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BigD
05-08-2006, 09:16 PM
To V or not to V(8): BMW's M3 moves on from iconic in-line six to big V8
David Booth, National Post
Published: Friday, May 05, 2006

Somewhere in Germany, there's a BMW engineer wasting his time.

As is the habit of propeller-heads worldwide and the Teu-tonic variety in particular, he's crunching numbers, CAD/CAMing prototypes and thermo-dynamicing so furiously that the Second Law as it pertains to entropy may have to be repealed. His mission is simple -- engineer the upcoming 2007 M3 so that it can keep up with the Teutonic sporting coupe Joneses, most notably the new Audi RS4 with its DSG transmission and 420 horsepower.

German automakers take this four-wheeled hierarchy nonsense seriously. It is, for instance, acceptable for a Mercedes-Benz owner to pull out of the autobahn's fast lane for the flashing headlamps of a rapidly approaching Porsche 911. A 911 might pull over for a Ferrari or a Lamborghini, but not if it's a Turbo whose only known stalker is Bugatti's Veyron.

Volkswagens, of course, pull over for everybody and, since everyone knows that an Audi is just a jumped-up VW, anyone driving a Mercedes, BMW or Porsche would rather face a Nuremberg inquisition than let one of Ingolstadt's finest pass them on the motorway.

What this means is that when the next M3 hits these shores some time next year, it will be the first in the long line of the iconoclastic 3 Series coupes from M GmbH to sport that most North American of engines -- a V8.

No doubt it'll be a burner. Judging by the previous-generation M5's sweet-running V8, it'll be a jewel of an engine, too. I wouldn't be surprised if it revs past 8,000 rpm, idles as calmly as a languishing feline and, despite rumours of "just" 400 hp from its four litres, I suspect it will probably have in excess of the 420 Audi so audaciously claims for the RS4.

Still, the automobile enthusiasts' world will be lesser for it, and it will almost assuredly rank as only my second favourite M3 engine, numero uno being the 3.2L in-line six I'm busy bouncing off its 8,200-rpm rev limiter as I snake my way up California's notoriously twisty Pacific Coast Highway.

For as long as I've been an autojournalist, I've had a thing for big, powerful in-line six engines. Auto scribes have tried for decades to capture the wail of a highly tuned, high-revving six in words, all to no avail. My pathetic attempt will be to simply state that my No. 1 automotive experience in 20 years of flogging cars was piloting a 1992 M5 whose magical twin-cam 3.6L six was so melodious I insisted on driving everywhere in third gear just so I could hear the engine scream. Almost 15 years later, that M5 stands out as the most memorable car I have ever driven -- its big six the very model of perfect internal combustion.

Almost the exclusive purview of the Europeans (no, a Chrysler slant six does not qualify as either sporty or powerful), an in-line six is the only engine (besides a V12, which is essentially two sixes mated) that has perfect primary and secondary balance.

Where in-line fours, V6s and V8s need various methods of quelling unwanted vibration (everything from trick crankshaft arrangements to counterbalancer shafts) a well-engineered in-line six is a paragon of sophisticated behaviour right from the get-go. Perhaps that's why every car firm from Alfa Romeo and Maserati to Jaguar and Bentley -- not to mention Mercedes and its famed 300SL -- has had, at one time or another, enormous success with in-line sixes.

BMetal
05-08-2006, 09:29 PM
Love the article!!!! Sad to see the 6 leave the M3. Inline 6s own!!!

M3ti Compact
05-08-2006, 09:30 PM
Everyone simply wants more power- 0-60 times are just so important to people these days that cars that are shit and cars that are cool are seperated by less than a second. Manufacturers are giving their cars ultra wide (and therefore ultra boring) gear ratios, making them hit 62mph at the top of second so they can shave that 0.3s off the 0-60 time by not having to shift to 3rd.

