'The BMW M3 Concept Car shows where the ultimate driving experience strategy will take BMW in the future' - that's BMW's take on the V8-powered coupé debuting at Geneva 2007. The concept, with its Chrome Shadow exterior finish previously seen on other BMW M GmbH studies, is a derivative of the new BMW 3 Series Coupé. However, few components are adopted directly from the ‘standard’ model. Just the headlights, rear light clusters, the two doors and the boot lid are carried over.
Externally, the car is longer (bespoke front spoiler and bumper design) than a standard 3 Series Coupé and features wider wheel arches, three large air intakes below the cooling grille, an aluminium bonnet with a wide, bulging power bulge, an air-exit behind the front wheel arch that is split by a chrome bracket containing the direction indicator and M3 logo, an all-carbon fibre roof with clear-coat finish to allow the weave to be seen, and a small spoiler lip on the boot lid.
BMW was remaining tight-lipped as to the mechanical specification of the car, the 'V8 engine' could well be an M5's V10 suitably shortened or a variation on the existing eight-cylinder motors used throughout the 5, 6 and 7 Series ranges. Likewise the transmission, which is likely to be the SMG sequential set-up. Looming on the horizon is Mercedes' brand new C-Class AMG with its 6.3 engine - arch-rivals BMW will want to see what this delivers before upping the stakes themselves.
Elsewhere on BMW's Geneva stand was the M5 Touring, making its world debut. Developed by BMW M GmbH, it's powered by same BMW M 10-cylinder engine as the saloon, developing 507 HP and 383 lb-ft of torque, propelling the M5 Touring from zero to 60 mph in just 4.8 seconds.
Text: Classic Driver
ClassicInside - The Classic Driver Newsletter