Like the larger BMW M5 and M6 models, the new M3 Coupé also 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, plus the response rate of the Servotronic power steering can be controlled with one button on the steering wheel. Once the desired settings are created in the iDrive menu, part of the standard Professional navigation system, one push of the MDrive button transforms the M3 from a car to drive to the shops to a track day special.
All of these power, technology and lightweight innovations combine in the new BMW M3 Coupé to offer a car that is significantly faster around the infamous northern loop of the Nordschliefe. The outgoing M3 was capable of an 8mins 15secs lap but an official lap time for the V8-engined M3 Coupé has yet to be announced.
Coupé design but with BMW M flairThe new BMW M3 Coupé shares many design cues and components with the ‘standard’ 3 Series Coupé model. Only the doors, bootlid, windows and front / rear lamps are carried over. However, a number of subtle performance enhancements combine to deliver an unmistakably sporting outline. 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 created by the need for significant volumes of air for the induction system. As a result, three large air ducts in the front lower valance keep the engine breathing.
In profile, the new M3 Coupé features 18-inch double-spoke light-alloy wheels as standard, 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. Such is the performance of the new car, even the exterior door mirrors enhance the aerodynamic characteristics of the car and provide a degree of downforce.
From the rear, an aerodynamically-efficient diffuser emphasises BMW M’s trademark twin double exhaust pipes protruding from beneath the valance. The bootlid also features a discreet lip spoiler.
The new BMW M3 Coupé goes on sale in September 2007 and prices will be announced nearer the launch date. Published 7 April 2007