Well, if 400hp is to be had, the engine size by today's technology must be approaching 4.0L's- maybe a little less- but then your starting to get into unpractical and essentially race motors. SO then, who wants a 4.0L Inline 6?? I'd be a low revving truck engine! 4.0L V8 will give the high revs and high HP people are looking for. I doubt anyone will complain about the new M3's V8 engine.

rodo
05-08-2006, 09:34 PM
low reving inline 6 4.0L? our pathfinder's engine redlines at pretty much the same as our old aviator's V8. The pathfinder is a 4.0L 6 cylinder and the aviator was a 4.6L V8

tlaselva
05-08-2006, 09:52 PM
V8's only way to go.

The S54 motor made good HP, but torque was a little lacking.
In 3rd gear, it was apparent. HP sells cars, but torque wins races.

Torque comes from cubic inches.
Also, keep the size of the pistons small so they can rev.

BMW's on the right track. *th-up*

M3ti Compact
05-08-2006, 10:20 PM
low reving inline 6 4.0L? our pathfinder's engine redlines at pretty much the same as our old aviator's V8. The pathfinder is a 4.0L 6 cylinder and the aviator was a 4.6L V8

Lol, so what's the redline? 6000rpms?

thinair
05-08-2006, 11:26 PM
Well, on a good note the V8 will more then likely have an aluminium block, and will sit further back in the chassis. The I6 is just awesome though, too bad they couldn't just bump up the displacement.

AMG_POWER
05-08-2006, 11:46 PM
i vote for V10 in the new m3!

Mystikal
05-09-2006, 12:14 AM
I was wondering what prompted D to post this article...then I hit the S38 section. LOL.

BigD
05-09-2006, 02:22 PM
I was wondering what prompted D to post this article...then I hit the S38 section. LOL.

Hehe, yeah, that engine will always have a special place in my heart. Maybe I'll get another one someday.

But for now this is what I'm rocking. 330 ft lbs of torque is pretty intoxicating and it's silky smooth. Plus that exhaust note... sounds like the engine's running on raw testosterone.

http://toyota.jbcarpages.com/4Runner/2003/Bilder/2003%204Runner%20V8%20Engine.jpg

FastM3
05-09-2006, 02:28 PM
i vote for V10 in the new m3!

I agree! V10's are smoooooooooooooooooooooth *mw*

Understated
05-09-2006, 03:18 PM
i'm gonna estimate the new m3 will boast a V8 with close to 430 hp

http://www.ctgilles.net/images/pictars/dr.evil_one_miliion_dollars.jpg

BigD
05-09-2006, 03:55 PM
i'm gonna estimate the new m3 will boast a V8 with close to 430 hp

I don't think so. M always aims for 100hp/liter in a naturally aspirated engine. If it's a 4L V8, count on a 400hp rating.

chromius
05-09-2006, 04:37 PM
I don't think so. M always aims for 100hp/liter in a naturally aspirated engine. If it's a 4L V8, count on a 400hp rating.

M3 CSL was about 110hp/L which would put the 4L v8 at 440:)

Either way though, good article. Love the Straight 6's. Too bad they are moving away from them, but it's really their only choice if they want to keep up in the HP wars, aside from going FI. But that being said, I would much rather them move to larger displacement NA V8/V10's then see them go FI.

BigD
05-09-2006, 05:55 PM
M3 CSL was about 110hp/L which would put the 4L v8 at 440:)

Either way though, good article. Love the Straight 6's. Too bad they are moving away from them, but it's really their only choice if they want to keep up in the HP wars, aside from going FI. But that being said, I would much rather them move to larger displacement NA V8/V10's then see them go FI.

Didn't Vlad just recently post an article where they said that BMW will not follow Mercedes in the cubic inch race, but rather switch to FI??? So much for that.

static
05-09-2006, 06:18 PM
torque, horsepower, v8, v10..... who needs it?

i've been driven in an elise last autox (in very capable hands of it's owner) and it had won my heart

Alex

DbIiRrTdY
05-09-2006, 06:36 PM
Didn't Vlad just recently post an article where they said that BMW will not follow Mercedes in the cubic inch race, but rather switch to FI??? So much for that.

very true ... if the 335i twin turbo gets 300 hp stock ... i'm sure there will be people pushing way beyond 440hp with solid torque numbers too after they tune it. I'm interested to see if the new M3 is turboless.

as a foot note the audi s4 b5 with twin turbos rated stock from the factory was 240 hp with ~240 ft/lbs - and people tuning them to get in excess of 400 hp (with turbo swaps, software, exhaust, downpipes etc.) at a relatively low cost (hp/dollar).

time will tell...

