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The New BMW M3 Convertible blasts its way into Australia optionally equipped with the very first double clutch transmission designed for a high revving V8 engine.
Compared with the two previous generations of the M3 Convertibles offered in Australia the new E93 generation boasts a Retractable Hard-Top, 4.0-litre V8 engine and manual six-speed gearbox as standard.
Mechanically identical to the hugely popular M3 Coupé, which was introduced last October, and voted Car of the Year by drive.com.au in December 2007, the new BMW M3 Convertible also introduces the new seven-speed M double-clutch transmission with Drivelogic. This advanced, electronically controlled transmission is available in the M3 Coupé from next month.
The new generation BMW M V8 engine was awarded Best Engine in the 3.0 - 4.0-litre class by the global judging panel of the International Engine of the Year Awards 2008.
The New BMW M3 Convertible has been designed from the ground up as an open-top four-seater equipped with supercar performance and everyday driveability.
The 309 kW V8 engine produces 400 Nm of torque and sprints from 0-100 km/h in just 5.3 seconds in the six-speed manual transmission guise, while the double-clutch gearbox with its seven speeds and seamless gear shifting allows this sprint time to be reduced to an amazing 5.1 seconds.
The Formula One inspired V8 engine comfortably exceeds the BMW M division’s internal 100 bhp per litre target, and has a 10 percent better power to weight ratio than its E46 generation predecessor, the previous benchmark open-top sports convertible.
The new M3 Convertible produces more than twice the power of the original 1988 E30 model (not sold in Australia), yet the spirit and design philosophy remains the same.
While the original E30 M3 Convertible was the epitome of exclusivity, greater numbers of successive generations have been sold as the word spread about how much fun the M3 Convertible was to drive. Thus around 13,000 examples of the E36 generation M3 Convertible were built, increasing to 30,000 copies in the E46 generation.
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 V8 performance. In typical BMW style, running costs and emissions are kept to a minimum. The New BMW M3 Convertible returns 12.9 litres per 100 km on the combined cycle (12.3 litres per 100 km for the double-clutch gearbox).
A new option for all M3 buyers is BMW’s new seven-speed double-clutch transmission (M-DCT). Offering drivers the chance to enjoy seamless gearshifts with no interruption in power delivery, this state-of-the-art transmission is so efficient that it outperforms the manual gearbox car in terms of acceleration, fuel economy and emissions.
Lifting the lid.
The new BMW M3 Convertible is the first M car to feature a Retractable Hard-Top as standard. The electro-hydraulic roof is fully automatic and can be lowered in just 22 seconds. The M3 Convertible is also fitted with SunReflective leather, allowing owners to leave the top down for extended periods without the risk of the seat leather overheating. SunReflective leather was initially developed by BMW Motorrad to keep motorbike riders cool in hot climes. The surface temperature of the upholstery can remain up to 20 degrees Celsius cooler than conventional leather.
Underneath the M3 Convertible’s muscular torso lies a chassis and suspension system tailor-made for the demanding requirements of an open-top car. Torsional rigidity has been significantly improved over the previous model, while the suspension has been fine-tuned to take into account the specific weight distribution of a convertible.
The combination of a strong structure and advanced occupant restraint systems means the BMW M3 Convertible offers the highest possible standards of passive and active safety for occupants. Like the 3-Series Convertible, the M3 version is equipped with a rollover sensor system that constantly monitors the vertical and horizontal movement of the car. If the sensors (which are located in the centre of the car, on the B pillars and in the doors) detect that a rollover is imminent, roll bars located behind the rear headrests pop up. At the same time, the front seatbelt pre-tensioners are activated and the head/thorax airbags are deployed.
“At BMW we understand the strong lure of the M badge for our most passionate customers,” said Tom Noble, General Manager, Marketing, BMW Group Australia.
“This latest car underscores our competitive advantage in the marketplace. It is the only performance car of its type to feature innovations such as a high-revving engine, a Retractable Hard-Top and the benefits of SunReflective leather.
“The M3 Convertible is a sublime product and one of the best from BMW M. It will be hugely satisfying for both our existing M3 Convertible owners as well as newcomers to the BMW M brand.
“Undoubtedly, one of the biggest thrills will be hearing that V8 M engine on full song. Given Australians’ love affair with V8 engines, we know the new BMW M3 Convertible has been eagerly awaited. Now the fun starts,” he said.
“The M3 Convertible will appeal to buyers who want to combine the performance and peerless engineering of a traditional M car with the unique driving experience of an open-top car. With its vast array of new technology and Formula One-inspired engineering – including the option of the new seven-speed double-clutch transmission – the M3 Convertible’s appeal is wider than ever. It’s as close as a BMW owner can get to a Formula One experience.
“We are sure the introduction of the Retractable Hard-Top will broaden the M3 Convertible’s potential customer base. With its coupé-matching refinement, excellent visibility and improved practicality, the Convertible will be on the shopping lists of many who may have eschewed a canvas-roof car previously,” Tom said.
The M3 Convertible arrives in BMW dealers next month for demonstration purposes, with the first customer deliveries in the final quarter of the year, perfectly timed for summer.
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