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M3 Sedan - E90 (2007 - ...) - Chassis and Stability Control

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Aluminium chassis for supreme driving pleasure.
Separating steering and drive forces on the front and rear axle, a BMW offers ideal qualities from the start for particularly dynamic driving behaviour. The chassis and suspension of the BMW M3 are brand-new developments from the ground up once again modified in a number of details versus the configuration chosen on the Coupé in order to make allowance for the particular weight balance of the four-door model. The general objective in developing the chassis and suspension of the Saloon was not just to adjust all features to the extremely high power of the engine and the drive forces encountered on the road, but also to save weight all round – which is why nearly all components on the newly developed front axle are made of aluminium: Among others, the even stiffer spring struts, the swivel bearings, the central carrier element and an additional thrust panel increasing the lateral stiffness of the entire front section are all made of this lightweight material.
Even the high-performance brake system with its compound discs allows a further reduction of weight versus the brakes on the former model, made possible by the engineers at BMW M GmbH. From the rear axle subframe through the transverse arms and track arms made of aluminium, on to the wheel mounts re-configured in their kinematics and stiffness, the mounting points for the longitudinal arms now even lower down, all the way to the aluminium dampers and the hollow anti-roll bar resting on new mounts, virtually every detail on the five-arm rear axle made in lightweight technology is a new development. The result, in terms of both stability and weight, offers all the qualities and features requirements which follow from the concept of the BMW M3 Saloon, production of all aluminium track arms as forgings interacting with the aluminium dampers serving to reduce the weight of these components versus the “regular” BMW 3 Series Saloon by 2.5 kg. Both the front and rear axle feature hollow anti-roll bars optimised for their function and weight, the change in geometry – incorporating, inter alia, two additional longitudinal reinforcement bars – providing axle kinematics perfectly tailored to the overall character of the car, together with the superior power of the engine and the particularly sporting character of the BMW M3 right from the start.

Variable M Differential Lock for perfect traction on the rear wheels.
The new final drive comes with a Variable M Differential Lock also on the BMW M3 Saloon generating up to 100 per cent locking action with fully variable action whenever required and thus ensuring optimum traction on all road surfaces. The Variable M Differential Lock responds to differences in speed between the right and left rear wheel, a solution ideally supplementing the positive qualities of rear-wheel drive. The new BMW M3 comes as standard on light-alloy wheels in special M design, with 8.5 x 18-inch rims running on 245/40 low-profile tyres at the front and 9.5 x 18-inch rims teaming up with 265/40 tyres at the rear. The result of this comprehensive chassis and suspension development also comes out clearly on the stop-watch, with the new BMW M3 Saloon achieving almost the same lap times on the Nordschleife – the Northern Circuit – of Nürburgring, the benchmark for all cars from BMW M GmbH, as the Coupé, significantly outperforming the speed and lap times of former BMW M3 model generations.


Servotronic with two manually adjustable control maps.
Rear wheel drive keeps the rack-and-pinion steering of the BMW M3 Saloon free of drive forces. A further enhancement is hydraulic Servotronic power assistance controlling steering forces as a function of road speed – and with BMW iDrive enabling the driver to choose and vary the degree of power assistance himself. There is also a choice of two different control maps activated through the Normal and, respectively, the Sports mode. In the Sports mode the BMW M3 maintains its very direct feeling and feedback on road conditions, enabling the driver to steer the car with utmost precision on winding country roads and at high speeds. In the Normal mode, on the other hand, steering power assistance is more comfort-oriented, enabling the driver to park the car, for example, smoothly and with far less effort. 

Latest-generation of Dynamic Stability Control.
Electronic driving dynamics programs support the driver of the new BMW M3 Saloon in all kinds of situations extending all the way to the absolute limit in driving physics. DSC Dynamic Stability Control, as one example, permanently monitors the driving condition of the car, intervening in the individual brakes whenever required and reducing drive power in order to stabilise the BMW M3 Saloon, thus serving, inter alia, to counteract any over- or understeer in bends in good time. Further systems integrated in Dynamic Stability Control are the ABS anti-lock brakes, ASC Automatic Stability Control preventing the wheels from spinning on surfaces with reduced traction, a Start-Off Assistant preventing the car from rolling back when setting off on an uphill gradient, as well as CBC Cornering Brake Control preventing the car from spinning or swerving out of control when applying the brakes in a bend. Now enhanced to an even higher standard, DSC Dynamic Stability Control comprises additional functions for even greater driving safety: Whenever the driver is likely to apply the brakes in full within the next few seconds, the system builds up pressure in the hydraulic brake circuit in good time and pre-loads the brake pads to ensure an immediate response and significantly shorten the stopping distance required. Regular Dry Braking in wet conditions, finally, serves to ensure immediate application of the brakes without restriction by removing a possible film of water from the brake discs.


Last Updated on Monday, 12 April 2010 14:37  

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