EPA-estimated to achieve up to 20 mpg on the highway
Rear-wheel drive (RWD)
Free scheduled maintenance for 4 years/50,000 miles
The BMW M3 has long been the standard by which newcomers like the Cadillac CTS-V and Lexus IS F have been measured. For 2013, the track-friendly BMW returns in coupe and convertible body styles and a generous bounty of standard features. Changes are limited to a broader array of exterior colors for the Frozen Limited Edition Coupe, and a new Lime Rock Park Edition Coupe sprayed in Fire Orange paint.
A redesigned M3, based on the updated 3 Series, is expected to debut for the 2014 model year in multiple body styles and powered by a turbocharged 6-cylinder engine.
Several cues help casual observers differentiate the 2013 M3 from the previous-generation 3 Series, on which this BMW performance car is based. Some of the more notable highlights include a carbon fiber roof, flared fenders, unique silver-finish 18-inch alloy wheels, hood scoop, front spoiler, rear diffuser, and four M-specific stainless steel exhaust tips. The M3 Convertible swaps out the Coupe's lightweight roof for a power-retracting hardtop. All M3s also feature auto-leveling, automatic, adaptive HID headlights, as well as heated power-adjustable outside mirrors and heated windshield washer nozzles.
A look inside the 2013 BMW M3 Coupe unveils standard cloth and leather upholstery, front sport seats with power-adjustable bolsters, split-folding rear seat, dual-zone climate control, and push-button start. The list of amenities goes on to include Bluetooth connectivity, auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping sport steering wheel with integrated audio controls, and a sound system offering a USB port and HD Radio service.
The interior of the M3 Convertible is very similar, though it does add full leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, memory settings for the driver, and a rear seat easy-entry feature.
Buyers of the 2013 M3 Coupe or Convertible can opt for a Premium package, within which BMW bundles power-adjustable front seats and leather upholstery (standard on the Convertible), power-folding mirrors with reverse tilt-down on the passenger's side, upgraded interior trim, and a universal garage door opener. A Convenience package offers items such as rear park-assist sensors and a rear sunshade (Coupe only), while an optional Cold Weather package fits the M3 with headlight washers and heated front seats.
Three unique options have been reserved exclusively for the BMW M3 Coupe. These include a Competition package, comprised of 19-inch alloy wheels, lowered suspension, and more aggressively tuned shocks and dynamic stability control; the Frozen Limited Edition package, limited to 150 units now available in Frozen Blue, Frozen Red, and Frozen White paint colors; and the new Lime Rock Park Edition package, limited to 200 units and pairing a manual transmission with a performance-tuned exhaust, 19-inch lightweight alloy wheels, carbon fiber rear spoiler, and Fire Orange paint.
Under the Hood
BMW equips the 2013 M3 Coupe and Convertible with a 4.0-liter V-8 engine that delivers 414 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque, all transferred to the rear wheels via a heavy-duty 6-speed manual transmission or a 7-speed double-clutch automated manual gearbox. BMW claims the M3 Coupe can reach 60 mph in 4.5 seconds.
The M3's aluminum performance-tuned suspension is enhanced by a dynamic mode that gives drivers a bit more latitude before electrical nannies intervene, locking rear differential, and an M Drive feature that adjusts the throttle, steering, and suspension.
EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 2013 BMW M3 are:
M3 Coupe with either transmission: 14/20/16 mpg (city/highway/combined)
M3 Convertible with 6-speed manual transmission: 13/20/16 mpg
M3 Convertible with 7-speed automatic transmission: 14/20/16 mpg
The 2013 BMW M3's standard safety components include traction control, rain-sensing wipers, adaptive brake lights, and 4-wheel anti-lock ventilated disc brake stand-by, and dynamic brake control. Coupe models are also equipped with 6 air bags, while Convertibles utilize rear roll bars and 4 air bags.
As this preview is written, neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has rated the crashworthiness of the 2013 BMW M3.
As part of the 2013 M3 Coupe's available Competition package, BMW offers an electronic damping control system that includes comfort, normal, and sport modes. Body movements are constantly monitored by the car's sensors, which direct magnetic shock valves to immediately adjust to limit roll in corners and brake dive upon quick stops, or to soften the ride over rough pavement.