BMW will relive the tracks of the German DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft) as the company prepares three BMW M3 teams for the upcoming 2012 season. This will be first time BMW participated in the DTM series, also known as German Touring Car Championship, since 2000. BMW allotted six race-spec M3s for the three teams, and another special M3 which serves as DTM series’ safety car.
The M3 safety car, whose images were posted at the BMW Motorsports Facebook page, is expected to be built not only for speed, but mainly for durability. The M3 safety car is expected to have a power output marginally less than the series racers’ 480 hp. The M3 safety car is expected to have a top speed a tad less than 186 mph.
The 2012 DTM season is expected to be the most interesting series in years after BMW returned to race, bringing the number of constructors to three, with Audi and Mercedes-Benz, and teams to nine.
German DTM will also pave the way for a 2013 North American DTM series, which will be in conjunction with NASCAR through its Grand Am Series. Meanwhile, a unified Grand Touring series is planned for 2015, uniting Germany’s DTM, Japan’s Super GT and America’s Grand Am series under a set of common rules.
In the spring of 2010, BMW shared that its M3 high-performance model has managed to display excellent driving performance while ensuring that fuel consumption is lowered with emission levels at its exhaust reduced as well. While the M3 Coupé, M3 Convertible and the M3 Sedan are all equipped as standard with the BMW EfficientDynamics, this is improved further by the addition of the Auto Start/Stop Function. This has resulted in lowering CO2 emissions by 24 g/km or a maximum of 8% reduction.
The high-revving 4.0-liter V8 engine equipped inside the M3 ensures excellent performance while delivering outstanding efficiency. Output is at 420 bhp (309 kW) and with the use of unique propulsion, ensures superior acceleration response. Since the engine was developed specifically for the M3, it comes with it a rather high level of efficiency.
Furthermore, while this is the first time the Auto Start/Stop Function has been paired with a dual clutch transmission, this same feature reveals an extra efficiency potential. With this function, there is no need to turn-off the engine when the vehicle is not moving as this can lead to excessive fuel consumption. This also ensures that driver can avoid any idling phases especially at congested traffic or junctions.
Should the driver need to continue to drive, the engine is immediately re-activated. In addition, the Auto Start/Stop Function will be fitted in vehicles regardless if they have the M dual clutch transmission or the manual 6-speed transmission.
What this means is that the M3, like the BMW ActiveHybrid 7 –and the ActiveHybrid X6, have been fitted with measures aimed to perfect efficiency whether fitted with the manual or automated transmission. As mentioned earlier, efficiency is increased by as much as 8%, though this largely depends on the type of transmission and model. A good example is the M3 Coupé with its V8 engine and the dual clutch 7-speed M transmission with the Drivelogic.
While output is at 309 kW (420 bhp), average fuel consumption based on the EU test cycle is at 11.2 liters for every 100 kilometers. Although for the manual 6-speed version, fuel consumption under the same standard is 12.4 liters per 100 kilometers. BMW revealed that to finely tune the excellent athletic profile of the new M3, the brand will be offering a Competition Package, set to be available by the spring of 2010.