G80 M3- BEYOND FACE VALUE
The latest incarnation in a long line of M-badged 3 series, but how does the new model stack up to the outgoing F80?
BMW-Bavarian Motor Works. A name synonymous with German Engineering since the days of the Messerschmitt and one of the most technologically efficient names in the automotive industry. The standard 3 series is a fantastic car and now the Munich team are adding another notch to their belt in the form of the all new G80 M3, and boy does it make an entrance! As i stated in my previous "Prior Design" article, I'm not exactly well versed in the BMW community however i cannot deny that i love the M3. I love the aggressive lines of the outgoing F80 series, making it the best looking model in my opinion, and if i were to buy one I'd be going for the E92 purely for that V8 goodness. I must admit, I'm late to the party on writing about the new M3 after its reveal to the world this month however I'm not here to talk about the way it looks like every other article. I'm here to run down some specs and see what makes this beasts heart pump and what gives it its "M" credentials.
Under the skin there are numerous changes that take the G series M3 up another level from the F80. The car is powered by a twin turbo 6 cylinder 3.0L petrol engine (The same as which can be found in the X3M and X4M SUV's). As expected, there will be two variants of the car, a standard and competition pack, with each model featuring a different power output. The standard car will deliver 473BHP, already a 46HP gain over the F80. Now this is all well and good but lets get to the model we will all be itching to get our hands on- The competition. This will come in at a fantastic 503BHP with an eye watering 650NM of torque! For those of us in the UK the competition will be the only model available however i don't see this as an issue. - Go big or go home right? The "comp" will also get from 0-62 in 3.9 seconds and is limited to 155mph as usual however i expect it has plenty left in the tank, possibly knocking on the doors of the 200 club?
The standard drivetrain in the car will be RWD with an 8 speed automatic however this will now be the first M3 with the option of 4 wheel drive. This will be in the form of a X-drive system very similar to that found in the latest M5. This will feature a transfer box with an electronic clutch allowing for a front/rear axle torque split of any ratio. Or, for the more excitable child inside of us, a 100% rear drive split allowing for excellent hooning capabilities.
The chassis of the new car also has multiple new features to help it cope with the extra power being put down. Some of these changes include adaptive dampers and stiffer mounts and bushes all round as well as a rather technical sounding 10 stage traction control system. This will work together with an electronic LSD allowing the driver to be in full control of the car across all weather conditions- A rather nice addition when considering the diverse weather conditions across the UK and Europe. To allow all of this to stop, the car will feature 6 pot front calipers as standard however an optional "M-Pro" pack will upgrade your braking to carbon ceramic discs for some real stopping power as well as numerous other chassis tweaks. Its also worth mentioning that the M-pro pack also raises the speed limiter to 180mph making this a must have for anyone who plans on putting their G80 through its paces on track.
I'll try and keep this section short and sweet because I'm sure were all sick of hearing about "the grills". If you'd like to hear my further views on them check out my prior design M4 article but to cut a long story short- I like it. At the end of the day styling is all down to personal taste because, after all, we are human and allowed to like different things. As well as this, the aftermarket for BMW's is so strong and of a high quality that I'm sure it will be no time until something we all like is available for this car that looks more, shall we say, like usual. This being said, the first non-press photos of the car in the wild have came out and it looks incredible in the flesh, especially in Nardo grey or a darker colour. The wheel setup features 19" in the front and 20" in the rear with a diamond cut finish and really suit the car as does the metallic racing green launch colour. Another marmite feature of the car however I'm a sucker for green cars and love this particular shade. I'd also like to commend BMW for this and going bold on the launch colour as oppose to the greys and blacks that i suspect 80% of these will be sold in.
So, does this car deserve to carry the M- badge? Damn right it does. No matter what your views are on how the car looks i feel that the performance of the car outweighs the styling any day of the week. It nothing more than a sign of progression which should be embraced not hated, that's the whole ethos of an M-car, right? For me, a consumer car with bold styling, an obnoxious colour pallet and over 500BHP is a thing to be celebrated no matter which side of the fence you sit on. A proper petrol heads car, something we can all agree on.