The "M" designation has long been BMW's way of differentiating this high performance machine from the rest of its popular lineup from Munich, Germany. While past iterations of the breed have been identified by little more than the subtle "M" logo, the 2010 M3 features a substantially more muscular appearance than its more sedate 3-Series stable mate.
Each of the body styles; Sedan, Coupe and Convertible display a lower, more aggressive stance beginning with the lower front air dam and bulging hood line, punctuated by Xenon adaptive headlamps.
The standard 18-inch Double-spoke light alloy wheels were up rated on our test "M" to 19-inch shod with low profile performance rated tires. The "M" displays an equally aggressive rear profile highlighted by dual, twin-tip stainless steel exhaust pipes.
Exclusive to the M3 is a 4.0 Liter, V-8 engine that produces 420 horsepower and 295 pound feet of torque. Power is routed to the rear wheels via a 6-speed manual or Dual Clutch 7-speed automatic transmission that can be shifted sequentially from either the center-console mounted selector or with paddles on the multi-function steering wheel.
Fuel economy for the M3 ranges from 14 miles per gallon city, up to 20 miles per gallon highway.
Inside, the cloth and leather trimmed interior with seating for four can be upgraded to full leather throughout with your choice of wood or brushed aluminum trim.
The basic audio system includes a 10-speaker, AM/FM stereo/CD player that is upgradeable to include premium hi-fi, HD radio and navigation system.
Large, ventilated ABS disc brakes reside at all four corners and are supported by a long list of electronic driver aids...all part of BMW's M Drive system...including traction control, electronic shock dampening and dynamic stability control. State of the art, multi-stage air bags are supplemented by an inflatable tubular Head Protection System that protects both front and rear seat occupants.
Initial base MSRP for the 2010 BMW M3 is $57,500. A nicely equipped M3 coupe will cost around $65,000, while a fully loaded convertible M3 will cost around $80,000. The M3 carries a 4-year/50,000 mile standard warranty with 4-year/unlimited-mile roadside assistance.
The 2010 BMW M3: State of the art performance and clean, aggressive styling...BMW's latest iteration of its "Ultimate driving machine."