By on November 22, 2011

With engine management technologies creating ever-more refined, well-behaved engines, the snap-crackle-pop overrun at the beginning of this video is an increasingly rare throwback to the time when men were men and engines could blow up at any second. Sure, such playfulness will probably be managed out of existence by the time the F30 M3 hits dealerships, but it seems like a good omen for the M3’s return to six-cylinder power. In fact, it might even be possible that the backfire heard here has something to do with the electric turbocharger that’s rumored to give the new M3 lag-free turbo performance… but then you’d probably be a better judge of that than I.

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14 Comments on “Next-Gen M3 Kicks Up Its Heels, Cackles...”

  • avatar

    I wouldn’t be surprised if that was programmed in. They do it for the E90, so would make sense to also be present in the F30…

    • 0 avatar

      Those are computer controlled theatrics? Guess the M5’s faux engine noise playback isn’t all that sacrilegious after all…

    • 0 avatar

      Knew about the new M5, wasn’t aware that the soundtrack was also partly synthetic with the E90.

      • 0 avatar

        I wouldn’t go so far as to call it synthetic, but it is programmed in to “burble” on throttle over-run if the BMW OEM “Performance Power Kit” is installed. From the PR blurb “The Version 1 Power Kit also adds a very sporty exhaust burbling noise during engine overrun conditions.” The OEM kit for MINI does the same trick.

  • avatar

    On a DI engine, a nice little over-run pop can be pretty easily made in a hot exhaust by retarding the spark timing & fuel injection quite a bit, ensuring a nice burn in the exhaust. Snapping the throttle closed quickly helps too, as it extends the burn duration. So yes, while it may be programmed in, its still the engine making the noises, not the audio system

  • avatar

    Didn’t the R53 MINI Cooper S also have some “programmed-in”/intentional backfire when the throttle was lifted?

  • avatar


    Snap, Crackle, Pop indeed. I’ll see your BMW Rice Krispies and raise you Dick Harell’s Camaro funny car’s real cackling. Since a lot of drag strips won’t let vintage cars run, vintage drag racing enthusiasts have “cackle fests” that basically involve firing up the engines and blasting out people’s ear drums.

    (Click on the 3D icon in the video player menu bar to turn off 3D or change 3D format)

  • avatar

    The N55 will crackle with a Dinan, BMW Performance, etc. exhaust.

  • avatar

    Engineered in theatrics aren’t new. Mazda had to intentionally design the MX-5’s exhaust to give it the proper tone. The Z4 has that diaphragm that carries engine noise into the cabin. And yes, it’s obvious upon hearing it that the MINI has been designed for exhaust noise, as no car with a turbocharger and a catalytic converter should actually sound like that.

    Take it as engineers knowing what pushes our buttons and obliging us. And unlike cosmetic carbon-fiber trim in-cabin, which is just north of tacky, this is one enthusiast-pandering move that I approve of.

    • 0 avatar

      Right on. Doesn’t EVERY manufacturer tune their exhaust? I remember stories about the second year viper getting a complete exhaust makeover so it didn’t sound like a UPS truck. And not just sports cars, lexus tunes their exhaust to be silent etc…

      I like the rasp that comes from my M3 above 4k rpm but many owners can’t stand it so they get an ironically named “rasp pipe” that deletes the rasp. It doesn’t even advertise the customary “+10hp”. I’m sure if BMW didn’t want the rasp, it wouldn’t be there. I don’t see how this is any different that whats been going on since ICE mufflers were invented in the late 1800’s.

    • 0 avatar

      I’d go a step further and say that acoustic engineering in cars is really nothing new. Wind, tires, engine, exhaust, hell even the blower fan on the climate control and the door-closing “thud” are all designed to certain targets. From an enthusiast’s perspective, though, it’s somewhat annoying to learn that hot new singer (engine and exhaust in this case) really has fake tits and a synthesized voice.

  • avatar

    After replacing the exhaust on my E92 M3 with a header-back system employing race cats I noticed popping and minor backfires while the car is cold. I am highly suspicious that the F body (ha ha) M3 won’t be as entertaining as the current one.

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