One of the most revered phrases in motoring is “BMW M Power”. And, one of our favorite places to see the phrase is on an engine nestled into the nose of a 3 Series BMW. Thus it has been since the first generation BMW M3 appeared back in 1986, and thus it remains today—even with a new wrinkle in the canvas.
If you follow things automotive, you probably know BMW has introduced a new numbering system for its cars. Henceforth, 3 Series cars shall be four-door sedans, and the cars formerly known as 3 Series coupes are now referred to as 4 Series cars. Which explains the slash in the title of this 2015 BMW M3/M4 first drive review. The good news is a mere 10 pounds of weight now separates the two cars, so by and large, what we say about one of them here goes for both.
(And yes, it’s the M3 gets the additional 10 pounds).
Speaking of weight, both cars are some 180 pounds lighter than the cars they replace, despite having more equipment and a more powerful engine. A carbon fiber roof, driveshaft, and trunklid; lightweight front and rear seats; and an aluminum hood, fenders, and suspension components save considerable weight. These elements are buttressed in that regard by forged wheels and reduced sound insulation.
The new engine weighs less too. An inline six-cylinder engine fortified with a pair of turbos has replaced he V8 fitted to the fourth generation M3 sedan and coupe. The six makes a bit more power, and waaaaay more torque than the V8—so don’t let the loss of a pair of cylinders sway you.
All in all, this is easily the best BMW M3 ever offered. It’s the best M4 too—of course since it’s also the first M4...