One of the most famous brand names to cause this phenomenon is none other than BMW’s Motorsport division. Add an M in front of any BMW model and it will make many a grown men weak at the knees.
Apparently someone up above in the skies was salivating too, as Environment Canada has issued a heavy rainfall warning for British Columbia’s south coast for the entire week that I have my test car. With up to 50 millimetres of rain expected to fall, residents have even been expected to brace for flash floods. Not exactly the perfect conditions for the car I’m reviewing, the 2015 BMW M3 sedan.
Not since the Jaguar F-type I drove last year have I received so many questions from friends and family about this vehicle. Accordingly, here are my top 5 impressions after my first 24 hours with the F80 M3.
Despite the new M3’s 3.0-litre 425 hp inline-six turbocharged engine looking suspiciously similar to the engine fitted to BMW’s non-M division -35i vehicles, one blast in the car displaces those notions immediately. While I was a fan of the previous 4.0-litre V8 engine, the huge bulge in torque (111 ft-lbs) is very significant in every day driving.
Ride and Handling
The F80 is noticeably lighter than its predecessor and that translates into just a more dynamic feeling car. The Carbon Fibre roof helps with this, and also to lower the centre of gravity.
The ride is shockingly good, even in Sport Plus mode. I remember a lot of head tossing while driving an E92 M3 coupe in the city streets of San Francisco. I didn’t get that same impression in the 2015 M3 on similarly undulating road surfaces.
Power steering yes, but it’s not all bad news
Steering feel from the electric system? Well you probably know what I’m going to say. There’s next to no feedback, but there is still a ton of precision and communication through the rest of the chassis.
The revised double clutch transmission now has 7 speeds and 3 adjustment settings. It’s fast, oh god is it ever fast. But in automatic mode, it shifts quickly and smoothly, even when going in reverse uphills. There was no chattering or vibration from my limited time behind the wheel thus far.
The M3’s cabin is a nice step up from the more pedestrian 3-series. Leather on the dash, (optional) carbon fibre trim, and a couple of racy looking bucket seats up front.
On the plus I even like the slightly cheesy illuminated M logos on the front seatback leather surface!