- 2015 BMW M3 to debut at 2014 NAIAS in Detroit
- Turbocharged 3.0L inline-six engine makes 425hp and 406 lb-ft of torque
- 0-60mph in 4.1sec with standard 6-speed manual transmission
- 176 lb lighter and nearly 25% more fuel efficient than outgoing M3
The iconic BMW M3 is back and will return to showroom floors as a 2015 model in early summer, 2014. We can’t help but notice that the new sedan is lighter, more powerful and fuel efficient, all thanks to a few notable changes.
One of the biggest changes involves the powerplant. The fifth generation M3 departs from the naturally aspirated V8 of its predecessor and returns to the inline-six format. The new turbocharged 3.0L engine is capable of producing 425hp at 5500-7300rpm and 406 lb-ft of torque at 1850-5500rpm.
It can sprint from 0-60mph in 3.9sec with the optional 7-speed DCT, and 4.1sec with the standard 6-speed manual. According to the automaker, the engine achieves a reduction in fuel consumption and emissions of nearly 25 percent.
The German automaker has focused on weight savings achieved by using materials such as carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) and aluminum for chassis and body components – elements utilized with the new i Series . A CFRP roof made from aluminum rather than steel, smaller engine and revised gearbox also help decrease weight. As a result, the new sedan is around 176 lb lighter than the outgoing M3.
On the styling front, the 2015 M3 features large air intakes, exposed CFRP, Gurney spoiler and a rear diffuser – all of which help improve aerodynamics, cooling and weight savings, according to the automaker.
The interior features a host of M specific details, including M door sill finishers, an M driver’s footrest, M gearshift lever, M-design circular instruments with white graphics, M leather steering wheel with chrome trim, color contrast stitching and electroplated-look shift paddles (if the M-DCT gearbox is specified).
To correct loss of traction, the new M3 features a limited-slip differential linked to a Dynamic Stability Control system that detects wheel spin and adjusts as required. If the driver doesn’t want DSC to step in, the system can be switched off completely. The sedan also boasts electronic power steering with three driving modes: Comfort, Sport and Sport+ for track use.
Lastly, the M3 sits on lightweight 18” forged wheels (front axle: 9 J x 18, rear axle: 10 J x 18) with mixed-size tires (255mm f and 275mm r). 19” wheels and tires are available as an option.
Overall, the changes improve the new M3’s fuel efficiency, decrease weight and increase performance. The turbocharged engine and host of driver aids make it an attractive package for everyday driving or track use. Look for its debut at the upcoming 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, MI.
Complete US-specific specs, pricing, options, and packages to be announced closer to the on-sale date.
Click here to read about the 2015 BMW M4 Coupe