A true performaer: Winter Fun in the BMW M3
It is known that the BMW M3 has always been a solid choice for a performance car. This German auto is not only good looking but insanely fast, dynamic to drive and features all of the high performance capabilities that a modern sports car should have.
Since it’s beginnings in 1985, we have seen many changes from engines, to gearboxes, to body styling and suspension and years later here we are in 2016 with the most powerful, most dynamic and most up to date version of the F80 M3 Saloon… Gimme the keys!
The M3 is a potent car with a lot of performance to offer and being a rear wheel drive it also offers a lot of charm and character. I have found the cornering capabilities of this car a little more superior to the AMG alternative, sharper and more precise. The chassis is solid and firm as you turn in and you get raw linear power as you speed out. The in-line six cylinder engine revs upwards to 8000rpm and the turbos really punch hard with very little lag. You get 550Nm of torque from about 1,850rpm which instantly let you know it means business. 0-60 in 3.9 seconds with the DCT transmission fitted. I would say to be careful in the wet though; The engine responds quickly to command and with power comes responsibility. Lets turn the ESP off then shall we?!
If you take the car into sport plus mode you really feel the chassis hunker down some more. When driving the car normally, my favourite mode is simply Sport, because here is where the steering, gearbox and suspension all feel “natural” for the car. I like the simplicity of toggling between efficient and sport engine modes to have the gear box in auto or manual and everything working just how I want it to. Fire the sequential shifting speed into position 3 and you really feel her move. The DCT transmission is one of the best things about the car and shifts can be absolutely violent on the way up should you wish. Downshifts come quickly and seamlessly with every paddle or gear leaver shift. It’s a fun toy when you have learnt your way around the controls and the large rev range.
Another place that BMW excels is in the customisation and tweaking of the cars settings. The M1 & M2 button suit your every desire for Suspension, Gearbox and Steering options. Play with the settings to find your favourite layout and simply save it to an easily accessible button on the steering wheel. I prefer to have M1 as the “nice guy” button and M2 as the “angry guy” button.
The interior is usual BMW with an extra touch of M Design elements, my favourite being the illuminated logos in the seats. There are heated front and rear seats with a good driving position and lumbar support. You get full leather and carbon fibre elements too. The iDrive system works quickly and responds well to input. You can also specify the ambient lighting colour between a classic or sporty colour. In terms of exterior styling… well the pictures speak for themselves! When observing from outside, do leave the engine running; The exhaust system sounds fantastic on a cold start and really will wake up your neighbourhood should you get off to an early start.
Driving the BMW M3, You will continuously enjoy the long rev range and the linear power delivery all the way up to 155mph. There is a sense that this car was made for the driver. The guy who wants to push or squeeze the performance aspect out of an every day car and instantly feel the sensation of being in a sports car. I personally love the character of this car and the look too, with its Euro, boxy, aggressive design it will most likely turn heads and ears, as well as outperform most cars with a bigger price tag. Treat it with respect when the ESP is switched off but definitely get those rear tyres lit up! More info from BMW