer. The BMW E92 M3 GTS will start at €115,000 per unit.[28] All E92 M3 GTS models have now been sold [29].

Critical reception

The M3 has received nearly unanimous critical acclaim from motoring journalists for its performance, refinement, and practicality. It is the only car on Seven Car Garage to receive 100% positive reviews.[30] Ezra Dyer of Automobile Magazine once suggested that "...car magazines generally regard the M3 the same way a four-year-old regards Santa Claus."[31]

BMW M3 Challenge

BMW M3 Challenge PC Game

The "BMW M3 challenge" is a freeware racing game developed by BMW for simulation and entertainment purposes. The PC game includes single and multi-player modes.[32]

Developed by Blimey! Games and 10tacle Studios in cooperation with BMW engineers, it is a car simulation that reproduces real life car physics such as body roll and under/over-steer.

It allows the player to perform advanced driving maneuvers such as feathering the brakes, moderating the clutch engagement level, or engine braking.

BMW M3 Challenge features a drivable representation of the GP portion of the famous Nürburgring German race track.

References

  1. ^ Works figures according to Kittler, loc. cit.
  2. ^ a b c Kittler, Eberhard (2001). Deutsche Autos seit 1990, vol.5. Stuttgart: Motorbuch. p. 130. ISBN 3-613-02128-5. 
  3. ^ "FAQ E36 M3 3.2". BMW M Registry. http://www.bmwmregistry.com/model_faq.php?id=15#2. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  4. ^ All figures: Covello, Mike (2002). Standard Catalog of Imported Cars 1946-2002. Iola: Krause Publications. pp. 160–163. ISBN 0-87341-605-8. 
  5. ^ a b BMW M3 Specs
  6. ^ Road & Track Sports & GT Cars 1996, p. 18.
  7. ^ "95M3LTW". Bmw-m.net. http://www.bmw-m.net/techdata/95m3ltw.htm. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  8. ^ BMW World - E36 M3 CSL Lightweight
  9. ^ Auto Motor and Sport, 13/1996, pages 38-40
  10. ^ a b "2002 BMW M3 vs. 2008 BMW 135i vs. 2008 BMW 335i Comparison Test". Edmunds.com. 2008-04-27. http://www.edmunds.com/apps/vdpcontainers/do/vdp/articleId=125908/pageNumber=1?synpartner=edmunds&pageurl=www.edmunds.com/reviews/comparison/articles/125908/article.html. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  11. ^ a b Motor Trend, March 2003
  12. ^ a b Car & Driver, January 2002
  13. ^ BMW M3 Owners Manual
  14. ^ "BMW Cancels Lightweight M3 CSL". Automobile Mag. http://blogs.automobilemag.com/6291366/car-news/bmw-cancels-lightweight-m3-csl/index.html. Retrieved 2009-07-10. 
  15. ^ "BMW M3 CSL". Autoblog. http://www.autoblog.com/tag/bmw+m3+csl/. Retrieved 2009-07-10. 
  16. ^ a b c d "BMW M3 CSL Performance". Automobile Magazine. http://www.automobilemag.com/reviews/coupes/0210_bmw_m3_csl/performance.html. Retrieved 2009-07-10. 
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "BMW M3 Parts CSL". US auto parts. http://www.usautoparts.net/bmw/models/m3_csl.htm. Retrieved 2009-07-10. 
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "BMW M3 CSL". Cartorque. http://www.cartorque.co.za/0001.htm. Retrieved 2009-07-10. 
  19. ^ a b c d "BMW M3 CSL (E46)". diseno-art. http://www.diseno-art.com/encyclopedia/vehicles/road/cars/bmw_m3_csl.html. Retrieved 2009-07-10. 
  20. ^ "Car reviews - BMW M3 CSL". http://www.carenthusiast.com/reviews.html?mode=article&id=855. Retrieved 2009-07-10. 
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h [Glass-reinforced plastic "The New M3 CSL"]. Car pages. Glass-reinforced plastic. Retrieved 2009-07-10. 
  22. ^ a b "BMW M3 CSL". Automobile magazine. http://www.automobilemag.com/reviews/coupes/0210_bmw_m3_csl/index.html. Retrieved 2009-07-10. 
  23. ^ "BMW M3 CSL - Auto Shows". Car and driver. http://www.caranddriver.com/buying_guide/bmw/m3/bmw_m3_csl_auto_shows__1+type-news_by_make+mode-collection+id-259.html. Retrieved 2009-07-10. 
  24. ^ "BMW ‘cancels E92 M3 CSL'". Car Magazine. 26 August 2008. http://www.carmagazine.co.uk/Secret-new-cars/Search-Results/Spyshots/BMW-cancels-E92-M3-CSL/. .
  25. ^ "BMW returning to American Le Mans Series". AutoWeek. 6 February 2008. http://www.autoweek.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080206/FREE/913021814/1608/FREE. Retrieved 2008-02-06. 
  26. ^ http://adac.24h-rennen.de/uploads/media/24h-Rennen-Gesamt-01Stunden.pdf
  27. ^ a b "2009 Porsche 911 Carrera vs. 2009 BMW M3 - Coupes/Comparison Test/Reviews/Car and Driver". Car And Driver. 2008-03-23. http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/comparison_test/coupes/2009_porsche_911_carrera_vs_2009_bmw_m3_comparison_test+page-2.html. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  28. ^ "BMW M3 GTS is the most extreme M3 ever". http://www.inautonews.com/bmw-m3-gts-is-the-most-extreme-m3-ever. 
  29. ^ http://www.gtspirit.com/2010/01/26/sold-out-2011-bmw-m3-gts/
  30. ^ Seven Car Garage - BMW M3
  31. ^ What Do I Drive? Ezra Dyer Buys a Used BMW M3
  32. ^ "BMW M3 Challenge the game". http://www.bmw.com/com/en/newvehicles/mseries/m3coupe/2007/experience/game/content.html. 
  • Bloomberg News (2009). "Fiat Retrofits Chrysler Engine, Shelves ‘Dinosaurs’ to Save Gas " [1], Bloomberg

External links


BMW M3
File:2009 BMW M3
Class Sports Car
Compact executive car
Sport Compact
Layout FR layout

The BMW M3 is a high-performance version of the BMW 3 Series, developed by BMW's tuning branch BMW M. M3 models have been derived from the E30, E36, E46 and E90/E92/E93 3-series, and sold with coupé, sedan and convertible body styles. Common upgrades over the "standard" 3-Series automobiles include more powerful and responsive (yet at times smaller) engines, improved handling/suspension/braking systems, more aggressive aerodynamics/body, and multiple interior/exterior accents with the famed tri-color "M" (Motorsport) emblem.

