BMW M3 and M4


Episode 07: BMW M3 and M4 explained.

The drive train.Episode 07: BMW M3 and M4 explained.

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.

The seventh video in our series is all about maximum propulsion. BMW M developer Stefan explains the drivetrain of the BMW M3 Competition and M4 Competition. He also answers questions from the M Community.

BMW M3 Sedan:
Fuel consumption in l/100 km (combined): 9.9-10.2 (WLTP)
CO2 emissions in g/km (combined): 226-231 (WLTP)

BMW M4 Competition Coupé:
Fuel consumption in l/100 km (combined): 9.6-9.8 (WLTP)
CO2 emissions in g/km (combined): 219-224 (WLTP)

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BMW M3 M4 Explained


Why have you stepped away from dual-clutch setup?


Stefan: The new 8-speed M Steptronic offers a widespread between sporty use and comfort. Furthermore, it enables the introduction of M xDrive also for BMW M3/M4 for the very first time. We could utilize our very good experience of the BMW M8/M8 Competition as a starting point for calibrating it for BMW M3/M4 Competition.

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What are the main differences between DCT and the new transmission in track day use?

Track performance of the new BMW M3 and M4 Competition is superior compared to its predecessor.

What is the max torque the transmission is capable of?

The identical transmission is being used in the new BMW M5 CS with 750Nm as well - just a differentiated calibration.

Can it cause a problem by clicking on the paddle shifters while in automatic?

No, that would not be a problem at all. When clicking the paddle shifters while being in D mode you will temporarily switch gears. After a while, when you do not click the paddles anymore in between, it will return to the fully automatic D programme - we call this feature "Tip-in D".

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BMW M4 Competition Schaltpaddle

Will driving with manual shifting only harm the transmission over time?

No, there is no issue with either the transmission or the engine when driving in sequential mode all the time.

Do you implement "over boost" mode for extra power when needed?

All power is available when you press the accelerator pedal 100%. No hidden reserves.

What is the optimum temperature range for performance driving?

The cars are tested on specific racetrack long runs at hot summer temperatures. However, due to thermodynamical efficiency, cooler temperatures are better for performance.

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BMW M4 Competition Schaltpaddle

Do transmission and drivetrain suffer from launch control starts?

Extensive use of launch control is of course causing more wear and tear to the components.

Does the engine match the revs while downshifting, like heel and toe?

Yes, the 8-speed M Steptronic uses rev matching while downshifting.


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Does the new BMW M3 and M4 have a rev limiter?

Yes, there is a rev limiter for the engine which is set at 7,200 rpm.

If we hold down the left paddle to overtake, should we worry about spinning the crankhub?

No, there is no risk of getting above the engine's rev limiter while downshifting - no matter how long you hold down the paddle.

With overtake, does the accelerator pedal still have a kickdown button?

Yes, the pedal still has a kickdown button.

How fast does the M4 Competition go from 100 to 200 km/h?

The new BMW M4 Competition runs from 100-200km/h in 8.6 sec.


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What boost pressure is stock for the S58 in the BMW M3 and M4?

The new BMW M3/M4 run at 1.3 bars, the competition models at 1.7 bars relative boost pressure.

Can you start in Sport Plus mode?

Yes, that is possible. All you have to do is select Sport Plus in the SETUP menu before turning the engine on.

Do the drive modes affect the suspension in any way? If so, how?

The M Drive concept allows for independent setup of all individual systems - steering, suspension, brakes, DSC, Drivelogic … Hence, changes to the Drivelogic mode of the transmission do not affect other system settings at all.


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Is there an "individual" mode where you can set up things how you personally like it?

Yes, you can store your preferred system settings for all individual systems using the M Drive feature - directly selectable via the red M1 and M2 buttons on the steering wheel.

Is any specific engine cooling done to increase performance in track mode?

Engine cooling as well as transmission cooling work independently of the M Mode concept. Depending on the actual conditions - namingly temperatures, loads, vehicle speed - the cooling system will be engaged to its full potential.

What car do you drive?

BMW M3 Convertible (E46), Carbon black over Cinnamon leather.

What was your first car?

My first car was a BMW 318i E30.

What is your favourite old school BMW?

For me it is the M3 E30.


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  • The models illustrated include optional equipment.

    Due to regular software updates, screen designs in the communication may differ from the actual screen design in your car.

    Official data on power consumption and electric range were determined in accordance with the mandatory measurement procedure and comply with Regulation (EU) 715/2007 valid at the time of type approval. In case of a range, figures in the NEDC take into account differences in the selected wheel and tire size; figures in the WLTP take into account any optional equipment. WLTP values are used for assessing taxes and other vehicle-related charges that are (also) based on CO2 emissions, as well as for the purposes of vehicle-specific subsidies, if applicable. Where applicable, the NEDC values listed were calculated based on the new WLTP measurement procedure and then converted back to the NEDC measurement procedure for comparability reasons. For newly type-tested vehicles since 01.01.2021, the official data no longer exist according to NEDC, but only according to WLTP. For more information on the WLTP and NEDC measurement procedures, see

    For further information about the official fuel consumption and the specific CO2 emission of new passenger cars can be taken out of the „handbook of fuel consumption, the CO2 emission and power consumption of new passenger cars“, which is available at all selling points and at

    All vehicles, equipment, combination possibilities and varieties shown here are examples and can differ in your country. In no way do they constitute a binding offer by the BMW M GmbH. Visit your local BMW website or see your authorised BMW M Retailer for accurate details on the offers in your country.