** Updated 3/23/2017 **
The all new BMW M2 has created quite the stir in the many automotive circles since its release. The car has received rave reviews from TopGear to Road and Track to Roundel as well as countless online automotive news sites.
At Turner Motorsport, we have built our own reputation as one of North America’s premier suppliers of BMW OEM and performance parts, particularly with each generation of BMW M3. Throughout our 20+ years in the industry we have constantly pushed the envelope the technology and performance for BMWs, using knowledge gained on the road and on the race track. In order to continue to be at the forefront of offering the latest in performance for your BMW, it was only natural that we get our hands on the latest and greatest from BMW. After months of waiting for our F80 M3 to make its way across the ocean from Germany, it has finally arrived.
The F80 M3 is a drastic departure from all previous generations of BMW M3s. In order to maintain adequate power and performance figures with increasingly efficient engines, BMW changed their engine philosophy throughout their entire vehicle range. With the introduction of the current generation of M5 and M6, BMW gave birth to a new era of turbocharged, direct-injected engines in their top-tier M cars for the first time in the company’s history, something that has continued to the powerplant in the F80 M3.
Gone is the extremely high-revving, naturally-aspirated 4.0-liter S65 V8 from the E9x generation of M3, and in its place is is the S55, a 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged and direct-injected unit producing 425 horsepower between 5500-7300 rpm, and 406 lb-ft of torque from as low as 1,850 rpm. While we love the high-revving nature of a naturally-aspirated BMW inline-six or V8, BMWs Twin-Power Technology delivers a product with great top-end horsepower, but produces a much greater amount of torque at low RPMs, making for a more friendly power band in normal, everyday driving.
Our Project F80 M3, finished in eye-catching Sakhir Orange Metallic paint certainly has plenty of presence in stock form. The lines make the M3 looks very aggressive, both while at a stand-still and while on the road. The flared fenders and wide front fascia add a perception of great width to the vehicle too. For the interior we chose the cloth/leather combination. The cloth material has a carbon fiber-like texture and appearance to it, and together with the carbon fiber trim it completes the interior into a state-of-the-art cockpit.
Although we have had limited drive time behind the wheel of BMWs latest M3. Here are our driving impressions so far.
What a machine! On the road the M3 feels focused and involved, just a sports car the caliber of a BMW M3 should feel. The steering is very direct and linear, especially when in Sport+ mode. We passed on the optional BMW Carbon Ceramic brakes, and instead opted for the regular cross-drilled brake rotors for our M3. We’re glad to say the stock brakes slow down our M3 very well and don’t seem to fade nearly as quickly as on the our F10 M5 or F13 M6. Keep the weight down in the new M3 has a big role in the lack of fade.
The new S55 engine is extremely potent, and when combined with Sport+ mode and the optional BMW Double Clutch Transmission (DCT) with Drive Logic, makes for very exciting 0-60 runs. With hard accelerations the 3.0-liter, Twin-Power Turbo unit makes some sounds that are reminiscent of the iconic 3.2-liter S54 engine from the E46 M3. From inside the car, the exhaust note at moderate and full throttle sounds great. We only experienced a couple unfamiliar noises when moving at slow speed at low rpms.
The new F80 M3 is a great piece of modern engineering and lives up to the “M3” badge that adorns the rear trunk. The styling, engine, brakes, transmission all perform very well in stock form. However, we are always looking to improve upon a very good product, to make it something truly memorable. Stay tuned for updates and upgrades on our Turner Project F80 M3.
At Turner we pride ourselves on being on the cutting edge of performance and technology for BMWs, especially the BMW M3. We want to have a complete understanding of these new cars to continue our reputation as a leading BMW tuner. Please stay tuned for more to come on the new F80 M3. Our goal is to take this fifth generation M3 and make it unique. We are going to hand pick the best possible products and accessories for this project car to learn first-hand the true potential of this latest generation of forced induction BMW power plants. Please stay tuned as we begin to modify this M3 and review the products we use.
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