Contents

E30 M3

E30
Production 1986–1992
Assembly Regensburg, Germany
Garching, Germany
Rosslyn, South Africa
Body style(s) 2-door coupe
2-door convertible
Engine(s) 2.3 L I4
Transmission(s) 5-speed manual
Wheelbase 101.1 in (2568 mm)
Length 171.1 in (4346 mm)
Width 66.1 in (1679 mm)
Height 53.9 in (1369 mm)
Curb weight 2,865 lb (1,300 kg)
Related BMW 3 Series

Based on the 1986 model year E30 3-Series, the first M3 was introduced with a 2.3 L I4 S14B23 engine (or S14 in shorthand). The engine design was based on various BMW genealogy: basic block layout from the M10 4 cylinder (found in the 2002 and 320 series) overbored and reinforced to similar specifications of the BMW M88 inline-6. The valve train and head architecture from BMW's M1 and, later, M6 inline-6 cylinder was adopted for aggressive breathing, resulting in outstanding performance for the day.

The most notable characteristic of the E30 M3 (relative to later M3 iterations) is its racing pedigree. It was campaigned by BMW as well as other racing teams including Prodrive and AC Schnitzer competing in many forms of racing including rally as well as German, British, Italian, Belgian, French and Australian touring.

One of the main reasons for production of the road car was to homologate the M3 for Group A Touring Car racing. One of the reasons often cited for its creation was that it was to compete with the "2.3-16V"-model of the Mercedes-Benz W201 190E which was introduced in 1983, although this was only speculative. When the E30 M3 was in its final years of top level competition, the 2.5 liter S14 engine in full race trim was capable of over 340 hp (250 kW) naturally aspirated.

The E30 M3 road car

The third car road-going version produced 195 bhp (145 kW; 198 PS) (catalyzed model). Evolution models (not sold in North America) continued with 2.3 liters but adopted revised exhaust-cam timing, increased compression along with the lack of a catalyst producing approximately 215 hp (160 kW). Later the Sport Evolution model production run of 600 (sometimes referred as Evolution III) increased engine displacement to 2.5 L and produced 238 hp (175 kW). 786 cabriolets were also produced, all by hand in BMW's Garching plant; at the time the 215 hp (160 kW) example was the world's fastest four-seat convertible.

Changes from the standard 3-series

The E30 M3 differed from the rest of the E30 line-up in many ways. The M3 was equipped with a revised stiffer and more aerodynamic body shell as well as "box flared" wheel-arches to accommodate a wider track with wider and taller wheels and tires. The only body panels the standard model 3-series and the M3 shared were the hood and sunroof. It also had three times the caster angle of any other E30. The M3 shared larger wheel bearings and front brake calipers with the E28 5-Series. It also had a Getrag 265/5 5 speed gearbox, and rear differential with different final-drive ratio and 25% lockup.

Wrap up

To keep the car competitive in racing following homologation rules changes year to year, homologation specials were produced. Homologation rules roughly stated that the race version must reflect the street car aerodynamically and in engine displacement; therefore, improved models were periodically released for the public. Special editions and homologation specials include: the Evo 1, Evo 2 and Sport Evolution some of which featured less weight, improved aerodynamics, taller front fender arches (Sport Evolution; to further facilitate 18-inch (460 mm) wheels in DTM), brake ducting, and more power. Other limited-production models (based on evolution models but featuring special paintwork and/or unique interior schemes commemorating championship wins) include the Europa, Ravaglia, Cecotto, and Europameister.

Production of the original E30 M3 ended in early 1992.

Having won more road races than any other model in history, the E30 M3 is considered by many to be the world's most successful road-race car. M3s entered by BMW and privateer racing outfits did dominate the competition for the years it was in production. Its wins include the Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft, British Touring Car Championship European Touring Car Championship, Australian Touring Car Championship and even the one-off World Touring Car Championship title in 1987. The E30 M3 is also a multiple winner of Guia Race, 24 Hours Nürburgring and Spa 24 Hours.

Notable publication accolades

In 2004, Sports Car International named the E30 M3 car number six on the list of Top Sports Cars of the 1980s.

In 2007 "Evo" Magazine rated the E30 M3 Sport Evolution top of all the M series BMWs at time of print

In 2007 "Automobile Magazine included the E30 M3 in their "5 greatest drivers cars of all time" under the 25 Greatest Cars of All Time.

