German premier automotive maker BMW continues to maintain its hold as the top selling luxury auto brand in the world. Battling with archrival Mercedes-Benz year in and year out for the highest laurels, BMW continues to constantly tweak its existing line and add new vehicles to its line in a bid to stimulate and strengthen customer interest. One area where BMW has found much of its recent success is with its race car inspired line of vehicles, the M Series. Since 1979 various Motorsports [M} tags have been affixed to vehicles that have been developed by the BMW Motorsports division, including the BMW M3 a car based on BMW’s popular 3 Series. Today, BMW engineers are hard at work on developing an all new BMW M3 and, if all of the auto buzz is correct, very few cars will be able to keep up with this 400 hp road commander. Please keep reading for a closer look at the all new, soon to be released, BMW M3.
A pitched battle in autodom continues to gather force pitting German automaker against German automaker. Legendary Mercedes-Benz is taking on heralded BMW for the right to call themselves the top selling luxury brand in the world. For years, the honor belonged exclusively to Mercedes-Benz, but a recent stumble on Mercedes’ part coupled with a surge of new products from BMW has placed BMW in first place. Not far behind the two is Lexus, the luxury division of Toyota, but for now the battle remains a fight between these two German automakers.
For luxury car enthusiasts, the BMW-Mercedes rivalry has been a win-win battle as both automakers have been pouring engineering funds into their vehicles. Neither automaker is resting on their past achievements; instead both are pressing forward to add the latest safety features including Mercedes’ Night Vision Assist and BMW’s impact absorbing bumpers which absorb stronger impacts without damaging the vehicle’s main body. Safety is one of the chief concerns for consumers when selecting a particular luxury brand according to all of the leading automotive industry surveys.
For BMW, its latest automotive project has been a closely guarded secret until very recently. Camouflaged spy shots of the all new BMW M3 have been circulating on the internet for some time now but only since June has a pre-production version of a fully unclothed BMW M3 been spotted. It was seen navigating the twisting roads of Southern California according to The Car Connection, the vehicle information and shopping site.
For BMW enthusiasts, news of a BMW M3 pre-production sighting means one thing: BMW will soon announce the date in 2007 when its latest M Series car will be available in dealer showrooms.
Right now, the current BMW M3 is still based on the fourth generation 3 Series which was replaced in 2006. The new BMW M3 will be based on the latest generation body frame and feature some notable improvements over the previous BMW M3 model including:
A larger, more potent V8 engine with an output of 400 horses. Currently, the BMW M3 features an inline six engine with a 333 horsepower output. The new model is expected to rocket from start to 60 in under 5 seconds, topping out at 155 mph.
A six or possibly seven speed manual transmission.
A longer wheelbase for better weight distribution.
Styling cues from the BMW M3 will find its way to the new model from front wing vents to twin exit exhausts along with the ubiquitous M series recognized emblems.
For Mercedes enthusiasts they can point to the soon to be released 2007 C Class, which is the direct competitor for the BMW 3 Series, as evidence that DaimlerChrysler will not let BMW out of its crosshairs anytime soon. A new AMG [motorsport] version of the C Class will follow, ratcheting up what is certain to a pitched battle to be enjoyed by compact luxury car devotees worldwide.
Additional competitors to the BMW M3 include the Cadillac CTS-V, the Audi RS4, and the Lexus IS. Prices have not been set for the new M3, but they can be expected to top out at around $60,000 fully equipped.
Copyright 2006 -- Matthew C. Keegan is a freelance automotive writer covering classic, current, and future models for All About Bimmers. You can find quality BMW M3 and BMW M5 SAV parts and accessories at the All About Bimmers shop.
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