BMW isn’t noted for doing things in half measure with their M line of coupes and sedans. So it’s not a surprise that the 2015 model is going to herald some major changes for the M3 and the M4. But what those changes are might be a little surprising.
Less Cylinders, More Power
Likely the most controversial change to the line is the fact that it no longer has a V8. Instead, it’s got a V6 that uses fast-spooling single-scroll turbochargers to get more horsepower out of fewer cylinders; 425, to be exact, five horsepower better than its ancestor. It also substantially improves when it comes to torque, with 406 pound-feet compared to a less impressive 295 from the V8 BMW was using.
It’s also got a much better cooling system, a lesson learned from previous models; some cars in the M line had a tendency to overheat, and BMW has thrown a main radiator with a side water cooler, an engine air intake with an indirect intercooler, and an engine oil cooler at the problem.
This being BMW, they use carbon fiber everywhere they can, such as the driveshaft, which is connected to a six speed manual transmission, and the roof. Where they can’t use carbon fiber, instead they’re using aluminum; the suspension is largely aluminum, and BMW has made some incremental improvements, like removing bushing, to ensure that the M series handles like a race car.
Going For Speed
The only question remains… when will we get a shot at these machines? Apparently they’ll be debuting at the Detroit Auto Show next month for attendees to gawk over. But to actually drive and buy one, you’ll have to wait until next summer; BMW is rolling them out as 2015 models, after all, and a release date isn’t quite set just yet.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.