Zim Zimma
05-09-2006, 07:10 PM
No doubt in my mind that the next M3 will be turboless....Im pretty sure that is 100% given.

BigD
05-09-2006, 08:07 PM
torque, horsepower, v8, v10..... who needs it?

i've been driven in an elise last autox (in very capable hands of it's owner) and it had won my heart

Alex

Everything has its place. A go-cart will win your heart even more around an autocross. The Elise will still be dead last at a MoSport or Mt Tremblant track day.

paul christians
05-09-2006, 10:44 PM
they are going to the V8s becuase the I6s are maxed out....

static
05-09-2006, 10:58 PM
BigD, you are right. Friend of mine has a 400hp STI and raced it quite a bit, then he got a stock powered miata, put some R-comps and stiff suspesion on it and says that he has muuuch more fun driving the miata and you don't have to go at such high speed to have that fun, and then he got an s2000..... ;)

My point is: it all about the scale - one can scale things down (power, brakes, car weight, the track) and possibly have even more fun

Someone on this forum once nicely underlined the way BMW is going with their series:
new 1'er is the old 3, 3 is 5, 5 is 7 and the new 7 is a yacht. Guess it's still going that way.

1BADBMR
05-09-2006, 11:17 PM
Great article. I love the I-6 engine, too bad their are changing it to a V8. But I guess they have to do it to compete with the other auto manufactures. When will this HP war end?

BigD
05-10-2006, 01:05 AM
they are going to the V8s becuase the I6s are maxed out....

NA maybe. But as I said earlier, they were saying that instead of upping the ci's, they'd go to FI. If people can get 1200hp out of a Toyota 3L I-6, I'm sure BMW, who got well over 1500hp out of a 1.5 Liter [edit: 20 years ago], can do better.

BigD, you are right. Friend of mine has a 400hp STI and raced it quite a bit, then he got a stock powered miata, put some R-comps and stiff suspesion on it and says that he has muuuch more fun driving the miata and you don't have to go at such high speed to have that fun, and then he got an s2000.....

My point is: it all about the scale - one can scale things down (power, brakes, car weight, the track) and possibly have even more fun

Someone on this forum once nicely underlined the way BMW is going with their series:
new 1'er is the old 3, 3 is 5, 5 is 7 and the new 7 is a yacht. Guess it's still going that way.

You can have fun on the track in a dump truck. It doesn't matter that much what you drive, and you'll learn far more in a slow car. And while autocrosses are fun, it's just not the same as a highspeed track. The worst you can do at an autocross is curbrash (or if you really **** up maybe a lamppost). At a fast track it's do or die.

SickFinga
05-10-2006, 02:04 AM
NA maybe. But as I said earlier, they were saying that instead of upping the ci's, they'd go to FI. If people can get 1200hp out of a Toyota 3L I-6, I'm sure BMW, who got well over 1500hp out of a 1.5 Liter [edit: 20 years ago], can do better.


And none of those cars can be daily driven.


You can have fun on the track in a dump truck. It doesn't matter that much what you drive, and you'll learn far more in a slow car. And while autocrosses are fun, it's just not the same as a highspeed track. The worst you can do at an autocross is curbrash (or if you really **** up maybe a lamppost). At a fast track it's do or die.

You should see some other Autox, not just the one that we got at BMWCC.

BigD
05-10-2006, 12:59 PM
And none of those cars can be daily driven.

Who cares, point is that people get that much out of Toyotas, and BMW got more out of smaller engines 20 years ago. I thought this clearly implies that if BMW were to make a FI engine today, it should dominate appropriately.

You should see some other Autox, not just the one that we got at BMWCC.

What other autox? You're going to tell me there are autox's were people go 160kmh in a turn??? Next...

d12
05-10-2006, 02:07 PM
i wonder how much new m3 will be :(