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Thread: BMW reveals '08 M3

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    BMW reveals '08 M3

    M3 Sedan Comes to America in 2008

    Woodcliff Lake, NJ -

    BMW raises the performance benchmark once again with the introduction of the 2008 M3 Sedan. Sharing the M3 Coupe?s high-revving 414-horsepower V8 and balanced chassis that is designed to be ?faster than its engine?, the motorsports arm of the German auto maker, BMW M GmbH, is pleased to offer the most powerful, highest-performing M3 ever with four doors.

    Originally offered in 1986 as a homologation special to allow BMW?s entry into the German Touring Car Championship, the M3?s popularity and steadily increasing sales for each iteration motivated the company to continue developing this unique combination of driving dynamics, comfort and luxury in a compact machine and offer a new version each time the underlying 3 Series was reborn. Americans were first introduced to the M3 sports sedan concept in 1988.
    The first M3 produced 192 hp from its 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine during its 1988-1991 model year run. A legend was born and Americans embraced the high-rpm, naturally-aspirated M concept. The next generation arrived in 1995 with a 3.0-liter (and later, 3.2-liter) 240-hp inline-six powerplant. In 1997 the first M3 Sedan joined the family and the first M3 Convertible followed shortly thereafter. The most-recent version, available as either a coupe or convertible from 2001-2006, again was offered with six-cylinder power, this time providing 333 hp from its 3.2 liters. This vehicle was BMW?s first use of SMG (Sequential Manual Gearbox) for the US market.

    The all-new 2008 M3 Sedan and M3 Coupe that arrive in spring 2008 will feature the first V8 in a series-production BMW M3. It will also feature driver-adjustable settings for crucial dynamic controls including steering, damping and stability (and an available steering-wheel-mounted ?MDrive? button to store the preferences) and a sumptuous interior that can be optimized to a driver?s desires including the comprehensive entertainment/navigation system operated through BMW?s latest iDrive controller.

    Lightweight, efficient V8 at the heart of the BMW M3
    The move to eight cylinders in the fourth generation BMW M3 provides a powerplant offering the seemingly disparate characteristics of more power, increased efficiency and reduced weight when compared with the previous six-cylinder M3 engine. Displacing 3,999 cubic centimeters (4.0 liters), the new light-alloy engine produces 414 hp at 8,300 rpm and 295 pound-feet of torque at 3,900 rpm with 85 percent of the maximum torque available consistently through 6,500 rpm. This power output represents a 15-percent increase over the six-cylinder from the last generation M3 and it comes with an eight-percent fuel-economy improvement when compared to its predecessor. Compression ratio is dialed in to 12.0:1 and redline is set at 8,400 rpm.

    The V8-power unit within the engine compartment of the new BMW M3 Sedan boasts the company?s variable double-VANOS camshaft management. Offering extremely fast and responsive valve timing, this technology reduces charge cycle losses and improves the output, torque and response of the engine, with a positive influence on fuel economy and emission management.

    A separate throttle butterfly for each cylinder ? eight in this instance ? is a feature adapted from BMW M?s racing heritage and provides immediate reaction to the gas pedal at all times. Two stepper motors operate the four throttle butterflies on each row of cylinders, giving the engine a particularly sensitive response at low speeds together with an immediate reaction whenever the driver presses down the accelerator for extra power and performance.

    A volume flow-controlled, pendulum-slide cell pump supplies the engine with lubricating oil, delivering the quantity required by the engine. Wet sump oil lubrication, optimized for dynamic performance, ensures consistent oil supply to the high-rpm engine at all times, particularly in extreme braking maneuvers. The system features two oil sumps?a small oil sump in front of the front axle subframe and a large oil sump behind it.

    A new, comprehensive electronic management system coordinates all engine functions with optimum efficiency and maximizes operational integration with the clutch, gearbox, steering and brakes. In addition, the engine control unit performs a wide range of on-board diagnosis functions and masterminds the ancillary engine units.

    A highlight of the engine management system is the use of ion-current technology to determine engine knock as well as misfire and poor combustion events within the cylinders. Contrary to conventional methods, this monitoring and control function is performed precisely where the phenomena occurs?within the combustion chambers. The spark plug in each cylinder senses and controls the risk of knocking, at the same time monitoring the correct ignition and recognizing any misfiring. In other words, the spark plug acts as an actuator for the ignition and as a sensor monitoring the combustion process, and is therefore able to distinguish between a misfire and poor combustion. This dual function of the spark plugs facilitates the diagnostic procedures required in service and maintenance.

    And the increased performance with better economy comes from the lightweight engine. At 445 pounds, it is seven percent or 33 pounds lighter than the previous model?s Inline-6. Lightweight components do not stop with the alloy engine block. The crankcase is made of a special aluminum-silicon alloy eliminating the need for cylinder liners. Despite the need to resist high combustion pressures and engine speeds?this is the ?fastest? production engine ever produced by BMW as it can reach 8,400 rpm?the engineers managed to keep the compact and rigid crankshaft weight down to 44 pounds.

