Long-Awaited BMW M3 Convertible Announced! | Beyond the KM

This entry was posted on Friday, April 25th, 2008 at 12:27 am

Long-Awaited BMW M3 Convertible Announced!

While we normally don’t report on new product announcement, the BMW M3 Convertible stands to be the best car BMW has released in the last few years. It’s a powerful combination of powertrain and luxury sportscar handling. It’s also one of the more restrained car designs from BMW in the last 5 years, which we warmly welcome. Hopefully BMW will let BeyondtheKM drive one soon so we can give you the full scoop!

Sales History:

Year / Annual UK Sales

BMW E30 M3 Convertible

BMW E36 M3 Convertible

BMW E46 M3 Convertible

1988

1

N/A

N/A

1989

23

N/A

N/A

1990

14

N/A

N/A

1991

1

N/A

N/A

1992

2

N/A

N/A

1993

N/A

N/A

N/A

1994

N/A

210

N/A

1995

N/A

339

N/A

1996

N/A

476

N/A

1997

N/A

471

N/A

1998

N/A

516

N/A

1999

N/A

406

N/A

2000

N/A

8

N/A

2001

N/A

N/A

482

2002

N/A

N/A

1,182

2003

N/A

N/A

1,826

2004

N/A

N/A

1,312

2005

N/A

N/A

825

2006

N/A

N/A

395

 

M3 Convertible key facts:
• First M3 Convertible to feature a Retractable Hard-Top roof.
• The only high-performance convertible in the sector to incorporate specialist environmental fuel-saving and emissions-reducing technology.
• First M3 Convertible to be powered by a V8 engine.
• The eight-cylinder engine is lighter than the outgoing six-cylinder unit.
• First M3 Convertible to feature M Double Clutch Transmission. Available as a £2,590 option. And it’s cleaner, faster and more frugal than a manual transmission.
• 0-62mph time of 5.1 seconds* makes it the fastest M3 Convertible ever.
• The M3 Convertible is fitted with SunReflective leather, allowing owners to leave the top down for extended periods without the risk of the seat leather overheating. With SunReflective leather, which was initially developed by BMW Motorrad to keep motorbike riders cool in hot climes, the surface temperature remains up to 20 degrees Celsius lower than conventional leather.

History
Launched in 1998, the E30 M3 Convertible was hand-built in BMW’s Garching plant in Germany, using bodyshells taken from the standard E30 production line. Each example was then converted to M3 specification with a bespoke chassis, engine and interior. All E30 M3 Convertibles were left-hand drive and were powered by a
2.3-litre engine generating 195bhp. In 1990, an updated Evolution version with a 215bhp output appeared. In total 800 E30 M3 Convertibles were built.
Having created the template for the high-performance four-seater convertible, the original model made way for the E36 M3 Convertible in 1994. Powered by a 3.0-litre 286bhp straight six engine, it was offered in right-hand-drive form for the first time and enjoyed considerable sales success in the UK. In 1996, the engine was upgraded to 3.2-litres and the power increased to 321hp for the E36 M3 Evolution. Then, in 1997, BMW became the first manufacturer to fit a Sequential Manual Gearbox (SMG) in a large-scale production car. The Formula One-derived technology was embraced by customers and half of all E36 M3 Convertibles were sold with SMG following its introduction. In total, 13,000 E36 M3 Convertibles were produced.

The third generation of M3 Convertible, the E46, raised standards even further with sales more than doubling over its predecessor. Launched in 2001 – a year later than the Coupé – it was powered by a 3.2-litre straight-six engine producing 343hp. Offered with an updated version of BMW’s SMG gearbox featuring DRIVELOGIC and the Variable M differential lock, it became the most successful M3 Convertible ever with over 30,000 sold worldwide.

Source: BMW
Not only is the new open-topped M3 the first M car to feature a Retractable Hard-Top, it’s the first M3 Convertible to be powered by a V8 engine and the first BMW to feature an all-new seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission (M DCT) as an alternative to the standard six-speed manual gearbox.

Although it possesses the same 4.0-litre, 420hp V8 engine as its M3 Coupé and M3 Saloon siblings, the fourth-generation M3 Convertible is very much a model in its own right. It has been designed from the ground up to be a four-seat convertible with supercar performance that showcases market-leading technology.

BMW M3 Convertible (manual gearbox)
Power (Hp) 420 Torque (Nm) 400 Zero to 62mph 5.3 Combined mpg 21.9 Emissions (g/km) 309 Price OTR £54,760

BMW M3 Convertible (with M DCT gearbox)
Power (Hp) 420 Torque (Nm) 400 Zero to 62mph 5.1 Combined mpg 23.0 Emissions (g/km) 293 Price OTR £57,350

The new M3 Convertible produces more than twice the power of the original 1988 model, yet the spirit and design philosophy remains the same. With outputs of 420hp and 400 Nm, and following the precedent set by its forebears, the M3 Convertible engine comfortably breaks the all-important 100hp per litre barrier. What’s more, the new model has a power to weight ratio that is over 10 per cent higher than the outgoing E46 M3 Convertible – itself the previous benchmark open-top sports convertible.

EfficientDynamics at the performance end of the market
The new M3 Convertible is both more fuel efficient and produces less C02 than its predecessor, despite this breathtaking performance. The introduction of BMW’s EfficientDynamics programme – which features Brake Energy Regeneration, Optimum Shift Indicator and lightweight materials – ensures that both running costs and emissions are kept to a minimum. The M3 Convertible returns 21.9 mpg on the combined cycle – a five per cent improvement over the previous generation model.

Market
The M3 Convertible goes on sale in the UK on 26 April 2008, priced at £54,760 OTR. BMW expects to sell approximately 900 M3 Convertibles in a full year. This compares to 1,900 M3 Coupés and 400 M3 Saloons.

 


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.