E30 performance

[1]

  • (2.3 L-16v I4) - 195 PS (143 kW; 192 hp) − 0-62 mph: 6.9 s. Top Speed: 146 mph (235 km/h)
  • (2.3 L-16v I4) - 215 PS (158 kW; 212 hp) − 0-62 mph: 6.7 s. Top Speed: 149 mph (240 km/h)
  • (2.5 L-16v I4) - 238 PS (175 kW; 235 hp) − 0-60 mph: 6.1 s. Top Speed: 154 mph (248 km/h)

Production figures

Model Power (kW) Coupe and Sedan Convertible
Euro model 143.5 kW (195 PS; 192 hp) / 147 kW (200 PS; 197 hp) 8,661
US model 143.5 kW (195 PS; 192 hp) 4,996
Evo 1 147 kW (200 PS; 197 hp) 505
Europa late model 158 kW (215 PS; 212 hp) 1,519
Evo 2 162 kW (220 PS; 217 hp) 500
Convertible 143.5 kW (195 PS; 192 hp) / 158 kW (215 PS; 212 hp) 786
Sport Evolution 175 kW (238 PS; 235 hp) 600
Sport Evolution Convertible 175 kW (238 PS; 235 hp) 1
Europameister
(all signed by Roberto Ravaglia)
143.5 kW (195 PS; 192 hp) 148
Cecotto
  • 25 as special edition Ravaglia
  • 50 as Cecotto Switzerland (throttled to 155 kW)
158 kW (215 PS; 212 hp) 505
Total ~18,000

Significant victories in auto racing

Championships
Races
  • Guia Race; 5 wins (1987, 1988, 1991, 1992 and 1993)
  • 24 Hours Nürburgring; 5 wins (1989–1992 and 2010)
  • Spa 24 Hours; 4 wins (1987, 1988, 1990 and 1992)

E36 M3

E36
File:1995-1999 BMW M3 (E36) coupe
Production 1992–1999
71,242 built[2]
Assembly Regensburg, Germany
Regensburg
Rosslyn, South Africa
Body style(s) 4-door sedan
2-door coupe
2-door convertible
Engine(s) 3.0 L I6 (1995)
3.2 L I6
Transmission(s) 5-speed automatic
5-speed manual
6-speed manual
6 Speed SMG
Wheelbase 106.3 in (2700 mm)
Convertible: 106.7 in (2710 mm)
Length 174.5 in (4432 mm)
Lightweight: 178.0 in (4521 mm)
Width 67.3 in (1709 mm)
Sedan: 66.9 in (1699 mm)
Height 52.6 in (1336 mm)
Sedan: 53.7 in (1364 mm)
Curb weight 1,460 kg (3,219 lb)
Convertible: 1,560 kg (3,439 lb)
Related BMW 3 Series
File:1995-1999 BMW M3 (E36) coupe
1995–1999 BMW M3 (E36) coupe (Australia)

The E36 M3 debuted in February, 1992 and hit the dealers' showrooms in November that year; it was the first M3 powered by a six-cylinder engine, displacing 2990 cc and developing 286 PS (210 kW; 282 hp). Initially available as a coupé only, BMW introduced M3 convertible/cabriolet and saloon/sedan versions in 1994, the absence of any M5 models in the BMW line-up between the end of e34 M5 production in 1995 and the launch of the e39 M5 in 1998 prompting the introduction of the four door Motorsport model.

Also in 1994, BMW produced the limited-edition M3 GT as a racing homologation special; all GTs were British Racing Green and featured an upgraded 295 PS (217 kW; 291 hp) 3.0 liter engine. 350 GTs were built.[2]

In September and November, 1995, the M3 coupé and sedan, respectively, were upgraded to a 321 PS (236 kW; 316 hp) 3.2 liter inline-6. At the same time, the cars received clear indicator lenses, new wheels and a 6-speed gearbox. The convertible did not receive these changes until February 1996.[3]

The majority of E36 M3's were produced at the Regensburg factory, however a small number of detuned right hand drive M3's were assembled at BMW's Rosslyn plant in Pretoria, South Africa.[4] In total, 46,525 coupés, 12,114 Cabriolets and 12,603 saloons were produced. Saloon production ended in December, 1997; the coupé ceased production in late 1998; and the Cabriolet in December, 1999.[2]

North American models

The first E36 M3 to be imported to the United States was the 1995 model, which received a 3.0 L 24-valve DOHC inline-six engine with 240 bhp (179 kW; 243 PS) and 305 N·m (225 lb·ft) (S50B30US), a different suspension setup and a 0-60 mph (97 km/h) time in about six seconds. It was available with 5-speed manual and automatic transmissions.

A CSL (Lightweight) M3 was produced in limited numbers for the 1995 model year:

The 1996–1999 model years had displacement bumped up to 3.2 L, still with 240 bhp (179 kW; 243 PS) , but torque increases to 320 N·m (240 lb·ft) which is the same S52B32US engine used in the early M Roadster and M Coupe. The manual gearbox remains a 5-speed despite the European versions being upgraded to 6-speed. It was also available as a sedan starting in model year 1997, and as convertible in 1998. Production of the sedan was halted in 1998, while the other models continued until 1999.

US sales figures include a total of 18,961 coupes, 7,760 sedans and 6,211 convertibles.[5]

E36 performance

Version Power 0–60 mph[citation needed] Top Speed
3.0 L-24v I6
Euro 210 kW (286 PS; 282 hp)
5.4 s[6]
155 mph (249 km/h)[6] (electronically limited)
U.S. 179 kW (243 PS; 240 hp)
5.6 s
137 mph (220 km/h)[7] (electronically limited)
3.2 L-24v I6
Euro 236 kW (321 PS; 316 hp)
5.2 s
155 mph (249 km/h) (electronically limited)
U.S. 179 kW (243 PS; 240 hp)
5.5 s
139 mph (224 km/h) (electronically limited)

The E36 M3 was also available as a saloon in the UK for a limited period during 1995–6, during which around 400 RHD models were sold in the UK. This variation had slightly softer suspension but could be purchased with the firmer coupe set-up if the customer wished. Performance figures did not change with the standard 286 bhp (213 kW; 290 PS) (more than the US model by some margin). The 3.2 Evo was introduced with 316 bhp (236 kW; 320 PS) .

E36 special models

There were six special-edition models of the E36 M3 produced: the M3 Euro-Spec (Canadian Edition), M3 CSL (M3 LTW), M3 GT, M3 GT-R, M3-R and the Imola Individual (often referred to as the GT2) (the last of the E36s)

There was also an M3 Anniversary Edition only produced in 1999 for Australia. This was the final year of production for the E36, with only 50 coupes and 70 convertibles being made. Furthermore, "BMW Individual" were able to custom design an M3 with specific coloured leather, woodgrain and other personalized options including polished magnesium alloy wheels from the Anniversary edition. Convertibles lacked the sports seats found in the coupe but retained every other feature.

