NAIAS 2014: 2015 BMW M3, Return Of The Straight Six

Phillip Thomas
by Phillip Thomas

The 2015 BMW M3/4 debuts at Detroit with a host of “adding lightness” and a healthy step up in power from the outgoing M3.

The high-winding 4L V8 is replaced by a direct-injected turbo 3L straight six with 425 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque, while dropping 20 pounds off the motor’s weight. The six speed is a carry over, but now gains auto rev-matching for those panty-dropping rev-matched downshifts. The alternative is a seven speed “M-DCT” dual clutch transmission. 0 to 60 is in a scant 4.1 seconds for the manual, and 3.9 seconds for the M-DCT…

The rest of the M3/4 is standard M-goodness. A proper limited slip differential, optional carbon brakes, a slightly more driver-oriented interior, and of course that M-badge. Carbon fiber panels through out, including a carbon fiber/plastic composite driveshaft, aid the M3/4 in dropping about 175 pounds off the outgoing M3. Overall fuel consumption and emissions are said to be down by 25%.

All this is good news: with an ATS-V around the corner, BMW drops the gauntlet with this update.

Phillip Thomas
Phillip Thomas

More by Phillip Thomas

Join the conversation
2 of 24 comments
  • GiddyHitch GiddyHitch on Jan 14, 2014

    Between the curious color choice, Predator gill treatment, M6 wheels, black roof, and questionable fender detailing, this thing may as well some tuner special making the rounds on E90Post. While the M3 name will always quicken the pulse after many fond associations with the E36 and E46 versions, my interest ultimately fades post-2006 (despite what my lying Autotrader/Craigslist search history may say). Quite frankly, a RWD 328d Touring is the BMW that interests me the most … but then again, you would expect a TTAC poster to write that.

  • Kosmo Kosmo on Jan 14, 2014

    Turbo engines are funny. For day to day driving, I love the low rpm torque, but when I'm out fun driving, nothing feels better than a well tuned NA engine climbing its torque curve as it heads towards red line! And BMW has formally reserved the internal code of F81 for a wagon variant. Let the waiting and hoping begin!

  • Glennbk First, Cadillac no longer has brand cache. And as such, the prices need to drop. Second, reliability. Cadillac doesn't have that either. Dedicate GM funds to re-design the High Value Engines. Third, interiors are too gimmicky. Take a step back and bring back more buttons and less black plasti-chrome. Forth, noise isolation. These are supposed to be luxury cars, but sound like a Malibu inside.
  • Dave M. Mitsubishi for many years built stout vehicles for whatever market they were in (specifically citing Mighty Max and Montero). In the '90s they became the LCD for high-risk borrowers; coupled on top of mediocre and stale product, interest in them waned. Aim for the niches (hybrids, small pickup, base CUVs). I find it interesting that they have a plug-in CUV based on/made by Nissan, but Nissan doesn't.
  • Glennbk Please Mitsubishi, no more rebranded Nissan products.
  • Wolfwagen What I never see when they talk about electric trucks is how much do these things weigh and how much does that detract from the cargo-carrying capacity?
  • Wolfwagen I dont know how good the Triton is but if they could get it over here around the $25K - $30K They would probably sell like hotcakes. Make a stripped down version for fleet sales would also help