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Just how good is the Civic Type R?

Honda Civic Type R

The all-new Honda Civic Type R had an extremely long development cycle. It’s now been launched and has to go about living up to the hype Honda has generated.

Here Steve Sutcliffe from Auto Express takes the Type R to the tight Llandow Circuit in Wales to see how it compared with the Seat Leon Cupra 280 and the Renault Megane RS275 Trophy.

That’s all well and good, nobody would be surprised if the Type R was the quickest of that trio. But what if the Audi RS3 and BMW M3 are added to the list?

[Thanks to John for the tip]


BMW Australia heavily discounts M3/M4 LCI models


BMW Australia is now taking orders for M3 and M4 LCI (life-cycle impulse) models and has taken the knife to pricing, while adding additional standard features as well.

When originally launched down under list pricing for the F80 M3 was $156,900 and the F82 M4 was priced from $166,900. Those prices have now been reduced to $139,900 and $149,900 respectively. Meanwhile, the M4 convertible has also been discounted to $161,900.

Additional standard equipment includes items such as head-up display, adaptive LED headlights, internet connectivity, tyre pressure monitor, full leather merino upholstery and more.

Shawn Ticehurst, BMW Group Australia Head of Product and Market Planning, is very happy with this news.

“More value, more technology and more refinement. That is what we are delivering with this update to the BMW M3 and BMW M4,” Ticehurst said.

“The growth of the BMW M range has been a fantastic success story for our brand, particularly in 2015. And over the first seven months of this year, we have already surpassed our total sales result for 2014.”

We wonder how happy those buyers will be who paid an extra 15-large for lesser equipped M3s and M4s?

Funnily enough, the M3 and M4 are now priced just below the Mercedes-Benz AMG C63 range.

The facelifted models will be on sale locally from October. There’s more detail below.


Would you buy a BMW M3 Touring?

BMW M3 Touring rendering by Theophilus Chin

Following word from Bad Frank van Meel that there will be no M3 Touring under a BMW M GmbH he leads, here’s a look at what we’re missing out on.

Thanks to master rendering guy Theophilus Chin we can see how seriously awesome an M3 Touring could be. Fast, practical, and über cool.

Bad Frank says there would be no demand for such a car. Bad Frank doesn’t know what day it is!

You would buy an M3 estate if you could, right? You would, wouldn’t you?!

[Source: Theophilus Chin]


Would you like to see a four-cylinder M3?

BMW F82 M4 and E30 M3

At the recent press launch of the new M3/M4 it emerged that the next-generation models could be powered by a four-cylinder engine. The original E30 M3 was fitted with a 2.3 litre four-pot, of course, filled with as much character as it was power, so this wouldn’t be anything new. But since then we’ve seen a six cylinder engine and V8 powering the M3, before a return to a 3.0 litre straight six in the new models.

Marketing, as much as the chase for greater power, would have influenced M GmbH to increase cylinder count in previous models. And in a funny way if there is a return to a four-cylinder engine for the hero models, marketing forces could once again be at play.

Speaking to at the launch of the F80/F82 Carsten Pries, BMW M Division Head of Product Management, said: “We do not start our design process with a power output in mind. We have a set of characteristics that a new model must meet. For sure, you could see a future [M3] powered by a four-cylinder engine.”

He went on to explain that the trend for reducing weight in future models could mean a four cylinder is sufficient for the next-gen M3, which would not be launched until 2020 or thereabouts.

“Performance can be boosted with more power, but if we are to address issues like emissions and consumption, we have to look more at weight. We decided in this generation to address the [upward] weight spiral,” added Pries.

“If we have a car with less mass, it is foreseeable that the targets we set could be reached with a four.”

Fast forward to 2020 and you can see it now: “The new M3: So light we could reduce the size of the engine and still make it faster!”

Similarly, if the marketing boffins felt that the buying audience wouldn’t go for a smaller engine you can bet the next-gen M3 will be powered by a six. So what do you think, would you be happy if the next M3/M4 was powered by a four-pot? Can four-play be better than six?