M3 Euro-Spec (Canadian Edition)

In 1994 agreements existed between Canada and several countries in Europe which allowed any car authorized in one participating country to legally be sold in any of the others.[citation needed] Though BMW had unveiled the next generation E36 M3 in Europe in 1992, the company felt that the production version would need to be priced much higher for export to North America than the market would allow. While the engineers worked on a less expensive North American version of the E36 M3, BMW Canada seized the window of opportunity: 45 numbered European specification M3 coupes were specially produced and imported into Canada.

Even with a base price of $59,900 (a substantial sum for the day given that the standard equipment list did not include forged lightweight wheels, air conditioning, a sunroof or even metallic paint), all 45 cars were spoken for in just 3 days. Unlike the other special versions of the E36 M3, buyers were free to choose any colors and options they wanted on their cars. The cars all came equipped with the 286 PS (210 kW; 282 hp) 3.0 L inline 6 cylinder engine, vented brakes with floating rotors, glass headlights and other European standard equipment. They were initially delivered to Toronto, then shipped all across the country to the dealerships where they were ordered.

Canada would not see another E36 M3 for sale until two years later, when BMW finally made the American versions of the 1997 M3 available for sale. Forty five Euro-Spec Canadian Edition cars were built, each one having a numbered engraved plaque in both the glovebox and the custom leather case which holds the owners manuals. Only the Australian M3-R was built in lower numbers.

M3 LTW (E36)

Beginning with the first E36 M3s delivered, BMW racers began pressuring BMW for a race-ready version with which to compete against Porsche 911s in sports-car racing.

In 1995, BMW relented and began building batches of the M3 LTW at BMW Individual. Upon completion they were sent to Prototype Technology Group (PTG) Racing in Virginia for final preparation, which included the front and rear Motorsport flag decals, and "trunk goodies." In the boot there was a different oil pan with dual pick up oil pump, longer oil dipstick tube, front strut bar, lower x brace that owners could install at the risk of voiding the standard BMW warranty. The car also came with the normal M3 low wing mounted but most dealers installed the special high wing when prepping the car for sale. An adjustable front lower lip/spoiler was installed. Each new owner was given a 1 page legal document to sign stating that any installation of trunk items voided the new car warranty. The ECU had the top speed limiter removed which resulted in a drag induced top speed. Forged 17" alloy wheels, 7½" wide in the front and 8½" wide in the rear, mounted with identically sized 235/40-17 tires front and rear were an additional difference from the standard 17" × 7½" wide cast alloy wheels mounted with 235/40-17 tires on standard M3's. A 3.23 rear differential was installed vs the normal 3.15 installed in 1995 model year M3's.[8]

Although BMW promised to build at least 85 examples, BMW never released the number of M3 LTWs built, and because of the peculiar assembly line, to this day may not be known. However, enthusiasts now believe that there exist approximately 120 models.[9]

The first two cars, which were used as press cars, are not technically M3 LTWs as they were regular production M3s that PTG made similar in appearance to the not-yet-built LTW. After press duties, those two cars were brought back into the PTG stable.

Racing History

In an ironic twist, the car that BMW built to race was hardly raced.

Outside of multiple cars raced in the BMW CCA Club Racing series (an amateur series specific only to BMW models) PTG had between two to four models that they raced in IMSA. It seems that one of those cars was sold to Jeff McMillian, in which he won the SCCA World Challenge series, without winning a single race. One was raced in the SCCA's Touring 1 class by John Browne, and one or two may have been raced in the extinct Motorola Cup.

M3 GT

The M3 GT Coupe was a limited-edition mainland Europe only edition of which 356 were made, 50 further M3 GT Individuals were made in right-hand drive for the UK market. All built in 1995.

Famous for being British Racing Green with a Mexico Green interior – a peculiar choice when the traditional German national racing colors were white with red numbers.

The BMW M3 GT was a homologation series special built to allow the E36 M3 to compete in the FIA-GT class II, IMSA GT and international longdistance races.

M3 Evolution Imola Individual (M3 GT2)

The M3 Evolution Imola Individual was a limited-edition (200 units for Europe with part VIN WBACB5103-AN307--, 50 for the United Kingdom) car sometimes referred to as the M3 GT2. The engine and performance characteristics of the car were unchanged from the 1996+ euro M3, and a special exterior and interior colour combination was once again chosen by BMW; Imola red (405) paint with Nappa leather & Amaretto seats in Imola red and anthracite seats. It also included side airbags, the M3 GT Class II rear spoiler, front class II corner spoiler extensions, electric seats, and double-spoke polished alloy wheels.

Prior to the release of the Imola Individual there was a pre-production model made which was used as the basis of the special edition, it featured the Class II front and rear spoilers, special order Imola red Paint, special order Nappa + Anthracite Amaretta interior, SMG gearbox, GSM Phone Kit, headlamp washers and double-spoke polished alloy wheels.

This car is believed to be the car BMW used for the Imola individual advertising though not officially confirmed. The car was professionally converted to a 6 speed manual in June 2010 when the SMG Gearbox failed.

