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Chassis Details of BMW M3 and M4.

Link to the road: In episode 13, BMW M developer Oliver explains details of the chassis of the new BMW M3 and M4 to us.

22 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.

Link to the road: When Oliver thinks about innovations, it is all about the driving experience and aspects such as dynamics, comfort or precision. The BMW M developer is responsible for the chassis of the new BMW M3 and M4. In the video, he presents it - and explains important details. In addition, Oliver shares his knowledge with the M community. We publish an excerpt from the questions and answers.

BMW M3 Sedan [1] :
Fuel consumption combined in l/100 km 10.1
CO2 emissions combined in g/km 230
CO2 class G
BMW M4 Competition Coupé [1] :
CO2 emissions combined in g/km 223
Fuel consumption combined in l/100 km 9.9




BMW M4 Competition CoupéBMW M4 Competition Coupé
The new models have more negative camber at the front to improve turn-in and cornering.

How much was the front axle unsprung weight decreased in percent compared to previous M3?

In vehicles equipped with M Carbon ceramic brakes, with the new wider wheels of the new generation the unsprung weight increased by only 0,9 kg per side (at a total weight of roughly 55 kg).


How does adding more camber affect the handling of an M3/M4?

Compared to the predecessor, the new models run higher camber at the front to improve turn in and cornering performance. Tire development and chassis parameters such as camber and toe were perfectly matched to each other during thousands of kilometers of testing.

BMW M3 and M4BMW M3 and M4
The engine compartment struts of the new BMW M3 and M4 are made of steel.

Why is there no use of carbon fiber for the strut bar and driveshaft like in F8X cars?

With regards to the engine bay strut bars: with the given package situation in combination with our functional requirements, using steel instead of carbon works better in the new cars. With regards to the driveshaft: Spoiler Alert! Watch out for another episode to come.


Why is the rear subframe made of steel and not aluminum?

The rear axle is a very complex construction - think of all the things around there: fuel tank, exhaust system, differential, prop-shafts, driveshaft, wide wheels, trunk space and seats. There is only very little room left for the rear axle subframe to fit in between all that. Compared to a weight optimized steel construction, an aluminum construction requires more space to achieve the same strength and rigidity - more space than was available here.

BMW M3 and M4BMW M3 and M4
The new shock absorbers are a further development with a specific hydraulic setup.

What are the main differences between G8x and F8x adaptive dampers in terms of hardware?

In principle, the new dampers are a next generation development based on the predecessor with a specific hydraulic setup.


What have you done to improve steering feedback and engagement?

There is no particular single item that addresses this point. It is the result of a meticulously fine-tuned combination of M3 and M4 specific components such as steering rack, front axle and suspension, chassis stiffening and wheel combinations.

BMW M3 LimousineBMW M3 Limousine
The suspension setup was developed to be suitable for all loading situations.

Which setting is the best for a hillclimb with bump corners and slow corners?

I recommend starting with the Sport setting which has been optimized for Nurburgring Nordschleife (which is slightly undulated as well). If that is too stiff, switch to Comfort.


Is the suspension tuned on the assumption that only the driver's seat is occupied?

Providing a vehicle that serves as a frequently used track day car, as well as a daily driver capable of driving long distances fully loaded, is one of our major targets. Hence, the suspension setup is developed to work with all load situations – whether driver only or fully loaded cabin and trunk.

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