The 2015 BMW M3 and M4 offer adrenaline pumping performance which is simply second to none in this sporty segment
The year 2014 has been one helluva time for the BMW ///M division, as the performance division of the Bavarian carmaker has launched four different models for the Indian market this year. They introduced the BMW M6 Gran Coupe in April and now they have set free the young and restless M3, M4 Coupe and M5 in one shot. The BMW M5 gets a mid-cycle facelift, while we have seen the 6-Series in many avatars. Consequently, the most exciting cars of the lot are the two new kids on the block – the M3 and M4. For starters, the new generation BMW M3 and M4 are virtually identical in terms of mechanicals, performance and styling. It’s just that the M3 has two additional doors and the M4 gets a slightly reshaped tail for more downforce.
We took a quick spin at the Buddh International Circuit, which is the perfect locale for tasting the scrumptious new Bimmers. First I got my hands on the mighty 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 M6 Gran Coupe. This car has enormous power of 552 HP and peak torque of 680 Nm, which means pure madness on the straights, doing 0-100 km/hr in 4.2 seconds. As you hit the apex though, you can feel its bulky proportions and the brakes struggling a tad bit for effective stopping power. After a couple of laps, I swapped the M6 and got behind the wheel of the M3. As I shove the throttle down and strike the first corner, boy! I felt like transforming from a grey-haired man to a frisky teenager.
Powering the new BMW M3 is an inline-six 3.0-litre twin-turbo engine that churns out 425 BHP and 550 Nm of torque. Despite being turbocharged, the engine response is instant that propels the car relentlessly, doing 0-100 km/hr in 4.1 seconds. The M3 redlines at 7600 RPM and it sounds really masculine as the revs build up, though the V8 growl of the M6 is more satisfying. The 7-speed dual-clutch transmission of the M3 and M4 is another masterpiece. At the back straight of the race track I went full throttle and the way it changes gears through paddle shifts while revving hard is quite fulfilling. The response is in milliseconds and it goes like thak-thak-thak with precision, superfun!
The new Bimmers go like a rocket and handle like nothing else in this class
The terrific handling of the M3 and M4 is beyond the shadow of a doubt. It is very eager to turn in and maintains the line throughout. Thanks to the new and strong chassis, the weight distribution is well balanced, which is apparent on the track. After driving the beefy M6, this felt like cutting butter with a hot knife, it’s very nimble-footed. The steering feels good to hold with perfect positioning of contours and the feedback in today’s day and age is one of the best you can get, works in tandem with your mind. The suspension is meant to be performance oriented and hence it is stiff but how stiff does it feel on Indian roads, we’ll let you know in our full road test review. With so much power on tap and the restless nature of these young Bimmers, the brakes should be super strong and so they are.
The BMW M3 and M4 are equipped with carbon ceramic discs and I never faced any sign of fading on the track, it has ideal brake pedal bite too. The excitement and adrenaline level was about to reach the pinnacle but sadly we had to return to the pit as the sun was setting down. Before leaving the car, I quickly explored the interior of the new M3, which is immediately recognizable as a BMW cabin but has some unique sporty elements. The all-black dashboard is driver-oriented that gets carbon fiber inserts along with a good dose of alcantara. The iDrive system has a wide display with access to multimedia and car information, similar to its siblings. The three-spoke M-specific steering wheel and tiny gearknob look quite racy. The seats are extremely supportive for track usage and are done in white in contrast to the black interior. You have limited but usable space for rear passengers and the boot seems spacious enough for a car like this.
Not to miss the ravishing design and athletic styling of the two cars. The car is based on the numeral ‘3’ but don’t forget the prefix ///M, which makes things way more exciting. There are some hints of the regular BMW 3-Series on the M3 like the headlights blending with the kidney grille and the similar rear profile. Having said that, notice the power bulge on the bonnet and the way the bumpers are sculpted for better aerodynamics. The M4 Coupe looks slightly better with its steeply raked tail. Both the performance cars get carbon fiber roof to reduce the overall weight. At the end of the day I feel that the M3 and M4 are ideal performance cars for the track and for boasting around the streets with a hint of practicality. Of course, good things come at a price (Rs. 1.19 crores for the M3 and Rs. 1.21 crores for the M4, ex-showroom) and these little (but explosive) Bimmers are very good performance machines indeed.