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M3 Coupe - E92 (2007 - ...) - Body Design

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M3 Coupe - E92 (2007 - ...)
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Athletic body design as a visible expression of superior power
The exterior of the new BMW M3 was designed and developed from the start to give the car a truly unique and sporting look. So applying the principle of "form follows function”, the designers at BMW M GmbH, in giving the body of the car its particular look and appearance, have succeeded in finding a perfect match of supreme technology, on the one hand, and authentic sporting design, on the other. Reflecting this clear-cut principle, the engine compartment lid made of aluminium features an impressive powerdome right in the middle. Together with the recesses right next to the powerdome providing space for additional air intake openings, this special design feature clearly hints to the supreme potential of the eight-cylinder power unit within the engine compartment. The contours of the powerdome and air intakes follow the forward-pointing arrow shape of the engine compartment lid, blending harmoniously into the overall design of the front end even longer than on the “regular” BMW 3 Series Coupé.

Front end designed for maximum air intake
The front end of the car boasts three large air intake scoops beneath the radiator grille serving to feed intake and cooling air to the engine. The air intake scoops border on either side on large, vertical bars and further enhance the characteristic design language of the car. Together with the double kidney grille so typical of BMW and the low-slung headlight units with their xenon main beams, the air intakes give the new BMW M3 a highly dynamic appearance right from the start. Primarily, however, the particular design and structure of the front end is determined by the supply of air required for the high-performance power unit: Almost the entire front end opens up to supply the naturally aspirated engine with a sufficient flow of air. So it is only consistent that the new BMW M3, like BMW M Cars in general, does without the foglamps so characteristic of the “regular” models in the range. In their function and size, all the air intakes are precisely defined according to technical requirements. Their arrangement and dimensions are geared precisely to the cooling and intake air required by the engine and its ancillary units.


Light and shade effects creating a firm and taut side-line
The powerfully chiselled front wheel arches on the new BMW M3 stand out clearly as a symbol of supreme agility and driving stability. Together with the weight-optimised 18-inch light-alloy wheels in double-spoke design again so typical of a BMW M, the wheel arches accentuate the particularly wide track of the car. Forged light-alloy wheels measuring 19 inches are available as an option. And looking through the spokes of the wheels, regardless of the version chosen, the beholder will immediately admire the compound high-performance brakes developed exclusively for BMW M Cars.
Both front side panels come with a particular sign of distinction to be seen only on a BMW M Car – the air intake “gills”, as they are called by the designers. The elaborately modelled contours of the car highlight the course of the profile line extending back along the side. The chrome trim distinguishing between the various sections, in turn, further enhances the three-dimensional structure of this particular element, accommodating both the long and sweeping direction indicator as well as the M3 logo.
The exterior mirrors developed exclusively for the new BMW M3 also serve to enhance the car’s aerodynamic qualities. The most characteristic feature on the mirrors is the double arm finished in black and reminiscent in its design of the wings of an aircraft. Through their horizontal contour edge and their particular shape narrowing to the outside, the exterior mirrors not only accentuate the sporting look of the car, but also help to reduce air drag thanks to their particular shape optimised in the wind tunnel.
Two surface elements literally twisting around one another form the significantly flared side-sills and generate a smooth but interchanging flow of light serving to give the car an even lighter and more sporting look from this angle by making the side panels look even lower. In their design, the side-sills correspond with the particular shape and appearance of the clearly contoured profile line along the body. A further point is that the distinctive contrast of light and shade generates a feeling of tension on the likewise muscular, widely flared side panels and the wheels beneath, thus giving particular emphasis to the significance of rear-wheel drive in the outstanding performance it gives the new BMW M3.


Discreet spoiler lip and rear diffuser for optimum aerodynamics
Seen from the rear, the new BMW M3 again boasts superior and powerful proportions. At the same time the rear end design of the car takes up the characteristic look of the front end, the side-line moving down smoothly and gently and the rear wings extending into a carefully chiselled concave panel underlining the concept of rear-wheel drive and visualising the superior dynamics of the car.
A discreet spoiler lip on the lid of the luggage compartment also referred to in racing terms as the “Gurney Flap” optimises the streamlining of the new BMW M3 and serves to further reduce lift forces at the rear.
The contours of the diffuser split up into individual sections by carefully modelled bars beneath the rear bumper again takes up the shape and design of the air intakes at the front. The air flow duct and the dual tailpipe moved far towards the centreline of the car appear to visually contract the rear end in the lower middle section, building up a feeling of superior tension in the eyes of the beholder extending all the way to the horizontally flowing lines of the bumper.
As yet another feature typical of BMW M Cars, the four tailpipes are circular in shape and cut off in a straight line at the rear, giving the rear end an even more muscular stance and again focusing the beholder’s attention on the powerful wheels of the car.

Last Updated on Monday, 12 April 2010 14:36  

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