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2018 BMW M3 Overview

In the world of German performance cars, the BMW M3 is one of the most prestigious names of all time. The latest version is very different from the original.

The latest M3 is a luxurious 4-door sedan that weighs more than 3,500 pounds and is propelled by a twin-turbo straight-6. It goes into 2018 largely unchanged. Starting at $66,500, notable updates are standard LED headlights and reversing camera and a new touchscreen for the iDrive infotainment system.

The previous generation M3 had a big 8-cylinder under the hood, but BMW downsized for the 2015 model year. It’s twin-turbocharged to give 425 horsepower and 408 pound-feet of torque. The Competition Package boosts it even further to 444 hp. BMW has phased out manual gearboxes in many of its models, but serious driving enthusiasts will be relieved to hear that the M3 still comes standard with a 6-speed manual transmission. A 7-speed dual-clutch is available as well. With a manual, the 2018 M3 will manage 17 mpg city, 25 highway, and 20 combined; with the dual-clutch it will do 17, 24, and 20. The highly-strung engine with turbos makes premium fuel a necessity.

In addition to its more aggressive bodywork—flared fenders, special alloy wheels, and hot engine—the M3 differs from the standard 3-Series in subtle ways, too. The hood and fenders are aluminum, and BMW used carbon-reinforced plastic for the trunk lid and roof. Brakes are larger than in the standard 3-Series, and the M3 has an active differential, aluminum suspension components, and available carbon ceramic brakes. The Competition Package adds additional horsepower, larger 20-inch wheels, stiffer suspension, quicker steering, and extra settings for the stability control system.

Rear passenger room is limited for a four-door sedan, and the trunk only has 12 cubic feet of space. Cloth seats are standard, though a full leather interior is available. Standard features include heated power front seats, keyless ignition, Bluetooth, navigation, 16-speaker Harmon-Kardon audio with HD Radio, and the iDrive infotainment system. For 2018, a reversing camera and an updated touchscreen are also standard. A head-up display, heated steering wheel, and heated rear seats are available with the Executive Package. The Driving Assistance package offers blind-spot monitors, lane-departure warning, surround-view camera, and forward collision warnings. Adaptive cruise control is standard.

Updated

Since 2012, Andrew Newton has been writing about cars both old and new. Andrew has been an associate editor at Sport Car Digest as well as a contributor to sites like BoldRide and JamesEdition. He was also the Education Manager at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA before becoming the Auction Editor at Hagerty Classic Car Insurance. He currently splits his time behind the wheel between his NA Miata, 1994 Corvette, and Triumph TR6.

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