How to keep improving on the ultimate driving machine.
You’ve likely never thought about the engineering that goes into the smaller details of your automobile. That’s no big deal, but thankfully BMW is building a series of videos demonstrating the research and development that it takes to produce the new M3 and M4 models. The latest installments profile the wheels and seats.
The seat of a car may seem mundane to most, but to petrolheads it’s one of the holy grails of the automotive experience. Along with giving you a seat-of-the-pants feel of what your vehicle is doing, the whole affair needs to be light, comfortable, and adjustable. As such, there are two different seat options that you can have on the new M models – the M Sport Seat and the M Carbon bucket seat.
While the former is just what you’d expect – a standard example with tighter bolstering – the clear party piece here is the carbon bucket seats. The German automaker worked to keep the same adjustability as the former while saving 5 kilograms (11 pounds) per seat. Along with weight saving, the engineering team created a one-size-fits-all contour for the seat back after studying the profiles of test subjects. The end result produces the magic combination of comfort and bolstering to keep you in place.
Just like the seats, the wheels of your car need to be light while providing optimal performance and aesthetics. As such, the same cross-spoke design still lives on from previous models but has been slightly modified to match the more angular aesthetic of the newer crop of vehicles.
However, the research and development doesn’t just end there. BMW M has pulled out all the stops on its latest cream-of-the-crop M Performance wheel with cutaways on the spokes, eliminating unnecessary material. We’ve seen a similar ethos applied before, but the German automaker has shown the world that minuscule engineering details can still be quite sexy.
Before we start a massive war in the comments section, we know that this still doesn’t solve the new kidney grille shaped elephant in the room. But it’s refreshing to know that the determination to build the ultimate driving machine lives on.