M3-R

Fifteen M3's were ordered by BMW Australia in 1994 to race in the Australian Super Production series. All were delivered to Tony Longhurst Racing for final preparation by the Frank Gardner run team. Eleven were made available to the general public, (who have to possess a CAMS license to be allowed to buy one), four were retained for the race series, the M3-R had locally sourced King springs fitted to Group N adjustable struts and rear perches, AP racing twin plate clutch and four piston brake calipers, dual pickup sump, an oil restrictor in the head, A C Schnitzer cams, a 3.25:1 ratio medium case diff and M5 driveshaft, cold air snorkel into air filter box replacing left hand fog light, non functional rear seat, air conditioner delete and more aggressive tune, GT front splitter and rear spoiler with extensions and gurney strips. this was the most powerful production E36 made with 240 kW (326 PS; 322 hp). a bolt in FIA approved roll cage was also a factory option (locally produced by Dencar) there were several differences between the cars depending on customer requirements, early numbers had non staggered BBS wheels, later had staggered BBS wheels (individually numbered plaque fitted to centre console below emergency brake lever)

M3 compact

To celebrate the 50th birthday of the German automobile magazine Auto Motor und Sport in 1996, BMW M GmbH handbuilt (at least) one official BMW E36 M3 compact. The car was tested and written an article about in the June edition of the named magazine.[10]

The car embodied all the technical (engine, driveline, suspension) and optical (bumpers, wheels, mirrors, dashboard) characteristics of the stock E36 M3. It was powered by the 321 DIN-hp 3.2-litre engine, and its color was red with a black cloth/alcantara interior. It had the forged Styling 24M 5-doublespoke wheels that came standard on the M3 cabriolet, an exhaust with fairly centered quad exhaust tip, Recaro sports bucket seats, red four-point seat belts and an alcantara wrapped steering wheel and gear lever.

The car was donated to the automobile magazine, but there are no details of the car's present whereabouts.

E46 M3

E46 M3
[[File:|250px|BMW M3 Coupe]]
Production 2001–2006
Assembly Regensburg, Germany
Body style(s) 2-door coupe
2-door convertible
Engine(s) 3.2 L I6
Transmission(s) 6 Speed Manual
6 Speed SMG Drivelogic
Wheelbase 107.5 in (2731 mm)
Length 2000-02: 176.8 in (4491 mm)
2003-05: 176.9 in (4493 mm)
Width 70.1 in (1781 mm)
Height Coupe: 54.0 in (1372 mm)
2001-02 Convertible: 53.7 in (1364 mm)
2003-05 Coupe: 53.9 in (1369 mm)
Curb weight Coupe: 3,415 lb (1,549 kg)
Related BMW X3
BMW 3 Series

The E46 M3, first introduced in October, 2000, appeared worldwide with the new 3.2 L S54 M-tuned engine. At the time of the car's introduction, this engine had the highest specific output naturally aspirated engine ever made by BMW (except in the McLaren F1), producing 343 horsepower (256 kW) and 365 N·m (269 lb·ft). It is only available in coupe and convertible bodies.

The E46 M3 was offered with a standard 6-speed Getrag transmission, but optionally came with a SMG drivelogic transmission (also known as the SMG II). This is the standard 6-speed Getrag transmission with an electrohydraulically actuated clutch pedal. Shifts are made via the SMG gear knob or the steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. The engine had a redline of 8,000 rpm. As with most M engines, the S54 again had 6 independent throttle bodies and this time electronically operated throttles (drive-by-wire throttle with no cable).

In the US, the E46 M3 came with similar engine output as the European version, unlike in the E36, whose engine was derived from the M50/52 series engine. Power was now at 333 bhp (248 kW; 338 PS) due to an extra catalytic converter. In 2009, Road and Track Magazine announced the 2006 M3 with the SMG transmission as its favorite sports car of all time.

E46 performance

The M3's S54 naturally aspirated engine produces 343 horsepower (256 kW) / 3.2 litre.

EUR Models

  • 343 PS (252 kW; 338 hp) @ 7900 rpm
  • Torque: 365 N·m (Template:Convert/lb·ft) @ 4900 rpm
  • 0-100 km/h (62 mph) — 4.8 s for SMG, 4.6 s for Manual, 5.1 s for cabriolet
  • 1/4 Mile — 13.3 s @ 104 mph (167.4 km/h)
  • Top Speed: 188 mph (303 km/h)[citation needed]
  • Skid Pad: 0.89g[11]

US Models

  • 333 hp (248 kW; 338 PS)
  • Torque: Template:Auto lb·ft
  • 0-100 km/h (62 mph) — 4.8 seconds for SMG, 4.6 seconds for Manual, 5.1 seconds for cabriolet
  • 1/4 Mile - Coupe: 13.0 sec @ 104 mph (167 km/h),[12] Convertible: 13.7 sec @ 104 mph (167 km/h) [13]
  • Top Speed - Coupe: 155 mph (249 km/h) (electronically limited),[14] 185 mph (298 km/h) (delimited)[12]
  • Skid Pad - Coupe: 0.89g,[11] Convertible: 0.81g [13]

E46 special models

There were three different models of E46 M3s produced: Model M3 (Sport, Winter, Competition), the M3 CSL and the M3 GTR V8 (limited production).

M3 GTR

An E46 GTR came to life on February 2001, powered by the P60B40 a 3,997 cc V8 producing 493 bhp (368 kW; 500 PS). Surprisingly, the race version just like the street version is street legal. Unlike the straight-six powered M3 versions, which were outpaced by the Porsche 996 GT3, the racing version of the E46 M3 GTR 16 was very successful in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS), entered by Schnitzer Motorsport. Rivals such as Porsche pointed out that this car was more of a prototype as no V8 engine was available in the road-going BMW E46, which is in violation of the spirit of Gran Turismo. In 2001, ALMS regulations stated that cars must be for sale on two continents within twelve months of the rules being issued. To fulfill this rule, BMW put 10 road going GTRs on sale after the 2001 season, for 250,000 euros (then $218,000) each, allegedly only available for select customers.

Due to this, the ALMS rules were altered for 2002 to state that 100 cars and 1000 engines must be built for the car to qualify without penalties. Although BMW could have raced the V8 with the new weight and power penalties under these new regulations, they chose to pull out of the ALMS, effectively ending the short-lived M3 GTR's career.

Two Schnitzer Motorsport GTR cars saw a comeback in 2003 at the 24 Hours Nürburgring, winning 1-2 in 2004 and 2005, as well as entries in the 24 Hours Spa. Onboard coverage recorded in 2004 Hans-Joachim Stuck, Pedro Lamy, Jörg Müller and Dirk Müller on the Nürburgring and Spa-Francorchamps.

