BMW M3 offers comfortable seating position

Now the double-charged six-cylinder engine sets the tone, hums peacefully at speedometer 140 with 2,500 revolutions in seventh gear, at worst gargling 9.0 l / 100km away. The navigation system of the BMW M3 shows the way to the Johannesburg. Do I not find it alone? Naturally. But the real-time traffic information ensures that you arrive on time. From 5:30 p.m. the barriers for the so-called tourist trips open, which is already becoming scarce. But stress? No, that’s really the end of it.

Even the BMW M3 looks relaxed, cushioning even the moderately patched highway and providing comfortable, reasonably low seating position. But why lack the extensible thigh support that BMW usually provides for the top model sports seats of all places?

Just as strange: the BMW M3 engine’s acoustics with the closed deck block, that is to say the water circuit closing at the top, cast elaborately. The three-liter unit provides a wonderful sound inferno when it turns out, but loosens around between the V8 and the six in-line. He rumbles softly at first, then roars heavily, but still profoundly and poorly muffled, artificial in some way. The metallic touring car undertone only comes into play when the side windows are open. Where’s the accessory exhaust system of the Moto-GP safety car?

But the windows of the BMW M3 are now closed, the direct injection buzzes evenly and dull, the almost infinitely extensive music library of the optional online entertainment provides the soundtrack that is worthy of such an evening.

The goal is approaching, the exit of the Wehr motorway, a beautiful, broad right-hand bend leading to the B 412. A further 23.5 Km. Is the limousine getting a show wash in the parking lot at the entrance to the Nordschleife? Of course.  A good investment, because the BMW M3 is causing a sensation – still, after all, there is hardly anyone in the hands of customers. Surrounded by some E46-M3 and their drivers, questions immediately arise, of course about the quality of the turbo engine. The answer? Sure, he may lack the distinctive motorsport character of the vacuum cleaner. But performance and turning ability? Abundant, plus a big chunk of torque. A maximum of 550 Newton meters can be called up at 1,850 revolutions, but the aggregate compressed with 10.2: 1 cheers up to 7,600 / min.

Hardly any differences to the M4

In any case, the 1,625 kilogram limousine (33 kg more than the M4 Coupé with identical weight distribution) rages from zero to 100 km / h in 4.2 seconds, to 200 km / h in 13.2 seconds. Incidentally, the driving dynamics differences between the BMW M3 and M4 are within narrow, very narrow limits. Any questions? Oh yes: The last measured M3 Coupé (E92) weighed 48 kg less, but accelerated three tenths and 1.6 seconds slower despite the much lower temperatures. However, one thing did not change: the merciless violence with which the seven-speed dual clutch transmission loaded the gears.

But there is another way, because just now, on the A 61, the transmission scooted almost imperceptibly through the translations. Only when maneuvering is there a problem with the meterability. “Finally, reasonable brakes,” calls an E46 pilot who has retrofitted an official six-piston fixed caliper system for his coupé. That’s right, but the carbon-ceramic discs cost just 7,300 euros extra. In contrast, the 100 euros for four laps of the Nordschleife in the BMW M3 seem like a bargain – measured by the maintenance costs for the 20.832 km long, only true roller coaster in the Eifel, they are probably also.

Included in the price: the silly ring card. We will not use it for anything other than the entrance to the Nordschleife – neither today nor in the future. A decent bread roll at the Döttinger Höhe petrol station is still available for real money, the best Super Plus anyway, and you don’t need much more anyway. However, the barrier opens. Regardless of the dazzling conditions and the turmoil in the parking lot, traffic is limited, so there is more time to delve into the BMW M3. As the colleagues from sport auto found in issue 7/2014, the M4 thunders with the DKG in 7.52 minutes – this is absolutely illusory today, which is not so much about the car, nor the traffic, but rather the driver.

