BMW M3 engine shown

Published: 23 March 2007

BMW has revealed detailed specs on the all-new 4.0-litre V8 that’s soon to be slotted into the all-new M3.

Power is confirmed at 420bhp with 295lb ft peak torque available from 3000 to 7000rpm. The engine – made at the same foundry as the BMW Sauber F1 team’s V8 and derived from the same architecture as the M5 and M6 V10 – looks set to dispel any fears M purists may have had that the M3 would be transformed into a nose heavy, slow revving behemoth.

In fact, the engine is lighter – by around 10kg – than the award-winning 3.2-litre straight six it replaces and revs even higher, the fireworks not stopping until 8300rpm. To deliver high revs and high capacity, the M division has gone for an oversquare cylinder configuration with a bore of 92mm and a short, rev-friendly stroke of 75.2mm.

Like the original 3.0-litre E36 M3 of 1993, each cylinder displaces 500cc, which should make this unit smoother than its predecessor. BMW has also assured CAR Online that the double VANOS unit (trick variable valve timing that has previously proved trouble prone) will last for the life of the engine.

By Ben Barry

Contributing editor, sideways merchant, tyre disintegrator