Official BMW Australia M3/M4 pricing

2014 BMW M4 Coupe

In line with our exclusive information from mid-April BMW has finally released official pricing and specs for the new M3 and M4. You can read the press release after the break. Before you do, a reminder on the manufacturer’s list pricing:

  • BMW M3 Sedan: $156,900
  • BMW M4 Coupé: $166,900
BMW Video

VIDEO: How fast is the new BMW M3?

F80 M3 launch control

One of the first F80 M3s delivered in the world has ended up with a frequent buyer in Dubai. He’s had his car for a couple of weeks now and he’s been updating the world via the Bimmerpost forum. This video showing off the car’s lightning quick launch control feature took our fancy.

After you’ve watched the video we’re sure you’ll agree the answer to our question is: bloody fast! And while a 35°C day might be on the chilly side for Dubai, it’s still less than ideal conditions for a high performance turbo. Although the new M3 seemed to cope just fine.

[Source: Bimmerpost | Thanks to Robbo for the tip]


BMW Australia expected to price M3 from $160,000

BMW M3/M4 Australian pricing estimate


Australian pricing details for the new BMW M3 and M4 have found their way to us. According to the material we have these are “indicative prices” only:

  • BMW M3 Sedan: $160,000 (estimated)
  • BMW M4 Coupé: $170,000 (estimated)

Those estimated figures include GST and LCT and will be finalised towards the end of the month. Build allocations for the Australia-bound F80 M3 and F82 M4 will commence with May 2014 production.

Here’s a selected list of optional equipment, including GST and LCT:

  • 19″ M light alloy wheels double-spoke 437 M, Black – $500
  • M Carbon ceramic brakes – $15,000
  • Adaptive LED headlights – $2,360
  • 6-speed manual transmission – No cost option

Further details are available after the break.


2014 BMW M3 Sedan and M4 Coupe revealed

2014 BMW M3 Sedan

BMW has now come good with info on its new M3 Sedan and M4 Coupe. We’re entering the fifth generation of this iconic model, but it’s the first in the “M4” era and also the first time the M3 has featured a turbocharged engine, although returning to a straight six configuration.

For the purposes of ease let’s just refer to the two models collectively as the M3, which is now around 80kg lighter than the outgoing V8 model. The standard 6-speed manual gearbox sheds 12kg and includes automatic throttle blipping for downshifts. While the 7-speed DCT, now 40% lighter, features a “Smokey Burnout” feature. No, that’s not a joke:

The Smokey Burnout function allows the driver to indulge in a degree of rear wheel spin while the car is moving at low speeds.

Sending power to the rear wheels is still a key feature of the M3 and BMW has helped control the car’s 317kW by including an Active M Differential. The system ties in with DSC to ensure wheel spin is reduced. In addition, the M Dynamic Mode allows a degree of hooliganism before DSC intervenes to restore order.

The drive for lower fuel consumption sees electromechanical steering make an appearance on the M3 and it features three settings: Comfort, Sport and Sport+. These settings are also complemented with the optional Adaptive M suspension.

BMW says the tailor-made engine provides “smooth and efficient power delivery, very sharp response and reduced fuel consumption and emissions.” Thanks largely to the design of its mono-scroll turbochargers, direct injection and BMW’s well developed Double-VANOS continuously variable camshaft timing.

Weight reduction has been aided by both the Sedan and Coupe having a carbon fibre reinforced plastic roof. A CFRP strut brace in the engine bay not only increases rigidity but also saves 1.5kg compared with the old M3.

Trivia buffs will take note in the fact that production will be split across two facilities. The M4 Coupe will be built at the company’s headquarters in Munich, while the M3 Sedan will be built 120kms to the north at Plant Regensburg.

Before you sink your teeth into the detailed info below, here’s the key stats:

2014 F80 M3 / F82 M4 key stats

  • Engine: 2979cc six cylinder with two mono-scroll turbochargers
  • Power: 317kW (431hp) @ 5500–7300rpm
  • Torque: 550Nm @ 1800–5500rpm
  • Weight (unladen): 1520kg sedan; 1497kg coupé (add 40kg for DCT)
  • Brakes (front): Four-piston fixed-calliper disc brakes / inner-vented, perforated
  • Brakes (rear): Twin-piston fixed-calliper disc brakes / inner-vented, perforated
  • Tyres: 255/40 ZR18 95Y (front); 275/40 ZR18 99Y (rear)
  • Wheels: 9.0J x 18 light-alloy (front); 10.0J x 18 light-alloy (rear)
  • 0-100km/h: 4.3s (manual); 4.1s (DCT)
  • 0-1000m: 22.2s (manual); 219.s (DCT)
  • Top speed: 250km/h (limited)
  • Fuel consumption (combined): 8.8l/100km (manual); 8.3l/100km (DCT)
  • CO2 emissions: 204g/km (manual); 194g/km (DCT)
  • Emission rating: EU6

