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EPISODE 19: BMW M3 & M4 EXPLAINED.EPISODE 19: BMW M3 & M4 EXPLAINED.

EPISODE 19: BMW M3 & M4 EXPLAINED.

3 min reading time

The Steptronic Transmission in BMW M3 and M4.

In episode 19, BMW M developer Karsten explains the M Steptronic Sport transmission of the BMW M3 and M4 Competition.

12 April 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.

Karsten always knows what goes round: the engineer, responsible at BMW M for transmission development of the M3 and M4 automobiles, explains the M Steptronic Sport transmission used in the Competition models. In the video he explains all the technical details and how exactly M GmbH has optimised the transmission.

BMW M3 Competition Sedan:
CO2 emissions combined in g/km 224–223 (WLTP)
Fuel consumption combined in l/100 km 9.8 (WLTP)
EPISODE 19: M3 & M4 EXPLAINED.EPISODE 19: M3 & M4 EXPLAINED.

EPISODE 19: M3 & M4 EXPLAINED.

Start Video

BMW M ENTHUSIASTS ASK, BMW M EXPERTS ANSWER.

BMW M3 Competition.BMW M3 Competition.

What is the additional weight compared to the manual transmission?

In the car (including the additional oil cooler for the 8-speed M Steptronic) the difference is 23.8kg.

Will excessive use of launch control void the factory warranty on the transmission?

No.

How long is the lifetime of the "small" friction clutches between the planetary gears?

The clutches within the 8-speed M Steptronic are designed for the entire vehicle's life.

Side view of a BMW M4 Competition.Side view of a BMW M4 Competition.

What is the maximum torque the ZF8 can handle vs DCT?

The same transmission is also used in the BMW M5 CS with 750Nm which it handles quite well. The old DCT handled a maximum of 700Nm in last generation's M5.

Top speed at max RPM for each gear?

1st: 57km/h, 2nd: 89km/h, 3rd: 133km/h, 4th: 166km/h, 5th: 217km/h, 6th: 285km/h, 7th/8th: 290km/h (limited Vmax with optional M Drivers Package) Reverse: 40km/h. However, different tire dimensions have an influence on these speeds.

Under light loads will the transmission skip ratios for improved fuel economy?

Yes, it will under certain circumstances.

BMW M3 Competition.BMW M3 Competition.

How much torque multiplication is present through the torque converter when unlocked?

The torque multiplication factor is 1.8

Is the external oil cooler only part of the M transmission or is it also part of the AG transmission?

The AG transmission uses an indirect water-oil-cooler whereas BMW M uses a direct air-oil-cooler.

Which transmission is suited better for acceleration at over 200kph? Manual or 8HP?

Given the additional power of the Competition models in combination with avoidance of the power loss during shifting, the 8-speed M Steptronic ones are faster.

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