    Manual transmission, twin-disc clutch and Variable M Differential Lock
    Power from the BMW M3 Sedan?s V8 is transmitted to the rear wheels through a close-ratio six-speed manual gearbox. The performance parameters of the M3 dictated heat management as a key design factor for both the transmission and clutch. The transmission features integrated temperature-dependent oil cooling management, while internal ventilation maximizes heat dissipation for the twin-disc clutch.

    The new final drive comes with a Variable M Differential Lock generating up to 100 percent locking action with fully variable action whenever required, ensuring optimum traction on all road surfaces.

    Engineering a chassis which is ?faster than the engine?
    Providing sure-footed responsive handling for a high-performance, powerful and luxurious sedan, while keeping mass under control, presented numerous challenges for the BMW M3?s engineers. The result is a new, aluminum chassis developed specifically for this model. The design begins with placing components in such a way as to create a 50/50 front/rear weight balance.

    Virtually all of the front-end components are aluminum, including the front struts, swivel bearings, central subframe and an additional thrust panel below the engine serving to maximize lateral stiffness of the entire front section.
    From the rear axle subframe through the transverse arms and track arms, on to the wheel mounts re-configured in their kinematics and stiffness and even the mounting points for the longitudinal arms are now even lighter, all the way to the aluminum dampers. Virtually every detail on the five-arm rear axle made of aluminum is new for this model. These weight-reduction measures and materials help reduce weight by approximately 5.5 pounds when compared to the previous M3.

    Both the front and rear axles feature hollow anti-roll bars optimized for their function and weight. Incorporating two additional longitudinal reinforcement bars, axle kinematics are perfectly tailored to the overall character of the car. The result, in terms of both stability and weight, conforms to the balanced performance concept of the BMW M3 Sedan.

    Compound brake system
    A suitably stout braking system for a car with this much performance was specifically developed for the new M3. Featuring large compound disc brakes and electronic anti-lock, stopping power for the new BMW M3 is strong, precise and consistent. The internally-vented, cross-drilled cast iron discs measure14.2 inches in diameter at the front and 13.8 inches in the rear. They are connected to a floating aluminum hub by cast-in stainless-steel pins. This configuration reduces the thermal loads on the discs, thus increasing their performance and service life. An electrically-driven pump provides the system?s vacuum power.
    Service ? and safety ? is enhanced thanks to an ongoing wear indicator which, through a dash display, allows the driver to monitor the condition of the brake linings. Brake service can thus be administered when necessary without guesswork.

    Standard M-style light-alloy spoked wheels measure 18 x 8.5 inches with 245/40 low-profile tires at the front and 18 x 9.5 with 265/40 tires at the rear, can be supplemented by optional 19-inch versions in comparable widths and design.
    Servotronic steering with two manually adjustable control maps
    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.


  2. #2
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    Re: BMW reveals '08 M3

    Eric,

    Compared to its competition like the S4, BMW has been late getting a V8 into its M3, however with 414 horsepower on tap it looks like BMW is going to stomp the M3's competition with ease starting in 2008. BMW keeps living up to its old ad slogan - "BMW the ultimate driving machine".

  3. #3
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: BMW reveals '08 M3

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete
    Eric,

    Compared to its competition like the S4, BMW has been late getting a V8 into its M3, however with 414 horsepower on tap it looks like BMW is going to stomp the M3's competition with ease starting in 2008. BMW keeps living up to its old ad slogan - "BMW the ultimate driving machine".
    The things are incredibly quick/fast - but lately, I find them anesthetic to drive, or just frustrating. I absolutely hate the SMG gearbox, for one. And also the fact that the DSC/stability/traction control system is very intrusive and cannot be turned fully off (or only turned off momentarily; the godamn computer pre-empts you and turns it back on).

    I much prefer driving my TA.

    Cars like yours and mine may not be as quick (and definitely don't come close to handling as well) but the visceral feel of performance is much more immediate and intimate. You are riding The Beast... not a passive passenger along for the ride.

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    Re: BMW reveals '08 M3

    Eric,

    Excellent point.Auto manufacturers now with computer technology can control traction, braking, engine management, shift points, etc. have made these very high performance cars so idiot proof that it keeps the idiots who buy these cars from wrapping themselves around trees unlike the old days where the idiots who did not know how to drive and when to push and not push the limits of their cars usually died in horrific accidents. This is a good thing generally but unfortunately people such as yourself who know the dos and don'ts of a given car's limitations and how to drive a car fast the right way, can't partake in burnouts and the other fun stuff of yesteryear because the computer won't let you. Perfect example of this is the 2007 Grand Cherokee SRT8 - fast vehicle (low 13 second 1/4 mile times) with 420 horsepower on tap. The SRT8 GC never loses traction, it will rip you back in the seat like the fastest of the old muscle cars yet not a screech from the tires. It is so powerful yet completely controllable, if there was no computer, one would be fighting to keep traction to stay straight in a 1/4 mile run (of course this was the fun of 1/4 mile racing) at wide open throttle. The best analogy I can give is these new high performance computer controlled vehicles are like having a .50 caliber gun with no recoil, it defies nature, but the computer controlled cars can now defy nature.

    What's wrong with the shifter on the new BMWs?

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