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Roadshow Video Reviews
2011 BMW M3 CoupeThis is how a BMW M3 should be equipped.
Some cars can get a speeding ticket standing still especially then they are red and were and in badge. Let's drive the 2011 BMW M3 Coupe and check the tech, and let's do that somewhere else. This 2011 Coupe in Melbourne red is the 4th generation of the M3. It's also available as a 4-door sedan, not 2, unlike one with Cinderella sisters, and there's a convertible. Both of which just seem a little greedy on the part of BMW. Now, I tell you as soon as this little red rocket arrived, we said to ourselves, ah. This is how an M3 should be configured, Spartan. No LCD screen. No navigation. No iDrive controller down here. Those things seemed foreign on a car that BMW advertises as not all race car should be restricted to the track or something like that, 2 simple gauges in a 3 series, and you see these are pretty familiar except there's a satellite above the tachometer. Those are your shift lights. Speaking of shifting, we have the optional 7 speed dual clutch automated manual, the DCT. If we get that on the road, I think you're gonna be stunned by how somebody finally got it right, and if you wanna bump up the basic sound on this guy, you can keep this proper head unit and go to premium sound, which will give 825 watts, the brand newest. BMW says that if you put into a car through 16 speakers driven by 9 channel amplification. They do have an iPad-USB aux combo back here that can be rather part of a package or a la carte with the basic head unit. Now, check out these buttons alongside the shifter here, power EDC traction control off and this unlabeled rocker. Power is the engine response, standard or aggressive, on or off, real simple. EDC is your damper control. Off means comfort. One light means normal. Two lights mean sport. We have continuously variable dampers or shocks all around this car. That's optional. Here's our traction control. Turn that off for some real outrageous behavior. This rocker is drivelogic. It tells the DCT how to shift. You have 5-shift pattern. You see them in bars on the dash, and if you disengage traction control, you can get to the 6th. That's the total wild combo, and all those settings can be memorized inside the M drive button right here. So once I get everything done in the way I want it, I can snap shot that as my M mode. Just hold that M button down for 2 seconds and it memorizes everything. Now, I've got 1 button access to go from whatever mode I'm in to wild. One other sort of related drive thing, but it's not performance oriented is this little guy right here that defeats auto start stop. This vehicle will do the green thing. When you come to a stop at a light or in traffic, they will shutdown the engine until you start move again and then kick it back up. You can defeat that here. The auto start/stop technology is well crude. It needs 4 to 5 cranks to get the engine back up once you lift off the brake and on a car that already gets hit with the Gas Guzzler Tax, what's the point. Check this out. This is a unique thing on the M3 Coupe, carbon fiber roof panel. Saves you a few pounds over steel, but mounted up this high a few pounds can have quite an impact on your center of gravity. Now, this is a Coupe thing, not on the Sedan, not obviously, not on the convertible obviously, but you can replace this with the sun roof, then you get a whole metal roof up here, which kind of misses the point. Okay, okay, let's get to the engine because that's really why you're watching this video, right? It lives here under a special hood, special in 2 ways. First of all, you can only spot an M3 because it got this big proboscis taken up right here. That makes room for a big motor underneath, physically big as well as numerically big. By the way, this hood, very light. It's aluminum, which is also an M3 thing. Now, there's 4 liter V8. No turbos. No amplification if you will. It's a naturally rated wonder of an engine. It's got their double-VANOS, totally variable step less timing suff going on. Underneath here are 8 individual throttles. It's an actual work of art seriously. Power on this guy is 414 horsepower, interesting drab down on the torque number to just 295 foot-pounds, big difference over there. We'll see how that performs on the road. I can tell you. Now, it's 0 to 60 in about 4.7 seconds with mileage that's gonna make swallow hard. 1420 is the estimate. I bet you'll do 12 on average the way you wanna drive this car. On a side note for you kids who've only known cars that are high tech and beautifully engineered. This is how you tell when you're driving a real car. The sound it makes when started up cold, cluttering metallic kind of clanking big old lumpy square cam kind of idol, not until it gets to full operating temperature. This car sound like it's not coming unscrewed. That's what a high performance car is supposed to do. This is dual clutch are automated/manual, 2 spindle, 7 cogs across them has been a long time coming in this form for BMW. The first one we did was an absolute disaster. They shouldn't have charged anybody. They should have paid you to dive a car with that gearbox, but those like 3 or 4 years ago. Now, this car is outstanding. The shifts are so tight and so beautiful executed. You can tell by the sound, just listen, this car run through the gears, and my love for this gearbox is in every mode in drive or sequential. Any combination of the aggression settings. It's always an outstanding precise quick shift, which brings me to the suspension next. These car has these 3 modes; comfort, normal, sport. I wanna chop the piece of road here. It's California. We have no money to fix anything. So, of course, every road if craft and to be in sport or normal with this low profile. They are 45 series tires. Forget it, I'm airborne, I'm flying, I'm not driving. So, I've got this guy in normal. It's a very compliant ride, but extremely capable even on a road where you're pushing it. And the last thing I wanna point is how old this works together to be a really good livable power train. This thing when you're on a drive mode will creep like an automatic, give a little bit of a blip and they will start to creep along at walking speed, like a true automatic transmission, which does wonders for stop and go drive ability. While if leave in a softest or gentlest settings in the D mode, it drives like an automatic. There's really almost no hint that there's a bunch of clutches in there doing their thing with the manual gearbox. Okay pricing on a 2011 M3 Coupe. Base is 58900. Oh I'm gonna put on this car go to be [unk] is the dual clutch transmission, $2100. Someone finally got it right and I might spend $1000 on that dynamic suspension. Now, of course, you're gonna add Sirius satellite radio, BMW blue tooth with BMW assist, park distance sensors at 1900 bucks for the premium sound. I probably skip all those. You what else I might skip, this car, and instead pick a 335is. Look at the numbers. You see as much as like the M3 if it's my money were playing with here. I'd skip it and it's Gas Guzzler tax with 1300 bucks and look hard at a 335is. Here's now they stack up. On MSRP, the M3 is 15% priced here. That buys you 23% bump in horsepower, but quite a bit less torque. It's a little porkier at 133 pounds heavier even with that carbon hat and after all that it's only 0.4 seconds or 8% quicker to 60. Get is and your fuel economy goes from dismal to pretty good, but you'll have to say goodbye to that sweet dynamic suspension and dual clutch transmission. Look, if you really get on the track and don't just talk about doing it, the M3 is you car. Just make sure own a street