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      04-17-2014, 07:03 AM   #1
Jason
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Lightbulb Our Interview with BMW M3/M4 Project Manager and Product Manager at NYIAS 2014

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We Interview the BMW M3/M4 Project Manager and Product Manager at NYIAS 2014
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We've just had a chance at the 2014 NYIAS to sit down and discuss the all-new M3/M4 with the M3/M4 project manager, Michael Wimbeck (pictured) and M3/M4 product manager for BMW NA, Victor LeLeu.

Thanks to these two gentlemen, here are some hopefully enlightening answers (paraphrased and summarized from the interview).


Are there official EPA MPG figures for U.S. M3 and M4 yet?
No, not yet.

Will M3/M4 be subject to gas guzzler tax?
We'll wait for the official EPA numbers to provide an answer. We do expect a substantial increase in fuel efficiency - on the order of 20-25% [compared to E9x M3]. Hopefully sometime in May we should have those numbers.

What does the US curb weight for the M3/M4 include?
The way the US curb weight is measured includes full fluids in the car, all standard equipment for US market and all options that are expected to be equipped on more than one-thirds of M3/M4 sold (i.e. 19" wheels and DCT are included).

Note: U.S. curb weight for the U.S. 2015 M3 model is 3540 lbs (manual) / 3595 lbs (DCT) and the U.S. 2015 M4 weighs 3530 lbs (manual) / 3585 lbs (DCT).

How does the F8x DCT transmission compare to the E9x DCT and current M5/M6 DCT?
The DCT unit comes from the M5/M6 DCT and it has new software that is specially adapted to the F8x. The gear ratios differ from the E9x and are closer to the M5's. The F8x provides a wider range than the E9x DCT - it can be more comfortable but also sportier [depending on the selected mode]. The sportiest mode is orientated after the E92 M3 GTS. It has shifting for the race track. In D3 you can have downshifts that are created by the brake force. For example, braking a certain amount for a turn will cause a downshift so the car is in the right gear to apply throttle.

Where is the passive (non-adaptive) suspension positioned relative to the adaptive suspension's modes?
It's between Sport and Sport+.

Can downshift auto blipping be disabled other than going into Sport+ mode?
That is the only way to disable it. There is no separate button or function to disable it.

Does the manual transmission get shift lights like the DCT?
Both transmissions get shift lights.

When should we expect BMW Individual options for the M3/M4?
There will be 4 Individual colors available beginning this Autumn - Pyrite Brown, Citrin Black, Azurite Blue, Moonstone Metallic.

There will be Individual Frozen colors as factory options from early 2015.

Individual Leather upholstery options will be available for order (as a tick-the-box factory upgrade option) and show up in order guides beginning Spring 2015. Meanwhile, from Autumn 2014 until Spring 2015, Individual interiors will be available for order upon special request (but won't appear in order guides) on the M3 sedan and M4 convertible only. M4 coupe's factory (Munich) must first be prepared for the Individual upholstery process, which is expected to be ready sometime Spring 2015.

When will M Performance Parts be Available?
From Autumn this year.

Why no carbon fiber boot lid / trunk on the M3?
The coupes are generally a bigger problem in aerodynamics [compared to sedans]. So M4 needed a much bigger/higher spoiler to improve aerodynamics, but designers said no to a big spoiler of this size on the M4, so they said OK let's make a special boot lid with the CSL shape for aerodynamics and also save weight by using carbon fiber. The M3 didn't need a special boot lid for aerodynamics improvement and looked good with the standard small spoiler, so we decided to have the standard trunk with small spoiler lip. Now the M3 and M4 are on the same level aerodynamically.

Why no carbon fiber hood on the M3/M4?
Cost may be one reason, but also with pedestrian protection laws, it's more difficult to have it in the front of the car compared to the back.

Any possibility of AWD M3/M4 this generation?
No. We orientated on lightweight-ness and steering precision for M3/M4.

Will the black wheels seen on the prototypes be available?
These are only prototype wheels and there are no plans to make them available. With the prototype wheels we tried to find out how light you can make wheels, so they were designed by our wheel engineers and not designers. The 18" wheel option look a bit like the prototype wheels because they were designed after the prototype wheels.

Can we expect a competition package?
At the moment we can't tell you the whole story. Stay tuned.

Any CSL model coming?
We have a heritage in these cars and are looking at all directions. We have a successful history with special M3 models. Stay tuned.

Any M4 Gran Coupe coming?
We have investigated that for a long time, but in our opinion the M4 coupe and M3 sedan spread the models/products wider. The coupe and gran coupe look similar and speak to the same customer. With a real 4 door sedan (M3) we have a wider product. Another reason is the trunk lid on the gran coupe because of the rigidity of the body and the weight, it's not that suitable for an M car.

Also see: We Talk M3 / M4 Nurburgring Time, Electric Steering & Other Tech Highlights w/ BMW M at 2014 Detroit Auto Show

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      04-17-2014, 07:30 AM   #2
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Good stuff. I may drop the adaptive suspension from my order now knowing that the passive setting is set between sport and sport+.
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      04-17-2014, 07:35 AM   #3
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more weight confusion....:/

good questions, but wish we had an answer on the turbo size
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      04-17-2014, 07:37 AM   #4
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A couple of decent bits but otherwise pretty short on info.

