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Friday, January 30, 2009

Motorsport Exzellenz - ein tolles Auto

In case you're wondering, the title means "Motoring Excellence - an amazing car" in German. Now why the German you ask? The reason is this post is about one truly amazing line of cars made by that company which goes by the tag line "Ultimate Fahrmaschine" - the Ultimate Driving Machine. None other than Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, BMW.

Bavarian Motor Works' round logo is one that evokes a sense of class, of style, of power, and or sheer driving excellence. A little know fact is that the company's logo was NOT based on a propeller. Instead, it was actually based on the colours of the Bavarian flag.

There is one division of BMW that arouses a special interest. The M division. Established in May 1972 with just eight employees, it grew to 400 employees by 1988. BMW M, also known as M-Technik or just "M" (for Motorsport) was initially created to facilitate BMW’s racing program, which was very successful in the 1960s and 1970s. To this day BMW M continues to produce some of the most highly tuned street legal cars available in full production. BMW M offers modified engines, suspension, interior trim, aerodynamics and exterior styling. The objective of BMW M is to sell factory production sports cars that are comfortable enough for everyday use while offering uncompromising driving satisfaction and performance. And I daresay they've succeeded wonderfully.

BMW M's M3 and M5 are among my favourite cars. If the regular BMW 3- and 5- series weren't enough, then the M3 and M5 would satiate any driver's need for speed and handling while being a refined luxury car at the same time. As a reviewer once said about the M3:

"To say the M3 is ferociously quick is to say you don’t mind revving the 4.0-liter V8 to 8300 rpm. Why would you? Like Ferrari’s entry-level models, the sounds coming from the M3’s mill on the way to peak power make the journey half the trip– as in LSD (and I don’t mean Limited Slip Differential). In absolute terms, we’re torquing 4.6 seconds to sixty. In the real world, it’s a gut punch sandwich with a side of sideways."

While the M5 is a bit bigger, the M3 is the real deal when it comes to a sports car in a day-to-day vehicle's livery. At the press of an M button on the steering wheel, the M3 can go from a racer to a family man's subdued cruiser. All settings are adjustable via the iDrive system. The car can blow away the 60mph mark in just 4.6 seconds. Awesome! In addition to all this, the machine does not lack in creature comforts either. It's even available as a 4-door sedan version, not just a coupe.

The E90/92/93 M3's specifications:

Base Engine Size: 4 liters
Base Engine Type: V8 Horsepower: 414 hp
Max Horsepower: 8300 rpm Torque: 295 ft-lbs.
Max Torque: 3900 rpm Drive Type: RWD


  • 0-60 mph: 4.5 - 4.6 seconds for E92 Coupe/ 4.7 - 4.9 seconds for E90 Sedan / 5.1 - 5.3 seconds for E93 Convertible
  • 1/4 mile: 12.7 seconds @ 114.8 mph (184.8 km/h)
  • Top Speed: 161 mph (259 km/h) indicated/155 mph (249 km/h) electronically limited, 200mph (308kmh) delimited with DKG (320kmh)

As BMW themselves put it : " For insurance purposes, we call it [the M3] a sedan. This is a sedan that pairs a harmonious blend of unexpected luxury with unrivaled brute performance. It's sure to leave insurance folks everywhere scratching their heads."


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