Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Motoring World: Mighty M3 Back in Business

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Motoring World: Mighty M3 Back in Business

Article excerpt

Byline: By CHRIS RUSSON

TWENTY years ago BMW set the motoring world alight when it introduced the mighty M3.

Essentially it was a racing car sanitised for everyday use and based on the 3-Series saloon.

Purists loved it, enthusiasts clamoured for it but most could only dream.

Now there's a fourth generation of the legendary muscle car and it's still about as good as you can get.

On sale on September 8 the new M3 bristles with engineering excellence and a huge amount of power.

For the new model out goes BMW's stalwart straight six-engine on which the previous M3s cut their teeth and in comes a 420bhp V8 which can blast the car from 0 to 60mph in just 4.8 seconds on the way to an electronically restricted 155mph.

The release of power from the normally aspirated engine is phenomenal and demonstrates BMW's real expertise.

Near perfect balance and rear wheel drive make the new M3 a driver's delight in a cockpit honed for excellence.

At pounds 50,625 the new M3 has slingshot acceleration to match the likes of a Ferrari, Aston Martin or Maserati but at almost half the price.

The M3 slots into the high performance sports saloon class dominated by the Germans with the Audi RS4 and soon-to-come Mercedes C-Class AMG.

This BMW is mean and potent but at a glance its muscle is concealed. Its looks are similar to the 3-Series Coupe but study hard and there are all the tell-tale signs of BMW's M-Sport heritage.

There are quad exhausts, a rear air diffuser, massive ventilation scoops at the front, side vents and a power bulge on the bonnet to house the V8.

In reality 80% of the coupe body has been reworked to create the M3 and only the doors and windows are the same.

As with any BMW M car electronics play a huge part in the driving experience but on the M3 they are not quite as complex as on the current M5 and M6 models.

There is superfast computerised engine mapping, variable throttle and steering settings and, for the first time on a road-going BMW, the ability to change the ride set up. …

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