Two-Card Monte - 2009 BMW M3 Long-Term Road Test

2009 BMW M3 Long Term Road Test

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2009 BMW M3: Two-Card Monte

June 16, 2009

800 intake vent out.jpg

You've got a 50-50 shot at this. One of the hood vents in our 2009 BMW M3 performs a very important function; the other is a fake put there for the sake of design symmetry.

Which is which?

800 intake vent closed under.jpg

The passenger side one is the fake (right-hand side for those of you playing in the UK, Oz or other RHD countries). They've gone to great lengths to hide it by adding enough depth beneath the grille to create the inky shadows required to make it appear that it actually goes somewhere. A small slice has been made in the floor of this charade, presumably to prevent rainwater and carwash suds from pooling up.

800 intake vent open under.jpg

The driver's side vent is the one that actually does something. What important function could this be, you may ask?

800 intake vent open airbox.jpg

Why, it's an inlet for the intake snorkle that feeds air into the M3's V8 engine. That's pretty important.

I'd have to take the airbox apart to figure out where the carwash suds go when they disappear down this hole, but you can bet they don't make it past the air filter.

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 4,565 miles

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