2015 BMW M3 Sedan Review And Specs

Wednesday, July 30th 2014. | BMW |

2015 BMW M3 Front ViewFor the latest M3, BMW continues to follow the successful formula it established with the sedan’s well-respected predecessors: start with the standard 3-Series and add more power, a more dexterous chassis and special styling. Of course, there’s a few new wrinkles this time around, as the M3 incorporates a host of new high-tech features and lightweight components.Competitors for Bmw M3: The M3 Sedan is pitted against the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, Lexus IS F and Cadillac CTS-V. All three of those rivals are on the verge of being redesigned, with the CTS-V set to move up a size class to allow the upcoming ATS-V to serve as Cadillac’s M3-fighter. Despite their age, each model offers a highly appealing blend of performance and luxury.

2015 BMW M3 Engine

Engineers from the M division sought to make the M3 and M4 chassis as rigid as possible, and along with that, lighten the car significantly from both its M predecessors and the cars on which it’s based.

2015 BMW M3 EngineNo surprise that the M3 and M4 mechanically mirror each other. The biggest change comes under the hood, where an inline six-cylinder engine returns, replacing the 4.0-liter naturally aspirated unit in the previous M3. With the help of twin-turbochargers producing the maximum boost of 18 psi, the 3.0-liter I6 is rated at 425 hp between 5,000-7,300 rpm and 406 lb-ft of torque available from 1,850 to 5,500 rpm. That represents a small 11-hp increase, but a healthy 111 lb-ft bump in torque over the old V8. Better still is that the V8’s peak outputs weren’t there until the way up at 8,300 rpm for horsepower and 3,900 rpm in the case of torque, meaning the powerband in the new engine is wider and easier to take advantage of.Transmission options include a six-speed manual and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

A traditional six-speed manual, a modified version of the gearbox in the discontinued 1 Series M Coupe, is standard. However, BMW says that 80 percent will pony up for the optional seven-speed M double-clutch transmission (M-DCT). The transmission snaps off each of its gears automatically, with the console mounted shifter or via the steering wheel-mounted paddles. It is difficult to fault the DCT’s operation, as its operation is smooth and completely free of clunking, rattling or other mechanical oddities.

BMW M3 Sedan Interior

Design changes are most prominent up front with specific fascia sporting larger air intakes to better cool the engine and brakes. The power dome hood remains to give the M3 and M4 its distinctive look, but also provides the additional clearance needed for the engine. Larger side sills, side gills in the front fender, twin-stalk side mirrors, flared wheel arches, double-spoke wheels and a rear lip spoiler complete the more menacing look outside.

The interior gets special M sport seats, a thicker leather steering wheel and other small details like an M driver’s footrest, gauges and door sills.

2015 BMW M3 DashboardThe interior has been treated to the typical M suite of upgrades, including a wondrously thick three-spoke steering wheel, M instrument cluster, M sport bucket seats (driver and front passenger), M dead pedal and the M transmission shifter. While it sounds like there is an abundance of “M” smeared throughout the interior of the cabin, all of upgrades are tastefully integrated and do a great job of increasing its sporty demeanor. That said, I must profess that the near-white leather of my test car is a bit unmanageable, especially considering that it is a four-door (insinuating it could serve some family duty), but it appears classy with the contrasting stitching and carbon-fiber trim.

Upgraded M compound brakes on all four corners and a stiffened, track-tuned suspension keep M3’s newfound power in check. As expected, hydraulic-assist steering gives way to a new, more efficient electric-assist setup with three different effort modes. An optional Adaptive M suspension with electronically-controlled dampers also offers a trio of modes, allowing drivers to prioritize ride comfort or handling agility.

Outside, the M3 wears a heavily-sculpted front bumper, a discreet hood bulge and flared fenders all around. Air curtains mounted in the front apron team up with “Air Breathers” – that’s BMW-speak for fender vents – to optimize airflow around the wheel arches and improve aerodynamics. Around back, a diffuser with inset quad tailpipes and a Gurney-style spoiler provide both style and function. Eighteen-inch rims are fitted as standard, while 19-inchers can be specified as an option.

The M3’s cabin is closely modeled after the standard 3-Series, which means it includes a quartet of simple, driver-friendly analog gauges and a tablet-style 6.5-inch display screen mounted atop the dashboard that displays stereo and vehicle information. Shell out for the optional navigation system, and the screen is upgraded to a larger 8.8-inch unit.

All secondary systems are controlled through BMW’s iDrive infotainment setup, which has evolved over the years from a bewildering complex unit to surprisingly simple and user-friendly system. Redundant controls on the steering wheel and dashboard provide alternate means of accessing the electronics.

BMW M3 Price

A vehicle configured like my test model will start with a base price of $62,925 (including $925 for destination) when it arrives in the States, undercutting the M4 Coupe by $2,200 and making it BMW’s least expensive M offering. But, as is often the case, BMW brought a handful of identically prepared models to the launch in Portugal, and each was very heavily optioned.

The long list started with the stunning Yas Marina Blue Metallic paint ($550) and Silverstone Full Merino leather ($3,600). Added to that was the Driver Assistance Plus package ($1,900), Executive package ($4,300), Lighting package ($1,900), 19-inch black light-alloy wheels ($1,200), M Carbon Ceramic brakes ($8,150), M Double-clutch transmission ($2,900), Adaptive M Suspension ($1,000), Harmon-Kardon audio ($875), Parking Assistant ($500) and Enhanced USB plus Smartphone integration ($500). The miscellaneous equipment drove the as-tested price to $89,350. Before choking on the sticker price and crossing it off your wish list, know that by my calculations you could field a respectable enthusiast model for a bit more than $70,000. Without question, the test car was ridiculously optioned.
2015 BMW M3 Photo Gallery

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