First Drives: 2015 M3 and M4 Prototypes -Car and Driver, Bmwblog

by Bernie McGroarty on September 24, 2013, 9:30 pm
Car and Driver and BMW Blog got to spend the day riding around in both the M3 and M4 prototypes, just as passengers. However, being a passenger while DTM Drivers Augusto Farfus and Dirk Werner are driving, is another story. Here's some of what they thought.

m4camo

Car and Driver

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Spending the better part of the day hanging around M3s and M4s was hardly a loss. What we learned is enough to stir up some controversy while finally putting a few wild rumors to rest. Take the engine, for example, which is sure to raise a hullabaloo with a few M faithful. The F80 M3 sedan and the F82 M4 coupe come armed with a powertrain that BMW enthusiasts know well but is a first for 3-series–based Ms: a twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline-six. As Augusto Farfus exits the corner and starts to pour on the power, the M4's rear tires scrabble for traction, chattering, stuttering, and even hopping a bit as the meat attempts to cope with the twist. It's behavior that's familiar to anyone who's driven the BMW 1-series M coupe. When the car fully hooks up, we rocket down the runway on a wave of torque that checks in at 369 lb-ft tall and 3200 rpm wide. Even as we lament the loss of natural aspiration, it's hard to argue with that.

Farfus is running with the steering, powertrain, and the optional Adaptive M suspension all set to their hardest-core setting, Sport +. As the car jockeys from left to right and back with velvety transitions, Farfus professes his love for this lighter-feeling M4.

"The front end grip is amazing," says Farfus as he demonstrates the M4's willingness to break the rear tires loose. The standard Active M differential is an upgrade over the old M3's limited-slip differential. The electronically locking rear end decouples the wheels in turns for improved stability unless it senses you're trying to induce oversteer. Farfus does just that and snaps the steering wheel back and forth to induce, catch, and then command his drifts.

The electric power steering that he so effortlessly wields might end up as the M division's greatest triumph regarding these new models. Engineers and executives know that the shift from hydraulic to electric assistance comes with enough stigma to fill an X6, and they claim to have taken great pains to ensure they got it right. The M3 and M4 use bespoke hardware from supplier ZF that makes their steering systems closer to that of the 5-series than the 3-series, but whether it passes judgment ultimately comes down to the calibration. "We don't use [this] EPS to cover up deficiencies," says Albert Biermann, head of development for M GmbH, meaning that the power-steering motor won't compensate for understeer, oversteer, a crown in the road, or a coarse road surface. In fact, the lines of code that BMW deleted may be as important as the code that was included. While virtually all electric steering systems use the motor to help unwind the steering wheel, BMW has omitted this function in the M3 and M4. The steering wheel will return to center by the natural self-centering forces of the suspension geometry, just as God intended.

So BMW has altered the recipe with the new M3 and M4, but we like the big torque, that the cars have lost weight, and that M engineers pledge the steering system will become the industry standard. We can't render a complete opinion, however, until we wrap our hands around the steering-wheel rim and whack some cones for ourselves.
Read Car and Drivers full article here.

m3 camo

BMW Blog

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I'd already been out here on a similar obstacle course with the little i3, but this day with the M3 and M4 was going to be a little different I assumed. Everything on the cars was set by the racer boys to full Sport Plus and no DSC/DTC etc. Standard wheels are lighter 19-inch forged alloys and the tireset was Michelin Pilot Super Sport – 255/35 ZR19 92Y and 275/35 ZR19 100Y. Brakes on all prototype mules were the optional carbon ceramic set at 15.7 inches front with four-pots and undisclosed diameter rear discs with two-pots. In an interesting sign of something, I figured, every tester was set up with the all-new ZF six-speed manual shifter with twin-plate clutch. If the seat of my pants is to tell anything, this new box is even better for playtime than the outgoing Getrag six.

With widened tracks and lowered chassis hunkering down for the run, we smoked the launch right away and were tearing it up through innocent families of cones. In short order, I felt what the difference was essentially. The rear quarters are simply sensational now and you can absolutely shove this mother around without getting things too easily floaty as they have been up to now. It's almost eerie in that the power and torque pile on, you should be gracefully dancing in weight transfers, but you're more ripping and tearing at the tarmac and not budging much from your line. My only worry in all of this as a tad of a purist is that now anyone can drive the M3 or M4 like a DTM racer and pretty much get away with it. It seems like there's so much more to be stuffed into those tires at every corner thrust. And the absolute new sturdiness at the wider front is also clear thanks to the new strut brace keeping side-to-side wag to a minimum.

And, of course, the exhaust – neither Boysen nor Faurecia this time around – is art. All four pipes are open always, so again there is no inefficient Jeckyll-Hyde on/off switch happening, just as there is no typical cylinder deactivation going on in the engine thanks to Double Vanos and Valvetronic acting as a better rheostat-like valve monitoring system instead. So, all remains as smooth as I was hoping in these new cars, but they are striking me as kickass as the V10-powered M5 did when I first drove it. Sincerely.