Private teams (Scheid, Getrag, etc.) also have fit 3,997 cc BMW V8 engines into the E46 body to race on the Nürburgring, winning some VLN races in the last years.

M3 CSL

[[File:|thumb|A silver BMW M3 CSL.]] The BMW M3 CSL (Coupé Sport Leichtbau)[15] was a limited edition version of the M3, with only 1,400 cars being produced for its 2004 model year run.[16] The CSL was never released into the North American market,[17] and was only available in two colours - Silver Grey Metallic and Black Sapphire Metallic.[18]

As its name suggests, an emphasis was put on reducing weight. The M3 CSL has a kerb weight of 1,385 kg (3,050 lb), 110 kg (240 lb) lighter than the regular M3.[19][20][21] The CSL features many weight saving technologies taken from BMW's Formula One racing applications.[22] A large proportion of the M3's sound insulation has been removed,electric seats, and navigation systems.[17] Air conditioning and stereo systems could be retrofitted free of cost, but were not available standard.[20] The CSL's unique body pieces are all crafted from carbon fiber reinforced polymer.[19] Glass-reinforced plastics are used throughout structural points in the car.[20] The rear glass window was replaced with lightweight plastic.[20] Although the CSL loses a considerable amount of curb weight from its original version, the focus was put on strategically reducing or moving the weight in the car rather than the raw amount of weight that could be lost.[23] This is to retain the ideal 50:50 weight distribution characteristics the E46 has.[19] For example, the roof is constructed from carbon fiber reinforced plastic.[19] While this only reduces the curb weight of the car by 7 kg (15 lb), it lowers the center of gravity of the car and decreases body flex.[18][23]

File:Black BMW M3 CSL E46
A black M3 E46 CSL.

In order to improve the handling ability of the car, the entire suspension system was further refined.[19] Specially developed racing springs and dampers are given to the CSL, and a tightened steering ratio (14.5:1 vs 15.4:1 on the regular M3) improves responsiveness.[22] The braking system is also modified, with larger front and rear floating rotors and calipers from the E39 M5.[17][18] The CSL is given a retuned dymanic stability control system with a "M track mode" setting that allows the car to be pushed to its absolute limits before being activated.[22]

The 3.2L engine used in the M3, the BMW S54, has been modified to increased output by 17 hp (13 kW) and 5 N·m (1 lbf) over the European M3.[18][22] This is achieved through a high flow carbon fiber air intake, modified valve and camshaft timing, and a retuned DME.[18][22] However, the engine is further modified in order to reduce weight - it features a lightweight exhaust manifold and thinner exhaust piping.[22] Additionally, the intake and exhaust manifolds are slightly straightened to improve engine responsiveness.[17]

The CSL also has various aesthetic modifications over the standard M3. It received an aerodynamic lightweight body kit which included carbon fiber front splitters that improved downforce at high speeds by 50%,[19] as well as a carbon fiber rear diffuser. The front bumper has a distinct hole that is used to draw cool air into the newly designed air intake.[19] The boot floor is made of cardboard. The boot lid is redesigned to incorporate a raised lip, unlike the standard M3 where one is simply added on to a flat boot.[19] The CSL was sold with distinct 19 inch lightweight forged BBS alloy rims that came with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup semi-slick racing tires.[18][24] The interior of the CSL is redesigned with a sporty-weight saving theme. The CSL obtains fiberglass front racing bucket seats,[19] and fiberglass backed rear seats.[19] The center console, door panels and trim, and headliner are all formed from carbon fiber,[18][19] and the steering wheel is redesigned with cruise control, stereo, and phone controls removed to include just a single button that activates the M track mode.[18]

Unlike the standard M3, which was offered with a standard 6-speed Getrag transmission, or optionally a SMG drivelogic transmission (also known as the SMG II), the CSL was offered only with the SMG II transmission.[22] This is the standard 6-speed Getrag transmission with an electrohydraulically actuated clutch pedal, similar to an Formula One style transmission.[18] However, the CSL received a more advanced drivelogic unit than the standard M3 that was capable of making shifts in 0.08 of a second.[18][22]

M3 Competition Package

While it is known as the M3 Competition Package (ZCP) in the US and mainland Europe, it is also known as the M3 CS (Club Sport) in the UK.

Although the M3 CSL was never exported to the United States, for 2005 BMW introduced an M3 Competition Package in both Europe and the US (a.k.a. CS/Club Sport in the UK): a $2,500 option which offered a number of upgrades taken from M3 CSL. The package includes:

  • 19-inch BBS spin-cast (flow formed) alloy wheels (marketed as "forged"); 19"x8"front, 19"x9.5"rear: weigh 26 lb (12 kg).
  • Specially tuned spring rates for the Competition Package; this was carried over to all M3 production from 12/04 on.
  • CSL steering rack: More direct steering ratio of 14.5:1 (vs. standard M3's 15.4:1)
  • CSL's M-Track Mode DSC with a button mounted on the steering wheel (deletion of cruise control and steering wheel mounted radio/phone controls)
  • CSL's Compound cross-drilled rotors; larger front rotor of 13.6 inches (from 12.6 inches) with black painted calipers
  • Alcantara steering wheel, gear lever and hand brake
  • Interlagos Blue exterior paint available as an exclusive color option.
  • Unique cube aluminum interior trim

