For only the second time in four generations of the performance-oriented M3 - and for the first time in 13 years - BMW is to offer a four-door version. With the added practicality of this body style, BMW hopes the car will appeal to a new range of buyers.
Under the hood will be the same 4.0-liter V-8 engine as in the coupe, developing 420 hp at 8300 rpm. It's a light-alloy block manufactured alongside BMW's Formula One engines and weighs 445 pounds, 33 pounds less than the six-cylinder engine in the previous-generation M3.
The engine redlines at 8400 rpm, but to highlight the real-world driving flexibility of the engine, 85 percent of the torque is available over an engine range of 6500 rpm. Power is transferred to the road by BMW M's six-speed manual gearbox and variable differential. This conveys up to 100 percent of available power to the wheel with most grip.
The newcomer will hit 62 mph in 4.9 seconds - only 0.1 seconds slower than the coupe - before going onto a limited top speed of 155 mph. It's also equipped with BMW's latest 'EfficientDynamics' technology, including Brake Energy Regeneration. However, the carbon-fiber roof panel from the coupe is being ditched. BMW's official fuel consumption figure for the sedan is 22.8 mpg on the combined European cycle.
Like the coupe, the sedan features 18-inch Dark Graphite double-spoke alloy wheels as standard, with a forged-and-polished 19-inch wheel available as an option. Another BMW M trait, the side gill in the front wing, has been elongated for the saloon, mirroring the design from the M5. And at the rear twin double exhaust pipes protrude from beneath the valance.
And finally, the two missing ingredients: There's no word yet on price or a launch date.
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