2014 BMW M3 and 2014 M4 Coupe Specs Revealed | Edmunds.com
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2014 BMW M3 and 2014 M4 Coupe Specs Revealed


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Just the Facts:
  • The 2014 BMW M3 sedan and the 2014 BMW M4 coupe will deliver 424 horsepower from a mostly new, twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-6 engine.
  • The lightest version will weigh less than 3,307 pounds, while there will be "well in excess" of 369 pound-feet of torque.
  • The new M models are set to launch in January at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show.

MUNICH, Germany — With BMW giving an insight into the future of the 2014 M3 and the new 2014 M4 coupe, Edmunds can finally confirm the worst kept secret in automotive history: The V8 has been evicted from the M3's engine bay.

Due to be launched at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show in January, the M3 sedan and the M4 coupe will deliver 424 horsepower from a mostly new, twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-6 engine. The lightest version of the new cars will weigh less than 3,307 pounds, while there will be "well in excess" of 369 pound-feet of torque to help shove it all around.

BMW says the new engine will be capable of delivering 0-60-mph times in the low 4-second bracket.

M engineering boss Albert Biermann expects more than 60 percent of the combined sales will go to the two-door M4, with 30 percent for the four-door M3 and 5-7 percent for the late-arriving M4 Cabriolet. Both the M3 sedan and the M4 coupe will go on sale in the spring.

All models will be available with a choice of a new, stronger six-speed manual (derived from the 1M Coupe's 'box, but with a twin-plate clutch, stronger gears and rev-matching added) or a dual-clutch transmission that is actually faster but adds around 60 pounds.

The manual gearbox is unashamedly aimed at U.S. customers, with Biermann pointing out that more than 20 percent of U.S. M3 buyers took pride in changing their own gears.

To get this drive to the rear differential, with its in-built locking unit that now has a drift-recognition system that switches the diff to fully locked, M developed a one-piece carbon-fiber propshaft that adds stiffness, reduces rotational inertia and saves 11 pounds.

While Audi Quattro and Mercedes-Benz's AMG divisions continue to pursue all-wheel drive, Biermann said the junior Ms will remain rear-drive, even into the next full generation.

"To accelerate out of corners, it is so fantastic with this concept that it's not needed.

"People quote Audi, but look at Audi. They have no possibility to make a rear-wheel-drive car so they might as well do all-wheel drive."

M has confidence that the chassis will impress buyers, but knows they will always come for the engine. Loosely based on the 1M Coupe's six-cylinder engine, the S55B30 unit will rev beyond 7,500 rpm, even though the torque peak will be available from around 2,000 rpm and the power peak arrives around 5,000 rpm and holds to 7,300 rpm.

BMW insists on calling it a high-revving engine, though the torque curve indicates a flat, early performance delivery rather than the sweet spinning of the outgoing motor.

Weighing 452 pounds fully dressed, the engine is 22 pounds lighter than the V8 it replaces, even with its pair of Honeywell turbochargers and indirect intercooling system attached. The two turbos generate around 18 pounds of boost pressure, which is then fed through the intercooler into chambers with an 80mm bore and an 89.6mm stroke.

The turbochargers don't use twin-scroll technology, but combine with variable valve timing and lift and direct fuel injection to deliver more power than ever before in an M3 but with emissions around 30 percent lower than the E36 M3 of 1992.

There are four exhaust pipes, too, all of which are permanently open, though an electronically activated flap can short-circuit the rear silencer at the push of a button for more sound.

Even though the 435i's suspension was a significant upgrade over the 335i sedan, the M3/4 has gone even further. M has developed unique front and rear suspension hardware, with the rear end's five-link system attaching to a steel subframe that bolts directly to the body.

It has stiffened up the front end with a combination of forged aluminum suspension components and a thin carbon-fiber strut brace that looks like a giant boomerang, all accommodating M's first electronic power steering system.

Holding up the standard M3 and M4 will be a set of 19-inch forged alloy wheels clad in Michelin Pilot Super Sport 255/35ZR19 tires at the front and 275/35ZR19s at the rear.

The standard brake package will include steel rotors with four calipers at the front and two at the rear, though there is an optional carbon-ceramic disc setup that uses six pistons for the front end and four at the back.

The net result is a set of track dimensions that are nearly 2 inches wider than the 435i's (and almost as wide as the M5's), which demanded unique body panels everywhere. The only panels shared with the 435i are the doors.

While the large rear three-quarter panel is steel, the hood and the front quarter panels are aluminum and the roof and the deck lid (including the aero-friendly Gurney flap) are made from carbon fiber.

