The film company, along with Electronic Arts, recently announced plans to produce a movie based on Need for Speed, the popular video game franchise. So the Benz came first, but which one is cooler? To that end, the existing models benefit from little more than fine-tuning. Prices are well north of where they started, luxury and electronics abound, but the guiding principles found in the first generation remain in the fifth gen. The M3 Coupe and Convertible are among the best-looking mainstream sports cars available. A power rear sunshade is included in the Premium package, new to the M3 this year. Despite its race-earned credibility, the M3 is also well-suited to daily use, though you'll have to forgive it some stiffness in exchange for the excellent handling and huge grip.
And that, the feeling of thrills and speed, well it says a lot more about a car than any specsheet can. The 2012 M3 is--or can be, depending on configuration--guilty of this as well. Feel free to browse our inventory online, request more information about vehicles, set up a test drive or inquire about our easy financing! You can add one more to that lineup with the… DreamWorks Studios will be handling a lot of hot sheetmetal next year. But in most other circumstances, it inspires immense confidence. The front seats are very comfortable and supportive, equally suited to long-distance drives and fast canyon runs. What I enjoyed the most from the convertible though is how much you hear the sound of that glorious V8 coming out of those 4 cannons out back.
Under the power-bulged hood sits a 414-horsepower 4. Optional trim upgrades to carbon fiber, wood, or aluminum relieve this issue somewhat, but not entirely. Just as the 2012 M5 transitioned from a V-10 to a V-8, expect the new M3 to have a boosted six-cylinder engine under its hood when it debuts. A standard close-ratio 6-speed manual can make the driver feel like the king of speed, but models equipped with the 7-speed dual-clutch transmission are ultimately quicker. Mary has developed an aversion to riding in Corvettes with me because the powerful plastic sports cars always seem to stimulate my aggressive driving tendencies. And then we were reminded of rising fuel prices and the diesel's 36-mpg highway rating.
A dark, mostly anthracite-finished dash and console is meant to keep drivers focused on the road. But the technological heart of this car-if you choose to pay extra for it, that is-is the iDrive system, which has improved enormously from its early days. I never felt that this transmission was preventing me from having fun. The four-seat M3 serves as the most powerful version of the 3 Series, with a 414-horsepower, 4. I'm surprised by how many younger people give the thumbs up at lights, and know that it's not a normal 3 Series.
However, when you have a lot of power under the hood, it's not that easy to come to a quick stop. With its laser-precise steering, robust brakes, and seemingly endless grip, the M3 is unflappable. The hood has a substantial power bulge flanked by a pair of vents, hinting at the V-8 powerhouse underneath. Passing on a back road is simply a matter of using the beautiful shifter to select third gear and planting your right foot. The 3 Series convertible, however, received the second-lowest Marginal rating for side impacts, even though frontal offset protection was deemed Good. The M3's weight is most noticeable under braking, as the potent engine and ample mechanical grip make it accelerate and corner like a much lighter car. A choice of seven-speed M dual clutch transmission or six-speed manual offers a choice between race-inspired quickness married with daily-driver convenience, or traditional self-shifting driver involvement.
Despite the top-notch build quality, engine noise can be an issue at higher speeds or under heavy acceleration. Dark colors highlight the dash and console, while the seats and steering wheel our outfitted with generous swathes of leather. The app uses the car's existing sensors to record data for later playback. The M3 is more at home in a wider range of scenarios than perhaps any other car on the market. And when you're not concerning yourself with surrounding traffic or scenery, you'll enjoy the comfortable access, relatively clean layout, informative instrumentation and high-quality materials. Thigh support may be lacking for taller drivers, however, and the rear seats are best used as package shelves or occasional child transport.
With 295 pound-feet of torque on tap, the M3 is also highly tractable in any gear. Keep your foot in it, and the M3 convertible will still be pulling strongly when you run into the electronic governor, which truncated the acceleration curve at 157 mph in our car, although the speedo needle was nearly touching the 170 mark. In fact, it exceeds all previous M3s in many regards. They were the first dealership I encounter that was upfront, honest, and willing to help not just sell the car. All of these factory upgrades afford the steroidal 3 Series an innate handling ability. Body style: Two-door coupe or convertible Engine: 4.
Would I pay the extra money for the drop top? The full power seats are exceptionally comfortable too. Though it uses a V-8 where previous M3s have used inline six-cylinders or four-cylinders, the 2012 M3 is nonetheless true to its heritage in handling and overall ability. These charges represent costs and profit to the dealer for items such as inspecting, cleaning, and adjusting vehicles, and preparing documents related to the sale. Even so, the M3 convertible is by far the quickest droptop on the market with an adult-feasible rear seat. It really sends shivers down your spine. Find out why the M3 ranks as one of 2002's. To readers of this magazine, this effect is a virtue rather than a vice because, just like the Corvette, the M3 convertible has the combination of effortless energy, secure grip, and linear controls that make any driver feel like Michael Schumacher--and want to emulate him.