2009 BMW M3 Long Term Road Test

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2009 BMW M3: Purpose

September 11, 2009

COW.jpgDuct-and-airbox-with-arrows.jpg

Probably my favorite thing about the M3 is that every time I drive it hard it reminds me that I'm not the first person to do so. Generations of development engineers have hammered this car into shape and it shows. In more than just the way it drives.

Enter exhibit one: Lift the hood and you'll quickly notice that the ducts on either side of the hood's power bulge are there for a reason. Well, at least the one on the driver's side is.

Right-hood-vent.jpgThe duct on the driver's side of the hood is functional and feeds air from in front of the windshield into the M3's massive airbox. It's details like this that make this car what it is. I'd wager the placement of these ducts isn't coincidence, either. I could say that as airflow over the hood changes direction to bend around the windshield there's a high pressure area created directly over the duct. I could say that, but it would be spececulation.

Hood-vents.jpg

Airbox.jpgAnd speaking of the M3's massive airbox, take a look at that thing. It consumes a disproportionate amount of underhood real estate, does it not? I'd say there's no shortage of tuning (be it for sound or power or both) going on there as well.

Josh Jacquot, Senior road test editor @ 8,472 miles

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