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Page 1 of 7The new V8 Power Unit for the BMW M3
Source: BMW Group
An exceptional power unit for an exceptional sports car: The V8 power unit featured in the new BMW M3 raises the driving pleasure offered by BMW M GmbH’s high-performance two-door sports car to a level never seen before. And so the combination of this power unit with such a unique car concept offers a supreme motoring thrill virtually unparalleled on the road. V8 power units have always been acknowledged as fascinating machines making the heart of the genuine aficionado skip a beat – particularly if the power unit involved is a fast-revving naturally aspirated engine in an uncompromising sports car. A similar thrill is provided in Formula 1, the highest and most challenging level of motorsport, where once again the eight-cylinder sets the standard and marks the latest development in technology. And the similarities between the BMW Sauber F1 Team’s power unit, on the one hand, and the power unit featured in the new BMW M3, on the other, are unmistakable.
To round off this perfect combination, the BMW M3 teaming up with the new V8 power unit provides the ultimate in thrilling performance on the road. Already a legend in the world of sports car motoring, the BMW M3 with V8 power now once again sets the standard in its class. Indeed, it is further increasing its leadership over the competition as the largest and most powerful engine ever seen in a regular production BMW M3.
The engine’s specifications alone clearly prove the enormous progress achieved in changing over from the straight-six power unit which has dominated the scene for more than 15 years to the new eight-cylinder: Engine capacity is 3,999 cc, maximum output 309 kW/420 hp. Peak torque of 400 Newton-metres or 295 lb-ft is just as impressive as maximum engine speed of 8,300 rpm. So 20 years after the first BMW M3 established the then brand-new segment of high-performance sports cars, the fourth generation paves the way into an unprecedented dimension of driving pleasure.
After 15 years: goodbye to the six-cylinder, hello to the V8
Following the rule that “there is always room for improvement”, even the engine of the “Car of the Century”, as the French motor magazine “Auto Plus” euphorically lauded the second-generation BMW M3 15 years ago, is now giving way for an even more outstanding, truly supreme successor. Especially because the ever-increasing power and muscle of the third generation of the BMW M3, for the first time offering more than 100 hp per litre, already made maximum use of the technical potential of the straight-six engine. And any further increase in engine power and performance would have had unwanted effects on the car’s driving dynamics, since various parts and components exposed in this way to even greater loads would have had to be even more stable and, consequently, heavier than before.
So in introducing the fourth generation of the BMW M3, BMW M is also making a change within the engine compartment, opening up the door to the brand-new V8.
Maximum output of 309 kW/420 hp also sets an appropriate distance to the top engine in the “regular” BMW 3 Series, the 3.0-litre straight-six with Twin Turbo technology and maximum output of 225 kW/306 hp. So the new BMW M3 proudly retains the unique character of a high-performance sports car from BMW M GmbH.
The ideal formula for the engine designer: 8 x 500 = 4,000
Eight cylinders, four litres capacity. Specifications of this kind alone make the dream of the engine designer come true on the new power unit. Quite simply because combustion chambers displacing 500 cc per cylinder are acknowledged as ideal. A similarly powerful six-cylinder, therefore, would inevitably have deviated from this ideal geometry of a genuine sports engine. The V8, on the other hand, in its dimensions, filling quantities, the number of components and in its weight, represents the optimum concept in both theory and practice.