BMW M3 

  • $60k built in Germany
  • 2008
  • 420 HP 4.0L
  • 161 mph
It grows in urgency as the revs build quickly, but it’s not as vivid or animalistic as I was expecting.
by EVO
The way the brakes begin to grumble during heavy braking is less impressive, but they work well enough.
by EVO

Road Tests Real world tests of the BMW M3

0-60mph

M3 (E92) Coupe
4.4 s

Top speed

M3 (E92) Coupe
161 mph
Reventón Coupe
221 mph
Porsche 911
130 mph

0-100mph

M3 (E92) Coupe
10 s
Porsche 911
22.3 s
GT 86
17.8 s

1/4 mile

M3 (E92) Coupe
12.5 s
Porsche 911
16.5 s
GT 86
15.3 s

Data points Key details of the BMW M3

Price

M3 (E92) Coupe
$60k
Jaguar XKR-S
$148k

Horsepower

M3 (E92) Coupe
420 HP
Porsche 911
128 HP
GT 86
197 HP

What People Are Saying Give it to me straight

Performance

An individual throttle butterfly for each cylinder ensures a fast, precise throttle response, while the Double-VANOS valve-timing system optimises performance across the epic 8400rpm rev-range.
by EVO
The torque peak of 295 pound-feet comes at 3900 rpm, but the torque curve is nearly flat from 3500 to 6500 rpm.
by Car and Driver (Sep, 2007)
Fortunately when you disengage the system the M3 remains intuitive and easily steered on the throttle.
by EVO

Powertrain

Although a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual is en route, the M3’s six-speed Getrag-built manual is, as always, smooth-shifting, with clutch action that shows none of the annoying hair-trigger engagement we’ve seen on so many previous manual-equipped BMWs.
by Car and Driver (Feb, 2008)
Most of the sentimental drivers on staff would have preferred a manual transmission in the M3, although the automatic function of the M DCT is good for mindless commuting.
by Car and Driver (Dec, 2009)
We were eager to try this setup because dual-clutch transmissions promise the smoothness of an automatic when the driver can’t be bothered to change gears, as well as superfast paddle shifts in manual mode.
by Car and Driver (Dec, 2009)

Engine

We've already spent plenty of time with the 4.0-liter V-8's big brother, the 5.0-liter V-10 found in the M5 and M6, so we pretty much knew it was going to scream.
by Car and Driver (Jul, 2007)
With the possible exception of the engine, which is more spectacular than we’d dared hope, the new M3 has thrown us no great surprises.
by EVO
Although the 2008 BMW M3, which goes on sale next spring, is the absolute state of the art in engine and chassis technology, it remains the soulful driving machine that made its predecessors perennial Car and Driver 10Best favorites.
by Car and Driver (Sep, 2007)

Handling

On the positive side, there’s little body roll and the chassis’ balance is pleasingly neutral, with plenty of front-end grip to lean on as you begin to feed-in the abundant power of the high-revving V8.
by EVO
The rather brittle ride from the last-generation M3 is replaced by one that is amazingly supple, considering the M3's ever-planted suspension and utter lack of body roll, squat, and dive.
by Car and Driver (Jul, 2007)
Equipped with Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tires—some of the stickiest street tires known to man—in 245/40R-18 front and 265/40R-18 rear sizes (19s are optional), the limits are upped significantly as well, despite a roughly 250-pound weight gain.
by Car and Driver (Jul, 2007)

Transmission

When it came to ordering the car, we went with the so-called M double-clutch transmission (M DCT), a $2700 option that replaces the standard six-speed manual with a seven-speed dual-clutch unit, BMW’s first.
by Car and Driver (Dec, 2009)
The six-speed manual (for now it's the only transmission, although a dual-clutch automated manual is rumored to be on the way) has new ratios, but the shift effort feels awfully similar to the previous M3's—a touch imprecise, but willing enough, with shorter and stiffer throws than the regular 3-series units.
by Car and Driver (Jul, 2007)
In the previous M3 (E46), BMW offered a single-clutch, automated manual gearbox that was notable for its harshness in manual mode and its clunkiness as an automatic.
by Car and Driver (Dec, 2009)

Specifications Full list of technical specs

general

Brand BMW
Price $59,625
Type of car Production car
Year 2008
City mileage 14 MPG
Highway mileage 20 MPG

power & handling

Power-to-weight ratio 8.69 lb/hp
Maximum hp 420 HP @ 8,300 RPM
Maximum torque 295 ft-lb @ 3,900 RPM
Max RPM 8,400 RPM
Weight distribution 51%/49%
Steering system Rack and pinion

suspension, wheels & brakes

Front brakes Disc
Rear brakes Disc
Front wheels 457/? 215
Rear wheels 457/? 241

physical dimensions

Curb weight 3,649 lb
Width 71.5 in
Height 55.8 in
Length 181.7 in
Front track width 60.6 in
Wheelbase 108.7 in

road tests

Top speed 161 mph
1/4 mile 12.5 s
0-60mph 4.4 s
0-100mph 10 s

transmission

Drivetrain RWD w/M Differential Lock
Gearing Traditional
# of gears 6 gears
Gear ratios
  1. 1: 4.06:1
  2. 2: 2.37:1
  3. 3: 1.58:1
  4. 4: 1.19:1
  5. 5: 1:1
  6. 6: 0.87:1
Axle ratio 3.85:1

engine

Displacement 3,999 cc
Cylinders V8
Air compressor None
Fuels Gas
Compression ratio 12:1
Bore/stroke 3.62 in / 2.96 in
Valvetrain DOHC
Valves per cylinder 4 valves
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