Isaac Bober says the BMW M3 is more powerful, yet better on fuel than its predecessor and it might just be the best car he’s ever driven.
Any good to drive?
The BMW M3 has arguably become the most famous BMW and the poster child of the BMW M GmbH. Originally designed for touring car racing (and shown to the world at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1985), the M3, says BMW, had to be a pure-bred sports car that offered excellent everyday usability…
Fast forward to this fifth-generation M3, and it too has been designed to go racing with BMW heading back to DTM (German Touring Car Masters) and has been built with the exact same philosophy as the original (the middle three generations got a bit lost); to be a pure-bred sports car that offers excellent everyday usability. And it does.
The 2014 BMW M3 gets a 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged inline six-cylinder producing 317kW (from 5500-7300rpm) and 550Nm (from 1850-5500rpm) and this is mated to a standard-fit seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (M-DCT) with a six-speed manual being a no-cost option. The M3 with M-DCT will get to 100km/h in just 4.1 seconds (4.3secs – six-speed manual). Fuel consumption is 8.3L/100km (8.8L/100km – six-speed manual).
The local launch of the M3 was on both racetrack (Hampton Downs, New Zealand) and on the tight and twisting roads out around Port Waikato. And in both locations the M3 was flawless. Beautifully balanced, eager, scalpel sharp and surprisingly forgiving of my fists of ham and buttery fingers, the 2014 M3 is easily one of the best cars I’ve ever driven, if not the best.
Room to move?
Behind the wheel, the 2014 BMW M3 makes a lot of sense as a performance-oriented family car with plenty of room for four people; there’s plenty of rear seat head, shoulder and leg room. The sports-style bucket seats keep you the driver and front passenger embraced without being restrictive and the vision out of the vehicle is excellent. The boot offers 480 litres of storage space.
How much and what do you get?
The all-new BMW M3 lists for $156,900 (+ORC), but BMW Australia says this new M3 carries $8500 of added value over its predecessor and that if you were to up-spec the previous-generation M3 to match the standard specification of the 2014 M3 you’d be paying more than $165,000 (+ORC).
Standard kit includes, M designated door entry sills and gearshift lever, carbon fibre interior trim with black chrome accents, the double spoke M leather steering wheel with gearshift paddles and leather interior. There’s also dual-zone climate control, keyless entry, adaptive bi-xenon headlights with Anti-Glare High Beam Assist, front and rear parking sensors, with a reversing camera, and a 16-speaker, 600 watt harmon/kardon audio system, Bluetooth and audio streaming as well as iPod connectivity, and much more.
Is it safe?
The 2014 M3 is fitted with six airbags and is expected to achieve an EuroNCAP and ANCAP five-star crash safety rating. All M3s and M4s also feature BMW ConnectedDrive which offers immediate contact to the BMW ConnectedDrive call centre in the event of an accident. Emergency services can also be contacted via the SOS button.
Offering performance and practicality the new M3 is not only more powerful and yet more fuel efficient than its predecessor it also outperforms it in terms of ride and handling – it does exactly what BMW intended the original M3 to do, it’s a pure bred sports car that offers excellent everyday usability – it’s not just the best car I’ve driven this year, but the best car I’ve ever driven.
2014 BMW M3
Price $156,900 (+ORC) Warranty three years Safety Not yet tested Engine 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged inline six-cylinder petrol Power/Torque 317kW/550Nm Transmission seven-speed M-DCT (six-speed manual no-cost option) Body 4671mm (L); 1877mm (W); 1424mm (H) Weight 1520kg Thirst 8.3L/100km
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