Deliveries start at the beginning of spring 2014 after the world debut for the production versions of the M3 and M4 at the Detroit show in January. Pricing ought to be around $60k for the M3 sedan and around $65k-plus for the M4 coupe.

Will these be the best mid-size Ms ever? That sort of declaration is always up to the owners and aficionados to decide on their own. This is a passionate pair, though.
Read BMW Blog's complete article here.


m4camo

Also, check out the technical details for the M3 and M4 here and M3 and M4 technical pics here.


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13 responses to First Drives: 2015 M3 and M4 Prototypes -Car and Driver, Bmwblog

Capobranco commented:
September 24, 2013, 10:40 pm

M aficionados know, BMW knows and M knows - this one has to be spot on out of the box - Lighter weight- more power - sexy exhaust - state of the art EPS - all the elements for success appear to be present and accounted for...I look forward with anticipation to driving the car - until that time - I will trust in M.
windsor027 commented:
September 25, 2013, 9:54 am

So all the rumors about maintaining a mechanical steering system were wrong. This raises the question, is there a new software upgrade for the 3-series steering system? You know for those that think BMW has "lost that loving feeling"....lol
Technic commented:
September 25, 2013, 10:45 am

Styling-wise, I can see that the M3 is really an M3 and the M4 is not a 2-door M3. It is something else.

I will take the M3 (with CF roof), thanks.
HokieXDriver commented:
September 25, 2013, 10:49 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by windsor027 View Post
So all the rumors about maintaining a mechanical steering system were wrong.
As were all the doomsday rumors about not having a manual transmission. There's always something to moan about on the interwebz.
boramkiv commented:
September 25, 2013, 12:21 pm

The car to wait for is this one, or these two.
windsor027 commented:
September 25, 2013, 1:38 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by boramkiv View Post
The car to wait for is this one, or these two.
2016 if the S&P 500 is not 600 I think checking this little toy might be a way to go. I wonder what the MF rates will be for it.
mermar commented:
September 30, 2013, 5:07 pm

Should be a wondeful driving car - for about 40,000 miles. Then prepare to endure extremely expensive and frustrating repairs. If only BMW could improve reliability and cost of ownership. Currently they reside just below KIA in the quality rankings.
Center commented:
October 1, 2013, 12:18 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by mermar View Post
Should be a wondeful driving car - for about 40,000 miles. Then prepare to endure extremely expensive and frustrating repairs. If only BMW could improve reliability and cost of ownership. Currently they reside just below KIA in the quality rankings.
Sorry if this is a newbie question (just got my 2nd ever BMW), but can the M's be leased to avoid this problem?
Technic commented:
October 1, 2013, 1:19 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by mermar View Post
Should be a wondeful driving car - for about 40,000 miles. Then prepare to endure extremely expensive and frustrating repairs. If only BMW could improve reliability and cost of ownership. Currently they reside just below KIA in the quality rankings.
Hyperbole much?

BMW warranty is 50,000 miles, CPO is up to 100,000 miles. So where this 40,000-miles doomsday is coming from?
Technic commented:
October 1, 2013, 1:19 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Center View Post
Sorry if this is a newbie question (just got my 2nd ever BMW), but can the M's be leased to avoid this problem?
Of course.
t335xi commented:
October 1, 2013, 3:47 pm

It's unfortunate they are going the twinpower turbo route. There is noticeable turbo lag at low rpms and a big fall off at higher rpms as well as inconsistent power delivery from the turbos. Supercharge would be a much better idea or a combo of supercharger and turbo idk what is really possible but I know my twinpower 335 does not deliver consistent power band I would want in an m3.

Also it sounds like the 2015 s4 & rs4 are already designed to smoke this new m3, particularly from a powerband standpoint. So upsetting I really wanted to get an m3 in two years...
windsor027 commented:
October 1, 2013, 3:50 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by t335xi View Post
It's unfortunate they are going the twinpower turbo route. There is noticeable turbo lag at low rpms and a big fall off at higher rpms as well as inconsistent power delivery from the turbos. Supercharge would be a much better idea or a combo of supercharger and turbo idk what is really possible but I know my twinpower 335 does not deliver consistent power band I would want in an m3.

Also it sounds like the 2015 s4 & rs4 are already designed to smoke this new m3, particularly from a powerband standpoint. So upsetting I really wanted to get an m3 in two years...
where you seeing infor for the 2015 Audis?
t335xi commented:
October 1, 2013, 4:30 pm

[QUOTE=windsor027;7869957]where you seeing infor for the 2015 Audis?[/QUOTE h

I mis read though its only 350hp so m3 is still my first choice

ttp://fourtitude.com/news/audi-rumors-renders-spy-photos/intel-report-next-generation-a4-rumors/