BMW M3, M4 and M235i Details:

  • All three powered by M TwinPower Turbo technology
  • Reduced weight from carbon fiber reinforced plastic components
  • M3 and M4 produce 431horsepower
  • M235i produces 326 horsepower

The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) is regarded as THE event marking the start of the model year, and BMW couldn't have rocked it any better. Amid a sea of new cars and concepts at the 2014 NAIAS this week, the Bimmer brand came out strong, especially with its entries that bear the legendary M performance badge. The new M3 sedan, M4 coupe and new to the M series, the M235i, all premiered in Detroit, carrying on the "Ultimate Driving Machine" tradition.

For years, the M3 served as a benchmark for performance and an icon for the brand, but a new chapter has begun for the high-performance sports cars from BMW M GmbH. The new M3 Sedan and now M4 coupe are both rooted in a combination of motorsports genes with the comforts of a daily driver. BMW is saying compared to their predecessors, the newer models trump them with superior performance, the M3 and M4's advanced straight-six cylinder engine good for 431 horsepower and 405 lb-ft of torque. BMW equipped the customary inline six with M TwinPower Turbo technology, made up of two mono-scroll turbochargers. Additionally the high-revving engine guarantees spontaneous engine response and smooth performance across the rpm range. It takes 4.1 seconds to reach 62mph from a standstill.

All that performance is laid down by the new standard six-speed manual transmission, rated at 26.4 pounds lighter than its predecessor. However, the optional seven-speed M double-clutch transmission offers automatic, as well as manual gear changes. The integrated Launch Control function ensures optimal acceleration that has superior results with the manual transmission.

BMW paid special attention to weight and handling. The M3 and M4's diet is made up of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP), which is extremely light and rigid. Its very driveshaft is made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic for better gas pedal response. Vehicle weight has been shaved by 176.3 lbs., which gives these cars a curb weight of under 3,307 lbs.

Suspension and drivetrain have been dialed in to work harmoniously with the engine. Based on M technology, the M3 and M4 will be using a modified and further developed suspension. It'll be using lightweight aluminum steering arms, wheel and axle suspension components to reduce weight of the double-joint spring-strut front axle. In the front of the vehicle you'll find an aluminum subframe, CFRP strut braces, and additional fittings in the rocker panel areas for more stiffness. Drivers can adjust the electronically controlled shock absorbers, called Adaptive M suspension, into three different modes: Comfort, Sport, and Sport+.

The bodies of both cars express athleticism and optimized aerodynamics - the trademark characteristics of M automobiles. The dynamic exteriors feature muscular front aprons, CFRP components, integrated spoilers, and M gill elements. Everything down to the aero mirrors contributes to the aerodynamics of the cars.

The newcomer, the BMW M235i, brings a whole new ballgame to its vehicle class. The two-seater coupe is packing heat with its 3.0-liter straight six motor accompanied by an M Performance TwinPower Turbo that results in 326 horsepower. In the M235i, BMW continues its tradition of creating dynamic, bold-looking compact cars. The 02 series was actually born in 1966 and was considered the incarnation of sheer driving pleasure in the compact class.

A range of standard premium equipment comes with the coupe, such as specially tuned suspension, M Sport brakes, variable sport steering with automatic control and exclusive 18-inch M light-alloy wheels. Additionally, the BMW M235i gets a mechanically locking BMW M Performance anti-slip differential that guarantees firm traction in some dynamic driving situations.

The body was designed aerodynamically for high-performance driving situations. Exterior styling features large air intakes in the front apron and a gurney on the trunk lid. The interior is designed to match the sporty characteristics of the car - from the sports seats in the front of the car, an M leather steering wheel with multifunction, and the BMW individual headliner in Anthracite.

These M Performance machines are distinguished by powerful engines and bold styling. They're known for their extreme agility and precision handling. Are they the ultimate driving machines? It sure looks that way.

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