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BMW M3 (2007–2013)

Last updated 17 December 2018

 
5

Model History

September 2007
M3 Coupe launched

The new M3 Coupe was launched in the UK featuring an engine that develops 420hp at 8300rpm and 400Nm of torque at 3900rpm from its 3999cc V8 power unit and red-lines at 8400rpm. To highlight the flexibility of the engine, 85 per cent of torque is available from 6500rpm. Power is transferred to the road by BMW M's six-speed manual gearbox and variable M differential which conveys up to 100 per cent of available power to the wheel with most grip.

This engine powers the car from zero to 62mph in 4.8 seconds and on to a limited top speed of 155mph. However, these supercar levels of performance do not compromise economy with the car still delivering 22.8mpg on the combined cycle, being an eight per cent improvement over the outgoing car. This relative frugal economy is delivered, in part, thanks to BMW's EfficientDynamics programme. Far from only influencing the smaller-engined cars in the range, EfficientDynamics offers benefits to one of the most sporting cars offered by BMW, courtesy of Brake Energy Regeneration. This technology uses an Intelligent Alternator Control and Absorbent Glass Mat battery to recognise when the engine is on over-run and activates the alternator to charge the battery with what would previously have been wasted energy.

Like the larger BMW M5 and M6 models, the new M3 Coupe 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.

The new BMW M3 Coupe shares many design cues and components with the ‘standard' 3 Series Coupe. 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 Coupe 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.

March 2008
M3 Saloon arrives

Hot on the heels of the arrival of a new M3, BMW launched the four-door M3 Saloon. While four generations of M3 have been built, this is only the second time an M3 Saloon has been offered. Thirteen years after the launch of the original M3 Saloon, the new car offers the same levels of scintillating performance as the latest Coupe.

Using the same engine as the Coupe, the M3 Saloon completes the sprint from zero to 62mph in 4.9 seconds, only 0.1 seconds slower than the Coupe, before going onto a limited top speed of 155mph. BMW's EfficientDynamics programme, however, ensures that these supercar levels of performance do not compromise economy with the car delivering 22.8mpg on the combined cycle. Like the Coupe, the new M3 Saloon features 18-inch Dark Graphite double-spoke light-alloy wheels as standard, with a forged and polished 19-inch wheel available as an option.

April 2008
BMW M3 Convertible launched

BMW announced details of the third M3 derivative, the BMW M3 Convertible. The fourth generation of BMW's open-topped M3 becomes the first M car to feature a Retractable Hard-Top. The launch of the new M3 Convertible also represents another first with the introduction of BMW's new seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission (M DCT) as an option to the standard six-speed manual gearbox.

The V8 engine powers the car from zero to 62mph in 5.3 seconds and on to an electronically-limited top speed of 155mph. However, even with these supercar levels of performance, BMW's EfficientDynamics programme ensures that economy is not compromised with the car delivering 21.9mpg on the combined cycle.

In standard specification, power is transferred to the road by BMW M's six-speed manual gearbox and variable M differential. This conveys up to 100 per cent of available power to the wheel with most grip. Buyers can now also specify BMW's new seven-speed M DCT Double Clutch Transmission with Drivelogic. Changing gear using either paddles on the steering wheel or the gear lever, the new M DCT gearbox uses two oil-cooled wet clutches, one controlling gears 1, 3, 5 and 7 and the other controlling gears 2, 4 and 6.

With gear changes made in only a few milliseconds and the next gear selected in readiness, the M DCT-equipped car outperforms the manual gearbox car in outright performance, economy and emissions. The zero to 62mph sprint is reduced by 0.2 seconds to 5.1 seconds while the combined consumption improves by 1.1mpg and the CO2, emissions decrease by 16g/km to 293g/km.

In common with the Sequential Manual Gearbox on the M5 and M6 models, the new M DCT gearbox also features Drivelogic to allow the driver the ability to fine tune the shift characteristics of the transmission. With six shift speeds available in the manual mode and five available when the gearbox is pre-selecting its own ratio, the driver can fine-tune the gear change. And to ensure that the gear changes are perfectly tuned to the engine output, the new M DCT gearbox employs eight LED shift lights, located in the rev counter, to warn the driver of the need to upshift.

Finally, to guarantee ease of use in around-town driving situations, the new M DCT gearbox uses a gradient detection system and Low Speed Assistant. These combine to ensure that the car won't roll back on hill-starts and that the engine's high levels of output don't corrupt the driving experience at slower speeds.

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 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.

