Rear-wheel drive keeps the rack-and-pinion steering of the BMW M3 Sedan free of drive forces. A further enhancement is hydraulic Servotronic power assistance controlling steering forces as a function of road speed. There is also a choice of two different control maps activated through normal and sport modes with a console-mounted button.
In Sport mode the BMW M3 provides direct and immediate response with a relatively high steering effort. In the Normal mode, power assistance is comfort-oriented and requires less steering effort.
Latest-generation of Dynamic Stability Control
The electronic Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) monitors driving conditions and intervenes through the application of brakes and reduced engine power to stabilize the BMW M3 and help avoid major over- or under-steer situations.
In addition to engine controls and the ABS, other systems integrated in the DSC are Automatic Stability Control (ASC), which prevents the wheels from spinning on surfaces with reduced traction; the Start-Off Assistant, which prevents the car from rolling back when setting off on a grade, as well as Cornering Brake Control (CBC), which prevents the car from spinning or swerving out of control when applying the brakes in a bend.
The latest version of DSC includes additional functions for even greater driving safety. Whenever the driver is likely to apply the brakes in full within the next few seconds, the system builds up pressure in the hydraulic brake circuit and pre-loads the brake pads to ensure an immediate response. The Dry Braking feature removes water film from the discs in wet conditions, thus reducing the chance of water interfering with the braking process.
Electronic Damper Control recognizing the driver's style of motoring
The optional Electronic Damper Control (EDC) allows the driver to tailor the vehicle's chassis dynamics to his or her preference through one of three modes: Sport, Normal and Comfort. The response of all dynamic driving systems is carefully tailored to the power and performance of the new BMW M3, with electronic intervention of the various systems naturally taking the dynamics of the car into account. Indeed, the driver even has the option to individually configure specific parameters, thus adjusting the response of the car to his personal preferences.
MDrive personalizes the driving characteristics of the new BMW M3
The new M3 provides several standard and optional driver-controlled systems to tailor the driving characteristics to a driver's personal preferences. The driver can choose, with conveniently located buttons:
• DSC on or off (for a very competent, performance-oriented driver)
• EDC in Sport, Normal or Comfort modes
• Servotronic in Sport or Comfort modes
• Throttle response either direct/sporting or comfort oriented
A push of the MDrive button on the steering wheel can instantaneously activate the above driver-selectable configurations, turning the new BMW M3 into his or her personalized Ultimate Driving Machine. The settings are stored through menus shown on the dash-mounted screen and controlled by the iDrive (located in the center console). Storing one's overall preferences under the MDrive allows the driver to modify any of the adjustable settings, yet return to his or her optimum with a simple press of the MDrive button. This feature requires the Navigation/iDrive option.
Athletic, sporting stance separates new BMW M3 Sedan from the pack
Front to back, the design of the new BMW M3 Sedan evokes a purposeful, sporting message. The front end, though clearly a BMW based on the double-kidney shaped grill, flat headlight units with standard Xenon headlamps, boasts three large air intakes below the grill. Since the structure and configuration is determined to primarily feed air into the engine compartment, the BMW M3 Sedan, like BMW M cars in general, intentionally forgoes fog lamps featured on 3 Series models.
The "face" of the new BMW M3 also includes a power dome in the middle of the aluminum hood which, though longer than that of the 3 Series Sedan, blends harmoniously with the overall design.
The two front side panels boast a special sign of distinction characteristic of a BMW M Car and referred to by the designers as "gills," which incorporate the tri-color (blue/purple/red M3) logo. Rear-view mirrors developed for the new BMW M3 fulfill an important aerodynamic function helping reduce air resistance. Further down the side-line, the pronounced side-sills, give the BMW M3 a light and sporting look.
The new BMW M3 Sedan looks muscular from behind, its design taking up the particular look of the car's front end. A discreet lip spoiler on the trunklid optimizes the car's streamlining and reduces lift on the rear axle. In its contours, the split diffuser beneath the rear bumper takes up the shape of the air intakes at the front of the car as the air guide and the dual tailpipes move towards the centerline of the car, visually contracting the rear end at the lower center point. A further feature is the circular shape of the four straight tailpipes in typical BMW M style.
The four metallic paints reserved for BMW M cars (Melbourne Red, Jerez Black, Interlagos Blue and Silverstone) highlight the body, contours and proportions of the four-door with particular intensity. In addition to these unique hues, the BMW M3 is available in Alpine White, Jet Black, or Sparkling Graphite Metallic.
Interior design oriented an active driving experience with luxury
The interior of the BMW M3 has always been a place designed for performance driving, but without compromising the comfort of the driver and the passengers. The new BMW M3 Sedan continues this tradition with the latest innovations. The five seats are surrounded by powerful contours and flowing lines highlighting in particular the concave and convex surfaces. The horizontal lines dominating the area around the dashboard as well as the harmonious surfaces of the side linings give the interior a dynamic note.
The cockpit control area tapers out between the front seats into a newly designed center console which discreetly "swings" towards the driver. Finished in black leather, the console harmoniously continues the instrument surrounds and the control area in terms of both color and shape, comprising three function switches (Power, DSC, and optional EDC) for activating and deactivating the electronic driving programs on the side facing the driver.
Apart from the clear design and optimum ergonomic arrangement of all controls and instruments, the choice of colors inside the new BMW M3 Sedan helps the driver concentrate on driving. Regardless of the upholstery and trim color, the footwells, parcel shelf, headliner, A-pillar trim and the upper part of the instrument panel are all finished in Anthracite. This uniform, dark color scheme around the windshield helps the driver focus on driving.
There is no question as to the heritage of the vehicle upon opening the door of the new BMW M3 thanks to the M car logo in the door sills. The unique nature of the vehicle carries to the dash where the dual circular instruments typical of BMW - the speedometer and fuel gauge as well as the tachometer and oil temperature display - are in specific M style. A feature typical of BMW M cars is the variable warning zone on the tachometer that informs the driver of the recommended engine speed depending on the engine oil temperature. The borderline between the yellow pre-warning zone and the red warning zone moves up as a function of increasing oil temperature to the maximum limit of 8,400 rpm. The digital displays presenting the time, the outside temperature and odometer, as well as the various warning lights, are positioned between the two circular instruments.