E90/92/93 M3

E90/92/93
File:BMW E92 M3 Coupé
Production 2008–present
Assembly Regensburg, Germany
Body style(s) 4-door sedan
2-door coupe
2-door convertible
Engine(s) 4.0 L V8
Transmission(s) 6-speed manual
7-speed M-DCT
Wheelbase 108.7 in (2761 mm)
Length 2008–2010 Convertible: 181.7 in (4615 mm)
2011- Convertible & Coupe: 181.8 in (4618 mm)
2008–2010 Coupe: 181.4 in (4608 mm)
Sedan: 180.4 in (4582 mm)
Width 2008–2010 Convertible: 71.6 in (1819 mm)
2011- Convertible & Coupe: 71.0 in (1803 mm)
2008–2010 Coupe: 70.2 in (1783 mm)
Sedan: 71.5 in (1816 mm)
Height 2008–2010 Convertible & 2011- Coupe: 55.8 in (1417 mm)
2011- Convertible: 54.8 in (1392 mm)
2008–2010 Coupe: 54.2 in (1377 mm)
2008–2010 Sedan: 55.9 in (1420 mm)
2011- Sedan: 57.0 in (1448 mm)
Curb weight Convertible: 4,145 lb (1,880 kg)
Coupe: 3,704 lb (1,680 kg)
Sedan: 3,726 lb (1,690 kg)
Related BMW 3 Series
BMW X3

The fourth generation BMW M3 was announced on the 2007 Geneva Auto Show (Switzerland, March 6–18th, 2007) with the BMW M3 concept. The upcoming model of the BMW M3 are now hybrids. As was the case with the E46 M3 Concept and E60 M5 Concept, the M3 Concept hid almost nothing of the looks of the production version, that had its world premiere on the 2007 Frankfurt Auto Show IAA (Germany, September 13 to 23rd). It was originally set to be called M4 along with 3 Series coupes and convertibles which were to become the 4 Series, but due to the interest in retaining the M3 bloodline, this was scrapped and the lineup continued as it is.

File:2008-2010 BMW M3 (E90) sedan
2008–2010 BMW M3 (E90) sedan (Australia)

Just as the previous M3 generations all introduced a completely new engine, the fourth generation M3 did the same: the BMW S65 engine was introduced. This S65B40 is a naturally aspirated, high revving 4-litre V8 (based on the S85B50 5-litre V10 that powers the E60/E61 M5 and the E63/E64 M6 to date), delivering 414 bhp (309 kW; 420 PS) at 8,300 rpm, with peak torque at 400 N·m (300 lb·ft) at 3,900 rpm, which represents a power increase of 22% over the E46 M3. The engine weighs 15 kg (33 lb) less than the outgoing six cylinder for a total weight of 202 kg (450 lb). A six-speed manual transmission is standard. As from April 2008, BMW offers a new Getrag double-clutch gearbox, called M-DKG (Doppel-Kupplungs-Getriebe) or M-DCT (Double Clutch Transmission) as an option, which reduces shift pauses to less than a tenth of a second and shortens the car's 0-100 km/h (62 mph) sprint time by 0.2 seconds vs. manual. It features both automatic and manual modes in a manner similar to the SMG gearboxes in the E36 and E46. The E92 M3 coupe inherits the carbon-fiber roof from the E46 CSL as part of the weight-saving program. For 2009, the E9x M3 received the same revisions as the non-M 3 series. The changes include revised front and rear bumpers, and LED tail lights.


The new M3 is once again available as a 4-door sedan, based on the E90 3-Series, but unlike the regular models, this car shares the coupe's front end, including headlights. However, it does not get the 2-door's carbon-fiber roof. The E93 hardtop convertible version joins the lineup shortly after the E92's launch, while an E91 wagon, which was due in the first quarter of 2009, has now been canceled. A CSL lightweight version is heavily debated and longed for amongst car enthusiasts, but while cars suspected to be the new M3 CSL have apparently been spotted at the famous Nordschleife (North Loop) of the German Nürburgring, the M division have stated that they do not plan to offer an e9x M3 CSL and are instead focused on producing M versions of the X5 and X6 in a significant departure from M's historic practices[25]

The front-end design of the BMW M3 Sedan matches the specific look and high-performance character of its Coupé sibling; however the side-sills and rear air dam are uniquely tailored for the sedan. The M3 Sedan is powered by the same engine as the other two versions. The four-door M3 accelerated to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 4.3 seconds in Motor Trend magazine test.[26] and records average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle of 12.4 L/100 km (22.8 mpg-imp; 19.0 mpg-US).

The BMW M3 Cabrio/Convertible is based directly off of the M3 Coupe. The Convertible uses a power retractable hardtop which adds 441 lbs. to the weight of the car, bringing the total to 4,145 lbs. The Convertible also features a special leather surface for the seats that reflect sunlight to ensure the seats to not get uncomfortably hot with the top down.[27]

E92 M3 GT2

.]] BMW Motorsport announced in February 2008 that Rahal Letterman Racing will campaign two factory-backed E92 M3s in the American Le Mans Series in 2009, following a two-year absence by the brand. This was the cover car for the simulation racing game Need for Speed: Shift. For 2010, bmw motorsport has been granted entry in the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans and in the 2010 24 Hours Nürburgring. BMW Motorsport/Schnitzer Motorsport went onto to take an overall win at the 24 Hours Nürburgring with the #25 M3 GT2 of Jörg Müller, Augusto Farfus, Pedro Lamy, and Uwe Alzen. In addition, one of the M3 GT2's that competed at Le Mans (#79) has been chosen as the 17th BMW Art Car, which will be done by American artist, Jeff Koons.[28]

E92 M3 GT4

On April 10, 2009, the week after the debut of the GT4, BMW's Customer Racing program announced it had partnered with Schubert Motorsport (sponsored by Motorsport Arena Oschersleben) to run the BMW M3 GT4 in the 2009 24 Hours Nürburgring race, in the new class for GT4 cars, listed as SP10 there. The BMW M3 GT4 also raced in the Nürburgring VLN ADAC Westfalenfahrt in April 2009, taking the win in the SP10 class and finishing 30th overall. The 2009 24h race took place on the weekend of May 23 and 24, with Jörg Müller, Andy Priaulx and sport auto journalist Jochen Übler at the wheel. Despite qualifying as best SP10/GT4 car at 57th [29] overall and being at least 10 seconds per lap faster, the team finished third [30] in the class, behind two Aston Martin V8 Vantage N24. The overall rank was 47th.[31]

BMW Motorsport announced on July 7, 2009 the launch of a line of BMW M3 race cars which meet the SRO/FIA's GT4 spec and are oriented for sale to private teams and drivers. The BMW M3 GT4 price is 121.500 EUR without VAT.[32] While BMW states [33] that ‘the BMW M3 GT4 weighs just 1,430 kilograms’ and the ‘420 bhp engine remained largely untouched’, the 2010 24 Hours Nürburgring “Balance of Performance” [34] requires that the power must not exceed 390 PS, while the minimum weight is set to 1400 kg.