June 2009

The special Edition model was introduced as the 'ultimate' M3 with a 10mm lower ride height for enhanced dynamic capability while the interior and exterior offer unique visual enhancements to differentiate them from the standard M3 Coupe. Available in three striking colour combinations of Alpine White, BMW Individual Dakar Yellow and BMW Individual Monte Carlo Blue, the new model features a dark chrome shadow-coloured kidney grille, side vents, bonnet vents and twin exhaust tailpipe. Black wing mirrors, with connecting supports in the car's body colour, help distinguish the new model from other BMW M3 variants.

In profile, the new M3 Coupé Editions feature 19-inch M Double-spoke light-alloy wheels in silver alloy as standard and with black gloss finish as an option. High-gloss Shadowline exterior trim is also standard. The new M3 Coupé Edition retains the existing carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic roof panel with exposed weave as the standard M3.

Inside, the latest BMW M3 has a number of signature touches to set it apart from the existing model. All three versions feature exterior body-coloured stripes on the standard Novillo leather interior, on the front and rear seat backrests and the extension of the seat squab. The front seats also come with exterior colour contrast stitching whilst Black Carbon-structure leather interior trim is a standard offering. Dakar Yellow and Monte Carlo Blue owners will get a continuation of this threadwork on the armrest and passenger door handle.

The Alpine White M3 will get an interior with contrast stitching on the carbon structure leather trim and contrast-coloured door armrest pads, centre console and centre armrest pad. A checkered flag motif decorates the door sill plates to underscore the racing pedigree of the M3.

March 2010
Competition Package introduced

Comprises a revised Electronic Damper Control with a new Sport setting which, when coupled with the 10mm lower suspension, improves the standard car's already dynamic handling. A Dynamic Stability Control Plus system with subtly less electronic intervention than before allows for a more enthusiastic driving style. Exclusively designed 19-inch light alloy wheels, inspired by the popular E46 M3 CSL, complete the package.

At the same time Auto Start-Stop technology comes as standard to all versions of BMW's M3. The Coupe, Convertible and Saloon already feature Brake Energy Regeneration, lightweight engineering principles and on-demand use of ancillary systems to enhance all round efficiency. The introduction of Auto Start-Stop, on both manual and M DCT transmission-equipped cars, represents the first time a BMW model with more than four-cylinders and a transmission other than a six-speed manual has featured the technology.

May 2010
M3 GTS revealed

The BMW M3 GTS was announced with 450hp engine for club sport events, while still being road-legal. In addition to exclusive tuning of the seven-speed M Dual Clutch Transmission with DRIVELOGIC and modified suspension technology, the M3 GTS has also been specifically optimised with regard to aerodynamics and lightweight construction.BMW M3 GTS accelerates from zero to 62mph in a mere 4.4 seconds and covers the standing kilometre in just 22.5 seconds before going on to an unlimited 190mph top speed.

The engine’s displacement has grown from 3,999cc to 4,361cc and this has been achieved by a cylinder stroke that has been extended from 75.2mm to 82mm. The enlarged combustion chamber has resulted in a power output increase from 420hp to 450hp with peak power attained at 8,300rpm. Maximum torque has also been increased by 40Nm to 440Nm and is available at an engine speed of 3,750 rpm.

The M Dual Clutch Drivelogic gearbox developed for the BMW M3 range is standard on the M3 GTS. This seven-speed transmission shifts gears without interruption of power for rapid yet smooth acceleration.

The M3 GTS suspension is based on the front and rear axle construction featured on the ‘standard’ BMW M3 Coupé, but features a rigidly bolted rear suspension subframe with adjustable height. The car, thus, can be lowered by up to 16mm at the front and 12mm at the rear. It also features separately adjustable dampers. Moreover, camber on the front and rear axles is also variable.

BMW M3 GTS high-performance brake system has been designed as a fixed-calliper construction and comprises six pistons per calliper on each of the front wheels and four pistons per calliper on each rear wheel. Compared to the ‘standard’ BMW M3, the brake discs are 18mm larger in diameter at the front and 30mm larger in diameter at the rear.

Specific tuning of the stability control function DSC+ (Dynamic Stability Control Plus), including ABS and the M Dynamic Mode (MDM), make allowances for the increased dynamic potential of the BMW M3 GTS. The unique vehicle comes with intermediate tyres on 19-inch matt black M light alloy wheels featuring a Y-spoke design.

