Sunday 17 December 2017

Spoiled for choice with M'n'M, which one will it be -- the M3 or the M4?

The BMW M3
The BMW M3
The BMW M4

Eddie Cunningham Motoring Editor

THEY will be here in June and will cost a little over the €100,000 mark each. So which one is for you?

The BMW M3 saloon or its technically identical but smarter looking M4 Coupe 2dr?

Nice dilemma to have. So many, many people wish they had it.

The saloon costs €100,050 on-the-road while the Coupe costs €100,890.

An interesting departure is the debut in the M3 (and by extension the brand new M4) of a new 3-litre turbocharged six-cylinder petrol instead of the traditional naturally aspirated engine.

It has 425bhp on tap (11bhp more than the 4-litre V8 it succeeds).

BMW says it is the most powerful series-production engine in an M3.

Driving the rear wheels, of course, is a 6spd manual gearbox but a 7spd M Double Clutch Transmission (DCT) is an option. It has remote paddle shifters.

They claim an 0-100kmh time of 4.3 seconds -- half a second quicker than the old saloon and coupe. The 7spd box knocks off a further 0.2 seconds.

Emissions with the 6spd are 204g/km with 194g/km for the DCT. That's a big drop on the old ones (290g/km manual, 263g/km DCT).

I love the idea of the 'smoky burnout setting' which gives the impetuous among us permission to get a bit of wheelspin at low speeds.

Front track is increased to 1579mm by 34mm; the rear is 18mm wider (1603mm).

Here, 19ins wheels are standard. The suspension got a lot of work, they say. The Adaptive M suspension will be standard here. It lets you choose COMFORT, SPORT and SPORT+ modes.

The saloon gets a carbon fire roof (CFRP) for the first time, lowering weight and centre of gravity. It also has a CFRP driveshaft while aluminium is used for the front wings and bonnet.

Standard spec here will include Adaptive M suspension, 19ins alloys, front and rear PDC; heated/ electric seats and exterior-folding mirrors; BMW Professional Media package with an upgraded Bluetooth system.

For those of you who want to live the dream and take it around the track they have come up with a free Laptimer app.

Irish Independent

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