BMW M division wants lighter cars rather than more power

Article by Christian Andrei, on June 17, 2014

It appears that BMW’s M division is not planning to offer engines with plenty of hp as the German carmaker wants to be in a different league for power-to-weight. According to Carsten Pries a.k.a. the head of BMW M product management, BMW prefers to create a car that weighs 1,000 kg rather than one with 1,000 hp.

The best examples of the new strategy are the new BMW M3 (F80) Sedan and the M4 (F82) Coupe as well as the M4 (F83) Convertible. These models are powered by a 3.0-liter high-revving six-cylinder in-line engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology that delivers 431 hp and 550 Nm (406 lb-ft) of torque. For those who don’t know, the previous generation was powered by a 4.0-liter V8 engine that developed 420 hp and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) of torque.

As you can see, the new models are not too powerful comparing it with the previous generation, but their weight has fallen by up to 80 kg. This means better fuel consumption and less CO2 emissions. According to BMW, the new M3 and M4 models are capable to travel another 100 miles (160 km) on a full tank of fuel.

The weight drop was possible thanks to the new use of aluminum, magnesium and carbon fiber but also thanks to the new twin-turbo six-cylinder engine that replaces the old V8.

In addition, Carsten Pries also said that there is no point of adding the xDrive all-wheel drive system to the M3 or M4. "What is the point of taking out 80 kg if you are going to put 75 kg back through xDrive?" said Pries. Still, this doesn’t mean that BMW is not planning to offer an M model with xDrive (excluding both the X5 M and X6 M), Pries added.

The new BMW M3 Sedan and the M4 Coupe are able to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.1 seconds while top speed is limited at 155 mph or 250 km/h. The M4 Convertible accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.4 seconds, while top speed is 250 km/h or 155 mph. With the M Driver’s Package, top speed is increased at 280 km/h or 174 mph. Fuel consumption in the EU cycle is just 8.3 l/100 km (34 mpg), while CO2 emissions are 194 g/km.

Topics: bmw, sports car

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