Bmw testing four different engines for the next-generation M3

Article by Christian Andrei, on May 23, 2011

Aside from BMW’s M5, its smaller sibling – the M3 – is also expected to receive a makeover. The present model, which was one of the most anticipated cars during its launching in 2008, was powered by a new and technologically advanced 4-liter V8. So far, BMW has yet to disclose what will be installed in the next-generation M3 that is slated to arrive in 2013.

According to, BMW is studying four different engines to power the next M3. The first option being considered is the use of TwinPower bi-turbo technology in the existing engine (S65).

This adds a few extra horsepower but with much more torque compared to the present configuration while still providing better fuel economy. Another option is to install either the N55 or N54 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine that BMW sets up with a single or a twin-turbo layout.

This means that the M3 will go back to the straight-six power plant that had made it very popular. BMW faces the challenge of attaining the 400hp that’s expected by most enthusiasts but this unit wouldn’t cost as expensive to develop.

Another option is the 4.4-liter V8 that will power the upcoming M5 and M6 and will result to a more uniform lineup. One thing’s for sure though; no one wants to see the M3 get a detuned unit.

The benefit in having the Auto Start Stop Function is that the vehicle is able to prevent idling phases which usually occurs when stopped at junctions or when in a traffic jam. Since idling generally results in greater fuel consumption, this feature allows the engine to be turned off when the vehicle is not moving. Once the driver decides to drive again, the engine is instantly turned on. This feature is generally equipped inside models that have the manual 6-speed transmission.

This feature also works well with the dual clutch M transmission that comes with Drivelogic. Since the BMW M3 works on an automated manual transmission, it will be one of the first versions, much like the ActiveHybrid X6 and the ActiveHybrid 7, to have this particular transmission combined with this efficiency-enhancing element. As a result of having the Auto Start Stop Function CO2 emissions is improved by as much as 8% to 24 grams for every kilometer.

The actual figures however are dependent on the model and even the type of transmission. Take the BMW M3 Convertible for example. For models that are equipped with the manual 6-speed transmission, average fuel consumption based on the EU test cycle is at 12.7 liters for every 100 kilometers. Models that have the M dual clutch transmission with Drivelogic meanwhile have lower average fuel consumption at 11.5 liters per 100 kilometers.

Meanwhile, the fuel consumption of the BMW M3 Coupé which is powered by the high-revving V8 engine and paired with the M dual clutch 7-speed transmission and Drivelogic is at 11.2 liters/100 kilometers while the 6-speed manual transmission version having fuel consumption at 12.4 liters per 100 kilometers.

The BMW M3 Sedan has the same values. Speaking of power, the BMW M3 is able to attain excellent performance through striking efficiency. Under the hood is the high-revving 4.0-liter V8 engine with output at 309 kW/420 bhp.

As a result of using a distinct propulsion system, the M3 is able to realize top-quality acceleration. As mentioned earlier, this 8-cylinder unit does not only perform well but it also displays amazing efficiency mainly because this engine was specifically made for the M3.

Since it is equipped with the Auto Start Stop Function, it becomes possible to access the engine’s extra efficiency potential. Providing a visual highlight to BMW M3, both Convertible and Coupé version, the rear lights have been modified and are now covered in glass that has a homogeneous red color. Meanwhile with its two light banks making use of LED units, it gives it that nocturnal design feel.

Topics: bmw, bmw m3, engine

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