The new BMW M3 Sedan is powered by a six-in-line engine, as used on the second and third generation BMW M3 models. However, unlike those preceding models, this new one is turbocharged. Reaching a maximum 7,600 rpm, it is unusually high-revving for a turbocharged engine, resulting in linear power delivery over a wide engine speed range and a characterful engine note, while M TwinPower Turbo technology ensures that peak torque is on top over a broad rpm range. A further hallmark of this engine is its outstanding efficiency.
The new engine sees a slight power upgrade over the previous V8 to 431 hp, which is delivered between 5,500 and 7,300 rpm. Peak torque has been increased by roughly 40 per cent to 550 Newton metres, and is maintained over a very wide rev band (1,850–5,500 rpm). The sprint from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) takes just 4.1 seconds. Top speed is limited to 250 km/h, or 280 km/h if the optional M Driver’s Package is specified.
The engine’s power is transferred to the road via a standard six-speed manual gearbox with robust double-plate clutch. This unit is considerably more compact than its predecessor and 12 kilograms lighter. The gearbox blips the throttle on downshifts – previously a feature reserved for the M Double Clutch Transmission. This engagement speed control function improves the smoothness of the transmission, helps to enhance stability and was originally developed by motor sport engineers.
The other choice is the seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission. As well as changing gear automatically, in manual mode the transmission enables ultra-fast gear changes with no interruption in the flow of power. The integrated Launch Control function ensures optimum sprinting performance off the line. M DCT also includes functions like the Drivelogic modes that can be selected by the driver to give the BMW M3 more comfortable, more economy-focused or even sportier characteristics.
The new powerplant also boasts excellent fuel economy. The CO2 emissions have dropped by 25 per cent compared to the previous mode. The EU fuel consumption is just 8.3 l/100 km (34 mpg) and CO2 emissions 194 g/km.