The M3 GT4 is offered in Europe as a homologated production race car for sale to the general public. According to Larry Koch, BMW NA M-brand manager, a feasibility study is currently being conducted to evaluate the possible sale of the M3 GT4 in North America. However, without a sanctioned GT4-class racing series in the USA, the sale of the M3 GT4 in the States is not likely.

E90/E92 M3 performance

  • 0-60 mph (97 km/h) 4.6 seconds for the 2010 E90/E92 M3, 5.1 sec for the convertible
  • 1/4 mile: 12.7 seconds @ 114 ,[35] Convertible: 13.1 @ 175.4 km/h (109.0 mph)
  • Top Speed: Electronically limited to 155 mph,[35] delimited ~290 km/h (180 mph)+
  • Skid Pad: 0.98 g
  • Slalom: 114.9 km/h (71.4 mph)

E92 M3 GTS

BMW announced the M3 GTS in November 2009. The car is powered by a 4.4-litre V8 based on the 4.0-litre engine found in the standard M3, which produces a maximum of 450 PS (331 kW; 444 hp). A total of only 99 units will be produced. In Germany deliveries begin in May 2010 while other countries are scheduled for the summer. The BMW E92 M3 GTS will start at €115,000 per unit.[36] All E92 M3 GTS models have now been sold.[37]

Critical reception

Ezra Dyer of Automobile Magazine once suggested that "...car magazines generally regard the M3 the same way a four-year-old regards Santa Claus."[38] Car and Driver praised the M3 so much that they placed the E92 M3 in first place in a comparison test against the Nissan GT-R and the Porsche 911 Turbo.

BMW M3 Challenge

The "BMW M3 challenge" is a freeware racing game developed by simbin for simulation and entertainment purposes. The PC game includes single and multi-player modes.[39]

BMW M3 Challenge features a drivable representation of the GP portion of the famous Nürburgring German race track.[citation needed]

Notes

  1. ^ Works figures according to Kittler, loc. cit.
  2. ^ a b c Kittler, Eberhard (2001). Deutsche Autos seit 1990, vol.5. Stuttgart: Motorbuch. p. 130. ISBN 3-613-02128-5. 
  3. ^ "FAQ E36 M3 3.2". BMW M Registry. http://www.bmwmregistry.com/model_faq.php?id=15#2. Retrieved 2010-06-20. 
  4. ^ "FAQ E36 M3 3.2". BMW M Registry. http://www.bmwmregistry.com/model_faq.php?id=15#2. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  5. ^ All figures: Covello, Mike (2002). Standard Catalog of Imported Cars 1946–2002. Iola: Krause Publications. pp. 160–163. ISBN 0-87341-605-8. 
  6. ^ a b "BMW M3 Specs". Carautoportal.com. http://www.carautoportal.com/bmw/bmw-m3.php. Retrieved 2010-10-03. 
  7. ^ Road & Track Sports & GT Cars 1996, p. 18.
  8. ^ "95M3LTW". Bmw-m.net. http://www.bmw-m.net/techdata/95m3ltw.htm. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  9. ^ "BMW World – E36 M3 CSL Lightweight". Bmwworld.com. http://www.bmwworld.com/models/m3_ltw.htm. Retrieved 2010-10-03. 
  10. ^ Auto Motor and Sport, 13/1996, pages 38–40
  11. ^ a b "2002 BMW M3 vs. 2008 BMW 135i vs. 2008 BMW 335i Comparison Test". Edmunds.com. 2008-04-27. http://www.edmunds.com/apps/vdpcontainers/do/vdp/articleId=125908/pageNumber=1?synpartner=edmunds&pageurl=www.edmunds.com/reviews/comparison/articles/125908/article.html. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  12. ^ a b Motor Trend, March 2003
  13. ^ a b Car & Driver, January 2002
  14. ^ BMW M3 Owners Manual
  15. ^ "Tut uns Light". Sportauto. http://www.bbb-online.de/bmw-power/service/sportauto/m3csl/m3csl_1.html. Retrieved 2010-10-10. 
  16. ^ "BMW M3 CSL". Autoblog. http://www.autoblog.com/tag/bmw+m3+csl/. Retrieved 2009-07-10. 
  17. ^ a b c d "BMW M3 CSL Performance". Automobile Magazine. http://www.automobilemag.com/reviews/coupes/0210_bmw_m3_csl/performance.html. Retrieved 2009-07-10. 
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "BMW M3 Parts CSL". US auto parts. http://www.usautoparts.net/bmw/models/m3_csl.htm. Retrieved 2009-07-10. 
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "BMW M3 CSL". Cartorque. http://www.cartorque.co.za/0001.htm. Retrieved 2009-07-10. 
  20. ^ a b c d "BMW M3 CSL (E46)". diseno-art. http://www.diseno-art.com/encyclopedia/vehicles/road/cars/bmw_m3_csl.html. Retrieved 2009-07-10. 
  21. ^ "Car reviews - BMW M3 CSL". http://www.carenthusiast.com/reviews.html?mode=article&id=855. Retrieved 2009-07-10. 
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h [Glass-reinforced plastic "The New M3 CSL"]. Car pages. Glass-reinforced plastic. Retrieved 2009-07-10. 
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References

  • Bloomberg News (2009). "Fiat Retrofits Chrysler Engine, Shelves ‘Dinosaurs’ to Save Gas "

External links


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