BMW: Veni, vidi, vici


By: Guilherme Marques

The new models from BMW stand out for different reasons, but they have one thing in common: they came to conquer

THE NEW M3

The unbroken lineage of the M3 is the richest in BMW’s history. As the finest representative of the driving pleasure the brand has always sought to provide in its cars, it has now reached its sixth generation; one that will most likely be the last without electric assistance and with an oversized engine but is also an undeniable triumph for German engineers.

With a controversial but decidedly modern design, the new M3 packs unprecedented technological power as well as performance levels worthy of a supercar. The three-litre supercharged S58 block now produces 510 horsepower in the Competition version — 480 in the standard version — which means 0-100km/h in 3.9 seconds and a top speed beyond 300km/h if you take out the electronic limiter. Despite being bigger and heavier, the M3 has unprecedented agility, attacking bends with impressive confidence and at all times conveying to the driver exactly what is happening, creating a simply fantastic connection between man and machine. The eight-speed ZF automatic transmission manipulates the engine seamlessly, whilst the brakes keep up with the engine’s full potential, and the optional bucket seats look more like racing seats. The legend is alive and well.

THE SECOND GENERATION M4

It may not have as classic a design as the first generation, but behind the wheel, this is a truly exceptional car. A mechanical equal to the M3, the M4 is, to all intents and purposes, the coupe version of the world’s most famous sports saloon, swapping the practicality of three doors and more rear-seat space for an even more aggressive image and slightly sharper driving experience.

With the same 510 horsepower as the M3, the M4 Competition is superior to the model it replaces in everything that matters to anyone who loves driving. More precise, more dynamic, and much faster, the M4 is a disappointment only to those who thought BMW had forgotten how to make a prestige coupe capable of rivalling something like a Ferrari or Porsche. And because the German insignia wants owners of this model to explore its full potential, it has created a system called Drift Analyser, which allows drivers to explore the M4’s Drift mode to the max and then compare their performance with other drivers of this same car around the world.

The ceramic brakes on the BMW press park unit are a few notches above the already excellent standard discs, and the carbon-coated interior takes passengers to a typical racing environment. An instant classic.

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE M8

The M8 cannot hide the fact that it ushers in the end of an era in the car world. Will we be able to deal with the nostalgia? The car market is moving towards ever greater homogeneity between manufacturers and between models.

It must be so if the future is made of electric vehicles. Until then, we must celebrate the latest projects that elevate the combustion engine to something greater than a mere propulsion system. Such is the new BMW M8, a portent of technology and the most powerful series-production BMW in history.

With a 4.4-litre V8 and 625 horsepower (in the Competition version), the M8 is a triumphant ode to excess and a wonderful way for BMW to say that tomorrow can wait a while, let’s live in the present whilst we can.

The xDrive all-wheel-drive system propels the Bavarian coupe to 100km/h in 3.2 seconds and beyond 300km/h with ease. Generously sized and heavy, the faster you go, the more agile and lighter the M8 seems to become, devouring mountain roads and motorways with equal efficiency. For the more experienced, 4WD Sport mode disengages the front axle and the M8 becomes pure rear-wheel drive, offering a dose of adrenaline that, once experienced, is hard to say no to. It is the end of an era, but it is undoubtedly an apotheotic one.


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