The new M3 Convertible from the BMW stables feature a retractable hard-top roof and is powered by the new V8 engine, which has won the 'International Engine of the Year' award.
The new BMW M3 Convertible has been 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 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 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, 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.
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 car 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.
This 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.
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