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BMW To Focus On Weight Reduction For Future M Models, Not Power Photo:
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Tony O'Kane | Jun, 19 2014 | 3 Comments

The product planning chief of BMW's M performance division says that future fast BMWs won't necessarily have more power, but they will have less weight.

“We want to be in a different league for power-to-weight, but we prefer to have a car that weighs 1,000kg rather than one with 1,000 horsepower,” says BMW M's Carsten Pries.

Pries also said that having all-wheel drive (xDrive in BMW-speak) went against this philosophy.

“What is the point of taking out 80kg if you are going to put 75kg back through xDrive?" he said.

However, while an all-paw M3 or M5 aren't likely, the X5 M and X6 M performance SUVs were likely to continue as AWD products.

Future M cars will also build upon the extensive work done to pare back the weight of the new M3, as well as the M4 that replaces the previous-gen M3 Coupe.

Thanks to a number of weight-saving technologies such as the use of carbon fibre and aluminium, the new M3 weighs around 80kg less than its predecessor.

That reduced mass coupled with the extra power (317kW, up 8kW) and torque (550Nm, up 150Nm) of the new M3's turbocharged 3.0 litre inline six gives it straight-line performance far in excess of the outgoing V8-powered model.

Both the new M3 and M4 will sprint to 100km/h from a standstill in just 4.1 seconds, a whopping 0.7 seconds quicker than the previous M3 Coupe.

Lighter weight will also benefit fuel economy, with less fuel being needed to move less mass.

If Pries has his way, we can expect to see the next generation of M cars become even lighter - perhaps through greater use of the advanced carbon-fibre construction tech used in BMW's new i3 and i8.

And in the case of the portly M5, M6, X5 M and X6 M, that would be very good news indeed..

 

 

M4 Shatters Old M3's 'Ring Record

Perhaps validating Pries' view that less weight equals more performance, the new M4 has chopped a full 13 seconds off the previous-gen M3 Coupe's Nurburgring lap time in testing by German mag Sport Auto.

Driven by Horst von Saurma to a lap time of 7 minutes 52 seconds, the M4 is well ahead of its predecessor when it comes to track prowess.

However it's far from the fastest production M car ever. In 2010, an E92 M3 GTS was steered to a laptime of 7 minutes 48 seconds. Given the GTS was a stripped-out, race-ready version of the E92 M3, one does wonder how much quicker a hypthetical M4 GTS would be...

MORE: BMW News and Reviews

Source: Headline Auto

 
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