UPDATE: BMW Australia tells us the M3/M4 is due to arrive early in Q3 next year. List pricing yet to be confirmed, but appears anyone fearing a journey beyond a $200K list price can rest easy.


2014 BMW M3/M4 images leaked

2014 BMW M3

The reveal of a model as important as the all-new BMW M3 wouldn’t be complete without a decent set of leaked images surfacing prior to their official release. And here we have, in uninhibited pictorial form, the new M3 sedan and M4 coupé.

Technical details for the duo have been previewed by BMW and tell us the cars will have a 3.0 litre straight six cylinder engine enhanced by a pair of mono scroll turbochargers. Power will be around 320kW, maybe slightly more, and torque in excess of 500Nm.

For the last time, perhaps, you’ll have the luxury to choose between a proper 6-speed manual or a fancy pants 7-speed DCT to help you change gears. Weight has dropped by at least 80kg from the old model as well.

We’ll have the full press palaver for you once BMW hits the send button. For now, enjoy your first decent gander at the world’s very first BMW M4! You know what, and it’s sacrilege to say this, but on first impressions we reckon the four-door looks better.

[Source: GT Spirit]


BMW to launch M3/M4 this week with GT6


When Sony officially launches Gran Turismo 6 at the Ascari Race Resort on Thursday word is BMW will be there with the all-new M3 and M4. Not screen-based renders, but the real deal, in the metal that people can touch. And drive, perhaps.

There’s been reports of BMW’s most important M car putting in laps at Ascari in recent days. You may recall BMW held launch events for the F10 M5 at Ascari early last year. It’s certainly an ideal place to put the new 320kW/500Nm+ 3.0 litre turbocharged inline six cylinder engine though its paces.

For now, here’s the words from Sony whetting people’s appetites:

Present at Ronda and Ascari Race Resort for the launch of Gran Turismo 6 was a camouflaged version of the yet-to-be-launched BMW M4 Coupé. The stunning new car—shown publicly only as a concept until now—will go on sale in 2014. Thanks to an innovative collaboration with BMW “M” GmbH, Polyphony Digital enjoyed unprecedented early access to the car during its development phase in order to meticulously recreate the M4 Coupé for Gran Turismo 6.It will be made available through a free update shortly after the release of GT6, allowing car enthusiasts around the world to drive it before it arrives in BMW showrooms. More news on the unveiling is expected soon!

[Source: GT Planet]


BMW M4 spotted in Sakhir Orange


We’ve already seen a new BMW M3 in Yas Marina Blue, now here’s your first look at the M4 coupé in Sakhir Orange.

The new M3/M4 will be offered in a total of eight colours, listed below with their corresponding codes:

  • Alpine White (300)
  • Mineral Grey Metallic (B39)
  • Black Sapphire Metallic (475)
  • Sakhir Orange Metallic (B50)
  • Silverstone Metallic (A29)
  • Austin Yellow Metallic (B67)
  • Mineral White Metallic (A96)
  • Yas Marina Blue Metallic (B68)

Remember, the full reveal of the M4 is still a little while away, with expectations we’ll see the full monty in early January at the Detroit Auto Show.

[Source: Carscoops | Pic: Carpix]


VIDEO: A really quick look at the new BMW M3

F80 M3 spied

A production-ready BMW M3 has been caught on video during a filming shoot and while you don’t get a very long look at the F80 sedan you get a look nonetheless.

The colour is Yas Marina blue and we don’t think that means the car will get an unlikely debut at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this weekend, instead waiting for the the 2014 Detroit Auto Show in January.

Much of what you see has already been shown off in the Concept M4. Although the F82 M4 will make its production debut after the sedan.

[Source: Bimmerpost | Thanks to John for the tip]