For safety’s sake, the ESP works in the so-called MDM mode, which allows a good portion of slippage on the rear wheels (which also occurs when changing gears), but does not completely put the safety net aside. The BMW M3 plunges down the Hatzenbachbogen, starts to move on the sometimes rough bumps, but settles quickly, so quickly that the grip does not break off at all. Quiddelbacher Höhe, briefly press the brake in front of the crest, conquer the airfield with a constant steering angle, the front wheels stick well, out in the direction of Schwedenkreuz, accelerate to speed two hundred and thirty-two.

The track is still clear, and the brake can really show what it can do for the first time in front of the Aremberg curve. It compresses the BMW M3 properly and helps the driver with a clearly defined pressure point. Only the somewhat too long pedal travel is irritating for a short time, but really only for a short time, because now follows the Fuchsrrohr, my favorite section of the route for inexplicable reasons. Maybe because it offers the best panorama? Maybe because there is a green throat with an 11 percent gradient, at the end of which an animal compression catapults you back to the horizon? Perhaps.

BMW M3 with precise steering

In any case, the BMW now plunges down there, forms the zigzag of the course of the route into a straight line, is compressed at the bottom, fires up to the Adenauer Forest, takes the left curb in front of the first right volley, relaxed, remains free of hectic pace. Metzgesfeld and Kallenhard will soon be history, the narrow passage in weir soap quickly tells, because although BMW now uses electromechanical steering, the BMW M3 can be positioned exactly where it is supposed to go. Only the holding forces in the Sport Plus mode have an exaggerated effect.

Dive onto the Breidscheid bridge, on the right is the peaceful hill that is populated by fans during the 24-hour race in the glow of the night campfires. With a plastic mug of beer in hand, the Nordschleife world is in order on this side of the race track. Now the long climb follows up to the Hohe Acht, begins with the ex-mill, the rear pushes. The BMW M3 delivers the best traction, the active differential works, the ESP doesn’t – because it doesn’t have to. The limousine wags slightly, the abundant torque reports, wants to be dosed, because it comes early, but at least halfway smooth.

BMW Turbo easily ironed away an 18 percent gradient

In general, the responsiveness of the BMW M3: Here the M GmbH shows the high art of turbo engine construction. Fully variable valve and camshaft adjustment also help to precisely portion the force of the drive as required. Mine, Kesselchen, Klostertal, Karussell and Hohe Acht – oh how wonderful to be here with a vehicle whose sheer performance simply ironed out the incline of up to 18 percent.

Well, and the courage curve in the Klostertal? Braked briefly, of course. Never claimed to be brave. Instead, I am happy to have found a proper rhythm for Hedwigshöhe, Wippermann and Eschbach, hope for applause in the Brünnchen, register how the BMW M3 struggles with liability in the ice curve. The euphoria then ends in the planting garden, somehow nothing fits here, except perhaps the braking point in front of the crest. But the BMW forgives, quickly recapitulates, makes me believe, only correct if the subsequent extended infinitive refers to the driver. On the other hand, it should be expressed that the BMW does not give up control. When approaching the dovetail, the otherwise practically nonexistent steering understeer increases, urgently warns to adjust the air pressure immediately.

Steer to the gallows head, a Porsche still wants to pass, but it should. The BMW parried the hanging right-hand bend with a gentle rocking, safe, fast, confident, then flies out to the Döttinger Höhe. Now it could be wrung out to 280 km / h, the “N” from the Bilstein advertisement at the Tiergarten bridge in sight, then the quick left turn, towards Hocheichen. This is not included in the tourist trips, too bad. Everyone has to get out after a lap here, so the BMW M3 can run out on Döttinger Höhe for cooling. But right up to the last, fast-moving passage, the BMW signals: There is still something to do, performance, traction and precision are far from exhausted. My polo shirt says something different, because the air conditioning is of course switched off because I imagine that it should be done that way. Good,

Short pause, lower air pressure. And then out again. Indeed: at the latest when the BMW M3 anchors again in front of the Aremberg curve, there is no longer any question of its performance. Enough? The end is far from being here.