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The BMW M3 Concept Car

A vision of ultimate driving pleasure

Design issues, Concepts and Studies

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Chris Overall
BMW Group

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The name M3 is a symbol of unique performance on the racetrack and in everyday
motoring. For more than two decades, the BMW M3 has represented the athletic
heart of the brand in its most fundamental and succinct form. Its dominating
role in motor sports and the ultimate driving experience it affords the driver
on the road are inseparably intertwined. Such qualities have given the BMW M3
the exceptional status it enjoys the world over.

At BMW M GmbH, engineers have used this experience to create the new BMW M3
Concept Car. The concept study presented to the public for the first time at
the 77th International Motor Show in Geneva (8th to 18th of March, 2007) gives
a first impression of what a future BMW M3 might look like.

The BMW M3 Concept Car, with its Chrome Shadow exterior finish characteristic
of previous BMW M GmbH concept studies, is a derivative of the new BMW 3 Series
Coupé. However, few components are adopted directly from the 'standard' model.
Just the headlights, rear light clusters, the two doors and the boot lid are
carried over.

All other components were specially engineered for the BMW M3 Concept Car,
lending the vehicle a unique look that accentuates its superior power. Features
that make the BMW M3 Concept Car stand out are the bespoke front and rear
bumper and spoiler designs, a bonnet with a bulging powerdome plus two air
vents, side gills complete with M-designation on the front wings, side skirts
and double strut exterior mirrors as seen on previous BMW M cars.

Design detail
Faithful to the principle of "form follows function" in designing the body for
the concept study, designers at BMW M GmbH used elements that not only visually
emphasise the increased sportiness of the vehicle, but also serve a technical
purpose. Conspicuous at the front are three large air intakes below the cooling
grille that supply the engine with additional intake and cooling air. Strong,
vertical struts delineate the air intakes and enhance their characteristic

The aluminium engine compartment lid exhibits a wide, bulging powerdome. Like
the air vents to either side of it, the powerdome hints at the great potential
expected of the powerplant destined for the engine bay of any forthcoming
all-new BMW M3. The M3 Concept Car features a high-revving V8 engine that could
be used to power a car should it go into production.

The contours of the M3 Concept Car and its bespoke front spoiler and bumper
design mean the vehicle is longer than the 'standard' BMW 3 Series Coupé. The
muscular front wheel arches of the BMW M3 Concept Car symbolise the high level
of agility and driving stability achieved by this vehicle. Together with the
forged 19-inch Y-spoke design light alloy rims, the vehicle's wide track is
emphasised, while a glance through the spokes of the rims reveals the compound
high performance brakes developed exclusively for previous M vehicles.

The opening behind the wheel arch on the front wing has an elaborate form that
is split by a discreet chrome bracket containing the direction indicator and
the M3 logo. Two arched surfaces form the pronounced side skirt, creating a
distinct contrast between light and shadow. The incidence of light on the
sharply defined rear wing and wheel stresses the dynamic character of the
vehicle and visually highlights its rear-wheel-drive configuration.

Exclusive exterior mirrors developed for the BMW M3 Concept Car feature black
double connecting struts. Even this small detail is in keeping with the
principle of "form follows function". With their horizontal contour line and
tapered outward shape, the mirrors not only contribute to the overall
impression of the vehicle, but also to their aerodynamic profile, keeping drag
to a minimum.

The rear of the M3 Concept Car further enhances the muscular stance of the
vehicle. A discreet spoiler lip on the boot lid, also called a Gurney flap,
channels the air at the rear for optimum downforce while reducing lift on the
rear axle. The contours of the diffuser, the design of which is subdivided by
modelled struts, mirror the shape of the air intakes at the front. The diffuser
and the double exhaust tailpipes positioned close to the vehicle's longitudinal
axis appear to pull the rear together at the centre and build up a tension in
conjunction with the horizontal lines of the bumper.

Intelligent lightweight engineering
The BMW M3 Concept Car is the latest showcase for BMW's use of advanced weight
saving technology and the clearest demonstration of this on the car is its
roof. Specialists at the BMW Plant in Landshut, Germany, constructed the carbon
fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) roof using an exclusive production method taken
from the firm's experience in Formula One. Courtesy of a clear lacquer the
carbon-fibre weave is still clearly visible.

As a highly visible advanced technology component, the CFRP roof dominates the
technically innovative appearance of the BMW M3 Concept Car. Seen from the
side, the roof edge appears flatter and thus lowers the perceived body height.
Apart from the appearance, the CFRP roof also offers a real technical advantage
being considerably lighter than a steel roof. This not only reduces the overall
vehicle weight, but by reducing the weight of the highest element in the body,
the centre of gravity is also lowered to produce a better balanced car. The
CFRP roof is a perfect example of how interlinking technical innovation with an
individual design strategy was central to the development of the BMW M3 Concept

Following the tradition of the previous three generations of the BMW M3, this
concept study represents a high performance sports car interpreted for use in
everyday diving. The BMW M3 Concept Car shows where the ultimate driving
experience strategy will take BMW in the future.


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CO2 emission information.

The values for fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and energy consumption shown were determined in a standardised test cycle according to the European Regulation (EC) 715/2007 in the version currently applicable. The figures refer to a vehicle with basic configuration in Germany and the range shown considers transmission (automatic or manual) and the different wheels and tyres available on the selected model and may vary during the configuration.

The values of the vehicles labelled with (*), are already based on the test cycle according to the new WLTP regulation and are translated back into NEDC-equivalent values in order to allow a comparison between vehicles. More information on the transition from NEDC to WLTP test procedures can be found here.

These figures are intended for comparison purposes and may not be representative of what a user achieves under usual driving conditions. For plug-in hybrid vehicles and battery electric vehicles the figures have been obtained using a combination of battery power and petrol fuel after the battery had been fully charged. Plug-in hybrid vehicles and battery electric vehicles require mains electricity for charging. The CO2 emissions labels are determined according to Directive 1999/94/EC and the Passenger Car (Fuel consumption and CO2 Emissions Information) Regulations 2001, as amended. They are based on the fuel consumption, CO2 values and energy consumptions according to the NEDC cycle.

A guide on fuel economy and CO2 emissions which contains data for all new passenger car models is available at any point of sale free of charge. For further information you can also visit this link.

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