Steane Klose | Apr 6, 2007

I've shown you pictures of the BMW Geneva show concept car here with some sketchy details and followed that up with more recent picture here. Now BMW have released more details concerning their replacement for the current M3. The new 4.0-litre V8 M3 is expected to make it's debut at this years Frankfurt motor show in September.

Look hard and you will see the carbon-fibre reinforced plastic roof...see it?

It appears that the next gen M3 will include a carbon-fibre reinforced plastic roof as seen on the current model's CSL version and the M6. It's details like this that impress whenever a new M car is introduced. Going to these lengths to reduce the sprung weight and slightly lower the centre of gravity is remarkable in a production car.

It is now confirmed that the 4.0-litre V8 that will power the new BMW M3 will go toe to toe with the Audi RS4. That means 309kW and 400Nm. No power war going on here for the time being. Maximum power is reached at an extraordinary (for a V8) 8300rpm and torque at 3900rpm.

m3-quad-pipes.jpg

An M car trademark continues...

Quad exhaust pipes are carried over from the current model M3 and continue what is now an M Car trademark. Interestingly BMW have only confirmed the 6-speed manual gearbox option at this stage. The SMG (Sequential Manual Gearbox) available on the current model has not been a favourite of motoring scribes but it has found favour amongst the M3's customers. It will be interesting to see what may be offered in place of the SMG.

Weight of the new M3 has increased from the 1525kg of the current model to 1655kg. BMW is claiming a 0-100km/h time of 4.8 seconds which makes it quicker than the current model CSL by one-tenth.

m3-v8-interior-2.jpg

This is where you will sit and ponder what the big knob in the centre console does

The new BMW M3 will include a Brake Energy Regeneration system that stores engine power under braking which is then used to assist the recharging of the cars battery.

As with the M5 and M6, the new M3 will come with more than one stage of engine tune, in this case three. The suspension also has three selectable settings and the power steering two. Will this be another BMW that you spend more time programing than driving?

A four door M3 has been confirmed in addition to the usual coupe. A convertible with a solid folding roof and an estate version will round out the range. Pricing is expected to be higher than the outgoing M3's $140,000 starting price. It would be reasonable to assume that it will still come in under the Audi RS4's $164,000 list.

It's early days but from the purely superficial 'looks' point of view it is the Audi RS4 that I'd be asking to dance. If I danced which I don't.

bmw-m3-v8-right-front.jpg

Hmm...is it a bit bungled by Bangle? The soon to be superseded model looks more aggressive in my opinion

Specifications per BMW Press release follow. Is their copy editor Japanese?

• Fourth-generation of the BMW M3, all-new, unique high-performance

sports car from BMW M GmbH with unprecedented design

and technology, developed on the basis of the BMW 3 Series Coupé.

• Unique character and supreme driving dynamics secure leading position in

the market segment, unique combination of engine power and low

weight ensured by intelligent lightweight technology, power-to-weight ratio

3.8 kg/hp.

• First-ever BMW M3 with an eight-cylinder power unit, all-new V8

displacing 4.0 litres and developing maximum output of 309 kW/420 hp

plus peak torque of 400 Nm/295 lb-ft at 3,900 rpm,

maximum engine speed 8,400 rpm, optimum power and torque

throughout the entire engine speed range.

• Individual throttle butterflies, variable double-VANOS camshaft control,

Brake Energy Regeneration, engine weight 15 kg/33 lb less than the

six-cylinder in the former model.

• Acceleration to 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds, top speed limited electronically

to 250 km/h (155 mph), average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle

12.4 litres/100 kilometres (equal to 22.8 mpg Imp).

• Manual six-speed gearbox with integrated, temperature-related oil cooling,

mass inertia-optimised double-plate clutch.

• MDrive for setting and retrieving the driver's specific configuration

of the engine control map, suspension and DSC set-up, as well as the

Servotronic control map as an additional option.

• All-new suspension with special, weight-optimised components

as well as axle kinematics characteristic of BMW M for a highly dynamic

driving experience, forged aluminium track control arms, compound

high-performance brake system, optional Electronic Damper Control

(EDC) with three freely available control maps.

• First production vehicle in its segment with carbon-fibre-reinforced roof,

carbon fibre serving to reduce the weight of the vehicle and enhance agility

by lowering the centre of gravity, carbon-fibre roof in visible technology

symbolising exclusivity and a direct link to motorsport.

• Authentic BMW M design underlining the athletic look of the car,

aluminium engine compartment lid with a striking powerdome as a clear

signal of supreme power and performance, characteristic front end

with large air intake scoops, muscular, powerfully flared wheel arches.

• Air intake gills in the front side panels, M-specific side-sills accentuating

the concept of rear-wheel drive, discreet spoiler lip reducing lift forces

at the rear, roof in clearly visible carbon-fibre look, dual tailpipes typical of

BMW M.

• High-quality, sophisticated and perfectly appointed interior with a wide

range of customisation, innovative colour and materials concept,

four seats, BMW Individual high-end audio system tailored to the car as an

option, model-specific paintwork and equipment variants highlighting

the exclusivity of the new BMW M3.

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