Thanks for the interview Jason. This has become my source for news on this model.
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      04-17-2014, 08:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strongbark View Post
Good stuff. I may drop the adaptive suspension from my order now knowing that the passive setting is set between sport and sport+.
That might also be my thought. My dealer will tell me I'm crazy putting it off, then on, and now maybe off again. Especially unlikely is if it starts in comfort mode all the time and that cannot be changed by default.
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      04-17-2014, 08:28 AM   #6
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great info!
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      04-17-2014, 08:35 AM   #7
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Thanks Jason! I think this should be on the front news page, very useful. (especially the information regarding auto rev-match and shift lights for us manual guys).

I'm disappointed in the weight figures. Weights are confusing, I'll leave it to the more knowledgable members to debate on this one.

US Curb weights;
F82 M4 (manual, as posted above) - 3530 lbs
E92 M3 - 3704 lbs (DCT Included) - 3684 lbs (manual)
(my understanding; 20kg is due to DCT over Manual for the E92 US curb)
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      04-17-2014, 08:35 AM   #8
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Great info! I was hoping the M performance parts would be available sooner.
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      04-17-2014, 08:47 AM   #9
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Good read, short and to the point. The weight is a head scratcher given all the reports we saw over the winter.

The Competition Pack sounds like it could be a possibility sooner than later.

I wish they would have addressed the Exec pack bundle issue some are are bothered by, myself included. Hopefully next year we'll get some options. That is my main gripe.

Thanks Jason.
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      04-17-2014, 09:38 AM   #10
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I think the most valuable (new) info we got from this interview is the confirmation of shift lights on 6MT cars .

It does not explain how come DCT is 34lb lighter in the US

Last edited by CanAutM3; 04-17-2014 at 09:43 AM.
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      04-17-2014, 09:50 AM   #11
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The roof rack on carbon roof question is still not answered. Sorry that i go on about this, but its the only thing that annoys me, esp since on the e92 with carbon roof it was possible.

Thanks anyway for thr other answers!
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      04-17-2014, 10:00 AM   #12
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The color options being available in 2014 was the information I took out of this. Not so much interior leather options.

Citrin Black doesnt look all that different from the black available on the outset. Great information all around.
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      04-17-2014, 10:08 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strongbark View Post
Good stuff. I may drop the adaptive suspension from my order now knowing that the passive setting is set between sport and sport+.
I just did!
I'm happy with that answer
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      04-17-2014, 10:10 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanAutM3 View Post
It does not explain how come DCT is 34lb lighter in the US
That actually is an interesting find (did not read about that anywhere and just now checked it).
It is the same for DCT, but there the weight difference actually is "only" 10 pounds (US lighter then Germany).

This is confusing. Maybe it is due to some options that come default in Europe and are not part of the US default specification (for MT), but are partially added once you pick the DCT.

Hope someone has more insight on this.
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      04-17-2014, 10:11 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strongbark View Post
Good stuff. I may drop the adaptive suspension from my order now knowing that the passive setting is set between sport and sport+.
This. Might as well skip adaptive.
I don't mind harsh ride.
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      04-17-2014, 10:13 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ake View Post
That actually is an interesting find (did not read about that anywhere and just now checked it).
It is the same for DCT, but there the weight difference actually is "only" 10 pounds (US lighter then Germany).

This is confusing. Maybe it is due to some options that come default in Europe and are not part of the US default specification (for MT), but are partially added once you pick the DCT.

Hope someone has more insight on this.
According to official BMW European specs, the DCT is 89lbs heavier than the 6MT. Yet, US specs show DCT only 55lb heavier than the 6MT. Hence my 34lb...

Also according to EU specs, the M3 is 51lbs heavier than thr M4, yet the M4 is only 10lbs lighter according to US specs...

Last edited by CanAutM3; 04-17-2014 at 10:18 AM.
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      04-17-2014, 10:21 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by ake View Post
That might also be my thought. My dealer will tell me I'm crazy putting it off, then on, and now maybe off again. Especially unlikely is if it starts in comfort mode all the time and that cannot be changed by default.
same here. Not sure at this point what to do...
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      04-17-2014, 10:37 AM   #18
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Great news and some was no surprise! There are great things to come for the new M3/M4! Looking forward to all the different orders people put together!


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      04-17-2014, 10:39 AM   #19
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Some helpful points in there but agree about the weight confusion.

WRT to Individual, interesting to read the timing differences between the M3, M4 and M4 'vert.
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      04-17-2014, 10:47 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrCsquared View Post
Thanks Jason! I think this should be on the front news page, very useful. (especially the information regarding auto rev-match and shift lights for us manual guys).

I'm disappointed in the weight figures. Weights are confusing, I'll leave it to the more knowledgable members to debate on this one.

US Curb weights;
F82 M4 (manual, as posted above) - 3530 lbs
E92 M3 - 3704 lbs (DCT Included) - 3684 lbs (manual)
(my understanding; 20kg is due to DCT over Manual for the E92 US curb)
Unfortunately, I don't think all of our weight questions will be answered until members start weighing their cars.
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      04-17-2014, 10:48 AM   #21
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Good info on the individual options, thanks for sharing Jason!
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      04-17-2014, 10:48 AM   #22
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3595lbs is around 1630kg without driver!!!! This is approx the same as the E90 M3 DCT?????? I must be missing something but how is this the 150lbs + weight reduction from the previous gen that is being advertised?

Would be great if someone could explain because I am slightly confused.
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