M-Power reinvented with the 2015 BMW M3 Sedan and M4 Coupe

Background

Anytime BMW launches a new M3, it’s a big deal because it only happens approximately once every seven years. The history of the M3 is as follows:

  • E30 – S14 4-Cyl enging; 4 valve technolgoy.
  • E36 – First 6-cyl; VANOS adjustable camshaft timing; traction control ASC+T
  • E46 – First SMG transmission in the US; variable M-differential; Aluminum hood
  • E9x – DSG; V8
BMW tells us that the M3 and M4 have dual personalities, providing drivers with the best combination of daily driver and track car. Here’s a quick summary of What’s New for 2015 and the fifth generation M3 (and M4 Coupe)
  • Return to 6-cylinder, twin turbo for the first time. Horsepower is up 2% to 425 and torque is up38% to 406 lb-ft!
  • The M3 was put on a high carbon fiber diet thanks to BMW’s holistic lightweight approach. Results may vary based on the model you choose, but weight reduction can reach 180lbs.
  • Fort the first time, all M3s and M4s will receive Electric Power Steering and an Active M Differential
  • An all-new S55 Engine with a closed-deck design crankcase (for rigidity). A high-tech LDS coating of cylinder walls and no liners in the cylinder walls improve power and efficiency.
  • There are two small turbos. Low mass 120k to 200k rpm. 18psi max pressure; Charge pressure control; Electric waste gates
  • Oil System – addition of second oil pump; racetrack capable;
  • Intercooler – large indirect intercooler; minimizes turbo lag; 2 heat exchangers
  • Up to 7 heat exchangers:  Engine oil, DCT oil, Intercooler, 2x water, 2x intercooler
  • STD 6-speed manual. NEW unit from 1M coupe.
  • 7-Speed M DCT with Drivelogic ($2,900 option)
  • Both transmissions are equipped with rev-matching function
  • Active M Differential
  • Electronically controlled multi-plate LSD
    • Electronically controlled multi-plate LSD
    • Fully lockage in 150ms
    • Sensors adapt to driving conditions and style, wheels speed, engine torque
  • Axles & Steering
    • 5-link rear axle bolted to body
    • Double-joint spring strut front axle
    • Aluminum front subframe, shear plate, conrol arm
  • Brakes – reduced by 15lbs.
All M3 & M4 equipped with Michelin Pilot Super Sport

Models & Pricing

M3 - $62,925 (incl D&H)
M4 - $66,125 (incl D&H)

What We Liked

Lighter weight, added power and optional carbon ceramic brakes are a devastating combination.

What We Didn't Like

After a few hours of hard driving, the artificially-manufactured sound is annoying and sound fake.
Traction control is aggressive and dramatically limits off-speed acceleration.
GoPro integration is good, but should've been taken one step further like the 2015 Corvette C7 which utilizes the OBD2 port.

Recommendations / Competition

It's the M3 and M4. A no-brainer because (A) it's a brilliant track car and (B) you'll get instant credibility and validation which is why most people buy sports cars.

Starting Price
$62,925
Expert Rating
86
Coupe
3.0-Liter Twin Turbo Inline-6
425
406
Rear Wheel Drive
7-Speed DCT or 6-speed manual
155
Top speed:
1
6
2
4