BMW M3 guide: specs, pricing and driving impressions

BMW M3 guide: specs, pricing and driving impressions

While most of the auto industry has turned its back on traditional performance cars, this manufacturer is betting that enthusiasts still want the same things.

BMW’s M3 sedan has been at the pointed end of the performance market for decades, and the newer model remains true to its roots. Here are five things you should know about the M3.

This is a cheap M3

We would never call a high-performance BMW “cheap” but all things are relative.

With a starting price of $144,900 plus on-road driving costs (about $167,500 away by car), the standard BMW M3 cuts the more popular M3 competition by $10,000. The big difference is that this car has a six-speed manual transmission, while the competition brings an eight-speed.

Other changes include a less powerful engine and a cheaper interior with low-grade leather. Some driver assistance technologies are also missing. The brand is betting that people willing to shift gears are happy to steer the car into traffic.

The evidence is the choice of the fundamentalists

Powered by a 3.0-liter twin-turbo six-cylinder engine with a power of 353 kW and 550 Nm, the M3 manual engine can reach 100 km / h in 4.2 seconds. That’s three tenths slower than the car’s 375 kW/650 Nm peak, along with the extra descents to help achieve more compelling thrust.

Using the 10.1l/100km 3-Pedal M3 fuel is thirstier than the cars too.

Enthusiasts won’t care, they’re happy to swap out the numbers in order to engage the driver.

It’s a wonderfully polished package, from the nicely placed pedals to the precise shift movement and measured response from the less aggressive tune of the manual drive.

Easy to live with

Don’t be put off by the perceived hassles of living with a manual car in 2022.

Intelligent technology makes BMW a willing partner in a wide variety of circumstances. It won’t stop at low gear – if you stay off the throttle, the car’s computer will automatically call up the correct amount of throttle for difficult tasks like reversing down a steep lane. The transmission has an auto-flash function that matches the rev to downshift during sporty driving, and cruise control automatically resumes when upshifting. Or you can do it all yourself, by mastering pedal inputs to get the most out of every drive.

A cracking device for special drives

The M3 gets a lot right — things like multi-mode suspension that works in a variety of situations, or a lower driving mode with plenty of helmet room for one-day outings. Crisp steering linked to 275mm-wide front tires provides traction for the champion rock climber competition, and the wider rear stays there until you want them to give up their grip on the runway. BMW knows its customers are looking for the thrill of driving, which is why the M3 comes with multi-layer stability control, as well as 10-stage traction control and even a “drift analyzer” that records your best lateral efforts on the track.

This could be a collector’s item

Manual performance cars are increasingly rare – an endangered species as the world moves toward hybrid and electric machines. The M3 is the last high-performance three-pedal sports sedan on sale. As with recent Ford and Holden cars in Australia, we wouldn’t be surprised to see this car holds its value in time. BMW’s financial arm thinks it will be worth less than $50,000 after 50,000 kilometers, but a quick look at the five-year models in classifieds suggests the reality could be more than double that.

Originally Posted as The BMW M3 guide is aimed at true believers

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