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The Aerodynamics of the new BMW M3 and M4.

Let it flow: In episode twelve, BMW M developers Jonas, Alex and Markus explain the aerodynamics of the new BMW M3 and M4.

18 February 2021

The epitome of racing feeling in everyday traffic starts a new round. 35 years after the debut of the first BMW M3, BMW M GmbH presents the latest generation of its high-performance automobiles in the premium mid-size segment. Time to introduce the two new vehicles. In the #M3M4explained series, the developers have the floor.

Let it flow! Jonas, Alex and Markus use simulations and tests in the wind tunnel, among other things, to improve characteristics such as handling or driving dynamics. The BMW M developers are responsible for aerodynamics. In the video, they give a brief overview and show details that matter. In addition, they answer questions from the community.


Episode 12: M3 and M4 Explained - Aerodynamics.Episode 12: M3 and M4 Explained - Aerodynamics.

Episode 12: M3 and M4 Explained - Aerodynamics.

Start Video


BMW M3 Sedan.BMW M3 Sedan.
The back of the M3 is wider than the one of its predecessor.

Are you using aero maps to improve aero efficiency of the car?

Alex: We use aero maps in a reduced manner compared to motorsport as our series vehicle does not use adjustable aerodynamic components. But for sure, aero efficiency is our major target.

What is the correlation of results in % between CFD and real life testing?

Markus: Nice question. It is nearly impossible to condense the result to one specific percentage. Generally speaking, our CFD simulations help us very well to optimize the engine and brake cooling performance and we have found the results to be pretty much correlating with the actual vehicle later on.

Bonnet of the BMW M3 Sedan.Bonnet of the BMW M3 Sedan.
The front license plate was also included in the development process.

Is the front number plate factored into the aerodynamics?

Jonas: Yes, it is being considered in the development process.

Does the split design on the carbon fibre brake cooling ducts serve a purpose for its split design?

Markus: The inner air duct serves for brake cooling, the outer duct for additional water radiators.

Could adding an aftermarket front lip lead to overheating issues regarding the flow to the oilcooler?

Alex: Yes. The M Performance front splitter was designed with that in mind.

The back of a BMW M4 Competion.The back of a BMW M4 Competion.
The rear spoiler is part of the BMW design language.

Is the diffuser in carbon fiber?

Markus: Yes, there is a Carbon diffuser which is part of the optional M Carbon Exterior Package.

What do you think about lowering the vehicle? In which measure does it distort your calculations?

Markus: Lowering the vehicle will reduce drag … but the lower riding height will not be suitable for everyday use.

Are the M Performance parts tested in the wind tunnel? Do they provide a positive effect?

Alex: Yes, they have been tested and aerodynamically optimized in the wind tunnel.

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