2009 BMW M3: Variable Redline Indicator
July 30, 2009
Tradition has carried on from the previous-generation M3 as the new M3 has a variable redline indicator on the tachometer. When you first start up, the redline is low and then slowly rises in engine speed as the V8 warms up. From a diagram in the owner's manual, it appears that redline can be as low as 4,500 rpm, though here during the California summer our 2009 M3 sedan's redline has never been lower than 6,000 rpm or so. Of course, once it's fully warmed up, the engine can spin up to 8,400 rpm.
The old M3 had a colored light indicator for redline (previous blog posts with photos are here and here) but this time it's an analog indicator that circles the outside of the tach. It operates sort of like a reverse thermometer; the red part slowly drops down as the engine warms up. The new redline indicator is more sophisticated than the old M3's colored lights, but part of me still likes the old lights for their honest simplicity.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor