We had a chance to sit down and interview the gracious Matt Russell, M Brand and Alpina Manager for the US, at the 2011 New York International Auto Show. Like us, Matt is a BMW enthusiast through and through. He races BMWs and describes himself as the biggest manual transmission purist he knows. We posed to Matt some commonly asked questions among our forums and members, and are able to share with you the following insights.
In our interview with Matt Russell, M Brand and Alpina Manager for the US, at the 2011 NYIAS, we asked about the likelihood of the US market receiving the upcoming lightweight M3 sedan (info/pics). The unfortunate news is that there are currently no plans to bring the lightweight M3 sedan to the US market. Matt cites the reason as there being not much time left to build the E90 M3 sedan and the always difficult homologation issue (couldn’t certify for US).
As with certain prior special edition M3s (such as the E46 M3 CSL and E92 M3 GTS Coupe) and even certain performance parts (such as the BMW Performance seats), it’s at times difficult to get things federalized for sale in the U.S.
Having said that, however, … CONTINUED
If Auto Motor Und Sport is to believed, the lightweight E90 M3 will also receive the “GTS” moniker, like the E92 M3 GTS coupe. AMS claims the power output will be 440hp, 10 less than the 450hp GTS coupe. This would be consistent with BMW’s acknowledgement that the GTS sedan would have more power than the standard M3, but less than the GTS coupe. AMS also says that the M3 GTS sedan will utilize the 7-speed DCT transmission and feature a lightened interior with lightweight components in the center console and door panels, recaro seats, M3 steering wheel, and 6-point safety belts – similar to the GTS coupe interior.
The GTS sedan also features 19″ wheels wrapped in 255/35 front tires and 285/30 rear tires with … CONTINUED
The exciting lightweight M3 sedan concept which we were given a preview at the special M event in Garching, Munich (photos and info here) last week has now been spotted in testing for the first time!
The lightweight M3 will slot in between the standard M3 and the M3 GTS in terms of weight and power. Some of the weight reduction may come in the form of CFRP hood and seats. If you look carefully at the photos, it appears that the driver seat in the test prototype is a lightweight version, which could very well be the carbon fiber seats mentioned in the directly preceding link. This is unlikely to be the BMW Performance seat as that only comes in alcantara material.
Not much more info has … CONTINUED
Once a year BMW holds a “Technology Day”, a showcase of new technology and developments BMW has recently introduced, is about to introduce, or is looking into to make cars better. This year’s press release on the matter has quite some interesting bits about BMW’s technology, and one of the hottest things they mention is the progress they made in processing CFRP, short for carbon fiber reinforced plastic. The developments made for the BMW i models will be used across the BMW group sooner or later.
To demonstrate some possibilites, BMW shows a prototype of an E9x M3 bonnet in CFRP. According to BMW, “The lid consists of two carbon layers enclosing either a Nomex plastic or a recycled-paper honeycomb.”. It doesn’t stop there as a new … CONTINUED
Ok more LIVE coverage from the BMW M event in Germany! Moving on from the M3 Pick-up, BMW has now shown off a new M3 concept car based on the E90 M3 Sedan. This particular concept is destined for the recently announced Nurburgring M Festival later in the year.
The main idea behind this concept is lightweight. The sedan is stripped out, but BMW has not given us any details yet on what the car’s weight is or other specifics. They did say that the concept is intended to slot in between the standard M3 and the focused M3 GTS.