Introducing the New BMW M3 Convertible | Part Two

BMW M3 Convertible

BMW M3 Convertible (2008)

EfficientDynamics for BMW M3 Convertible

Power and performance head the wish-list for most M car buyers, but BMW’s EfficientDynamics programme now also guarantees that efficiencies are optimised. Brake Energy Regeneration is featured as standard on all M3 derivatives, plus M5 Saloon and Touring, and M6 Coupé and Convertible.  This standard-fit technology uses an Intelligent Alternator Control and Absorbent Glass Mat battery to recognise when the engine is on over-run.  It activates the alternator to charge the battery with what would previously have been wasted energy.

A reduction in weight is another EfficientDynamics facet adopted on the new M3 Convertible, especially in the drivetrain. Using an engine block manufactured alongside the BMW Sauber F1 engines at BMW’s light-alloy foundry at Landshut, Germany, the new V8 powerplant weighs a mere 202kgs; 15kgs less than the six-cylinder engine it replaces.  To further highlight the weight advantages, the crankshaft in the new engine is made from one complete forging and weighs only 20kgs.

A bespoke driving experience

In common with the M3 Coupé, the new M3 Convertible features an MDrive button that brings together numerous personalised functions of the car.  The settings for the optional Electronic Damper Control (Normal, Comfort and Sport), three DSC+ traction control settings and three specific engine control maps that govern throttle response can be controlled with one button on the steering wheel.  As can the response rate of the Servotronic power steering.  If the car is equipped with the new M DCT gearbox, the Drivelogic preference can also be saved.  Once the desired settings are created in the iDrive menu, part of the standard Professional navigation system, one push of the MDrive button can transform the M3’s driving experience.

Hard-top or open-top?

The new BMW M3 Convertible is the first M3 to feature an electro-hydraulic Retractable Hard-Top as standard.  It’s also the first M3 to feature BMW’s innovative Sun Reflective leather technology, allowing the driver the opportunity to leave the roof down for prolonged periods without the seat leather overheating.

The M3 Convertible combines the elegance of the ‘standard’ 3 Series Convertible with the athleticism of the M3 Coupé.  A striking powerdome and two air intakes in the aluminium bonnet cover the new V8-engine and help engine cooling.  Primarily, the design of the front of the car is defined by the significant volumes of air required for the induction system.  As a result, three large air ducts in the front lower apron keep the engine breathing.

The flared wheel arches house the standard 18-inch double-spoke light-alloy wheels, with a striking 19-inch wheel available as an option.  Another BMW M trait, a side gill in the front wing, also includes the side direction indicator and the M3 logo.

Aerodynamically-efficient door mirrors channel air flow and reduce drag, as does the rear diffuser, which houses BMW M’s trademark twin double exhaust pipes.

The new BMW M3 Convertible goes on sale in April 2008 and costs £54,655 OTR. (M3 Coupé: £50,725 OTR and M3 Saloon: £49,310 OTR). The optional M DCT Gearbox will be priced at £2,590.

Published 18 January 2008 Melanie Carter

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