The BMW M3 GTS is fitted with a motor racing-oriented front apron and rear wing elements. These offer the possibility to adapt the car’s aerodynamic characteristics according to the racetrack profile and other motor sport requirements. The geometry of the front apron air deflectors can be varied as can the position of the rear wing. The rear wing assembly is based on the corresponding component featured by the BMW 320si in the World Touring Car Championship.

The BMW M3 GTS will only be available in a unique orange colour. Production of the BMW M3 GTS for the UK market in right-hand-drive form will commence from January, 2011. The on-the-road price will be announced a later date.

March 2012

Exclusive new Limited Edition BMW M3 Coupé and Convertible models are coming to the UK from March 2012. These special interpretations of the legendary high-performance 3 Series are available in a strictly limited, and suitably patriotic, colour palette of Imola Red, Mineral White or Santorini Blue.

Just 500 of these models will be built (Coupé and Convertible combined), each one featuring an edition designation laser cut into the trim inlay on the dashboard. Mechanically, the Limited Edition 500 is unchanged over the M3 in technical specification, using the acclaimed 420hp V8 engine, M-specific chassis with either six-speed manual or seven-speed M DCT transmission.

Model Price
£
Power
Hp
Torque
Nm
0 – 62mph Seconds Top Speed Mph Combined Mpg CO 2 Emissions g/km
BMW M3 Limited Edition 500 Coupé £55,690 420 400 4.8 (4.6) 155* 22.8 (25.2) 290 (263)
BMW M3 Limited Edition 500 Convertible £59,785 420 400 5.3 (5.1) 155* 22.2 (24.6) 297 (269)

* Electronically limited

The three striking exterior colours of the BMW M3 Limited Edition 500 are complemented by the characteristic M-car signature details of the kidney grille surround, side gills and twin double exhaust pipes finished in dark chrome. In addition, both the Coupé and Convertible models come with BMW’s high-gloss Shadowline exterior trim and are further accentuated by the 19-inch high-gloss black light-alloy wheels.

Each BMW M3 Limited Edition 500 will be trimmed with BMW’s extended Novillo leather and also features contrast stitching on the sports seats and door panels. This stitching complements the exterior colour of the car; Imola Red cars feature Black leather with Mugello Red stitching, Mineral White cars feature Fox Red leather with Black Stitching, and those cars finished in Santorini Blue feature Black leather with Tobago Blue stitching.

The cockpit of the Limited Edition 500 features BMW’s Piano Black interior trim, with the edition designation – ‘One of 500’ – laser cut into the left-hand side of the inlay on the dashboard.

Customers of the BMW M3 Limited Edition 500 not only get an exclusive version of this Munich-bred sports car, they also benefit from a keen deal that sees well over £4,000 worth of additional equipment included for only £1,000 on top of the standard M3 Coupé and Convertible list price. Therefore the Limited Edition 500 version of the Coupé costs from £55,690, with the Convertible available from £59,785.

June 2012
M3 M Performance Edition introduced

Solely for UK market. Thirty available costing £74,080 OTR for the M3 M Performance Edition.

Three new 'Frozen' paint colours introduced to the UK for the first time; BMW Individual Japan Red with a Frozen Red wrap, BMW Individual Frozen White and BMW Individual Frozen Blue. All are on sale now. To complement the striking exterior colours, all M3 M Performance Editions come with extended Black Novillo leather upholstery, both with contrasting Mugello Red, Lotus White or Tobago Blue stitching as standard.

Floor mats with contrast piping, an Alcantara steering wheel, BMW Individual Piano Black interior trim with a ‘One of 30' laser cut designation, front headrests with M stitching and door sills with ‘BMW M Performance Edition' designation complete the look of the interior.

The BMW M3 M Performance Edition features BMW's 420hp V8 engine with standard seven-speed M DCT transmission and variable M differential. The car also comes with the Competition Package as standard, which features 10mm lowered suspension, Electronic Damper Control with Sport mode and a revised DSC+ system.

Additionally, the BMW M3 M Performance Edition boasts an array of extra standard equipment including; 19-inch M Y-spoke Matt Black alloy wheels, Dark Chrome exhaust, side gills and kidney surround, jet black bonnet intakes, carbon-fibre front splitters, high-gloss Shadowline exterior trim, folding exterior mirrors and sun protection glass to complement its unique exterior. Adaptive headlights, DAB digital radio, a Harman/Kardon 13-loudspeaker system, BMW Professional Media Package, mobile application preparation, telephone USB audio interface and Internet add to the M3's practicality. While the sliding front armrest, front seat heating and front and rear Park Distance Control complete the package. The extensive list of equipment, now standard, is worth £9,790.

 

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