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XCAR: First Look at the New BMW M3 and M4
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XCAR: First Look at the New BMW M3 and M4

3:41 /

We were given some face time with the all-new BMW M3 and M4. We have a close look, talk specs and even get to hear its 3.0-litre straight six rev.

-These are the all-new BMW M4 and M3. One is a continuation of a legendary name, and the other is a first for BMW. Now, BMW knows that its flagship M's have to be pretty special, and as such, has created something pretty awesome. -Under their lengthy bonnet sits a 3-liter straight six twin turbocharged engine. It puts out 431 brake horsepower and 406 pound foot. That's hugely up from the old V8 model. It's also a fine return for the type of engine that sits most happily in the BMW, the straight-6. That makes us happy. Power like that leads to some interesting numbers. 0-62 happens in just 4.1 seconds if you spec the dual clutch transmission, 4.3 if you go for the manual. The top speed is 155 miles an hour. And that's electronically limited. Now, BMW says they'll manage 34 miles for the gallon on the combined cycle and will emit 194 grams per kilometer of CO2, which is great-- if you're in to that sort of thing. -It's not just power that gets those numbers. BMW has worked hard to keep the Ms as featherweight as possible. Using carbon fiber reinforced plastic in key places, such as the roof, engine bay, and drive shafts, BMW has also used aluminum on the car's wings, cutting weight where others use heavier steel. -In all, BMW has shed 80 kilos over the last generation M3. That's the first time the new car has been lighter than the old one. But it's not all about grunt and weight. Aerodynamics come into play, too. -BMW knows that to get a car going quickly and efficiently through the air, it needs to be aerodynamic. So, the M4 has a rather nifty sculpted carbon fiber boot to push it into the ground, while the M3 gets a nice little boot spoiler. As well as that, there's a pressure-relieving vent ahead of the front wheels to keep air flow smooth where it's normally choppy. Its undertray is smoothed over and air flow causes a Venturi effect sucking the car to the ground. -Looks-wise, they're covered in M car hallmarks quad exhaust at the back of the M gills at the side, the power dome on the bonnet, and they have nice, big, flared wheel arches to make them look nice and angry. We like angry cars-- lots. -Then, there's all the toys this thing can come with. The manual versions gearbox will blip the throttle to max revs on the downshift to keep the gear changes smooth. And of course, it's got that M differential-- this time tweaked for maximum sideways fun. And because BMW is aware that the M cars will be spending quite a lot of time on track, it's filled with a cooling system to work pretty hard, so it doesn't explode. -All told, the M3 and M4 are shaping up to be absolutely awesome cars. And we'll let you know how they handle later in the year. For now, though, here's some noise.

Alex Goy is XCAR's Cars Editor. He loves all things on four wheels and has a penchant for British sports cars - the more impractical the better. He also likes tea.

Nick Wilkinson
Video Producer / XCAR

Nick Wilkinson is XCAR's Producer, so can either be found huffing serious quantities of exhaust fumes armed with a camera or making a montage of some kind. His background is in video, and as a film and motorsport nut finds himself in heaven most weekdays

Drew Stearne
Content Director & Editor / XCAR

Drew Stearne heads up the XCAR team and has spent the last 7 years producing content for CNET, GameSpot and many other CBS Interactive sites. He's equally obsessed with fast cars as he is with filming and photography, if he isn't involved with one, he tries to make sure he's involved with the other.

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