"We didn't aim for the previous-generation M3 as the target weight," M's Michael Wimbeck said. "We aimed at the previous, previous generation that was 3,296 pounds."

While the M3 and M4 will retain M's signature 50/50 front-to-rear weight distribution, Wimbeck admits it was a close thing.

"Generally it's 50/50. It's easier to find parts at the rear of the car to make the car lighter but then you have to chase more and more expensive parts in the front to keep the balance."

Edmunds says: As much as we hate to see the high-revving V8 go, BMW looks to have provided more than a few reasons to get excited about the return of the M3's straight-6.

Comments

  • mercedesfan mercedesfan Posts:

    I really hope M delivers on this one. I would love to add another M3 to my garage (well actually an M4). Personally, I am very pleased with the return to an inline-6. I actually wasn't a big fan of the old V8 after living with it. It sounded phenomenal and felt great when you really opened it up, but it had serious driveability issues for daily driving. It produced so little power down low I actually stalled it a few times. I hadn't stalled a car in years. I will be counting down the days until NAIAS.

  • marcos9 marcos9 Posts:

    "While Audi Quattro and Mercedes-Benz's AMG divisions continue to pursue all-wheel drive, Biermann said the junior Ms will remain rear-drive, even into the next full generation." So this implies that "non-junior Ms" aka M5 will get AWD in the future? Has BMW seen the light like MB has regarding putting down power to all four wheels? Say it isn't so!

  • lions208487 lions208487 Posts:

    Looks to be a great car, just as the previous gen, and I can't wait to see the upcoming TT V6 420 HP, 450 FT LBS ATS-V go up against it.

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    Weight down to 3300 lbs? Let me think about that while I feed my pigs and get them ready for take off.

  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    @agentorange: That's really not that bad... I mean, could it be better? Sure, but its down approximately 400 lb. from the last generation. That's actually great if you look at it that way! Also, manufacturers seem to be thinking about weight a lot more t

  • _driver72_ _driver72_ Posts:

    So as all of us BMW fans suspected, BMW got rid of the N54 engine and replaced it with the less tuner friendly, and less ability to make power N55 engine, in order to develop the new M3/M4 engine around the N54. Though I don't doubt the new M3/M4's engine is highly modified version of the N54, it should be considering the N54 came out in 2006. But it's ability to make more power than the new M3/M4 will come with is well known, but clearly BMW had to think utmost reliability, so forged internals is probably a given. Personally, I was hoping for a 3.2 liter I6 with twin turbos making closer to 450 hp. It's displacement would of been a nice homage to the E46 M3 and it's 3.2 liter I6

  • 06sti 06sti Posts:

    Wonder why BMW chose not to use twin scroll turbos and stick with the old school single scroll turbo blades...

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    @quadricycle I would be thrilled if they got the weight down to 3300 lbs. My point is I doubt they will get below 3500 lbs.

  • darthbimmer darthbimmer Posts:

    Seems promising. Looking forward to seeing it without camouflage and reading about the driving experience. Just gotta wait 7 more years for Edmunds to compare it to the all-new 2020 C8 Corvette. ;)

  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    @agentorange: Oh. Well I think they probably will. Though your average M3 (automatic, some options, and fluids) will probably be between 3400 and 3500 lb. when all is said and done, not 3300.

  • speed12sil speed12sil Posts:

    @quadricycle It's 3300 with manual, 90% full fuel tank, no driver. It definitely will NOT weigh as much as 3400 lbs set up that way.

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    RWD, light weight, two correct transmission options, and and Inline 6. BMW may have strayed from its core identity with the new name for the coupe, forced-induction on an M model, and artificial steering, but it retained some things that once made BMWs driver's cars.

  • It will be interesting to see what the new Lexus IS-F horsepower will be and see if they can compete with the other car makers.

  • talonboost talonboost Posts:

    I like it all. RWD = fun to drive and good corner exits, and lighter weight. Six cylinder inline - sweet. Single scroll turbos, well, probably saves 2 or 3 pounds in the front of the car. Lighter weight, excellent, getting too heavy is one place where the Evo X went wrong. The turbo idea in general is fine, I mean usually cars that are turbo from the factory have way more potential for increased horsepower over stock than normally aspirated cars do. So for example, a 2 liter 4 cylinder 4g63 can make 400 hp at the crank without even cracking a sweat, on stock internals, with stock rev limit, with only minor mods. This bimmer engine is 50% more engine than the 4g63. Should be an easy 600 hp there. Remains to be seen how much it would cost you to do that, but it should be easy!

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