BMW M has released the first installment of a new series that chronicles the development of the M3 and M4.

BMW M has released the first installment of a new series that chronicles the development of the M3 and M4.

In the first chapter, BMW M3 / M4 Project Leader Michael Wimbeck and BMW M product manager Christoph Smieskol discuss how the cars came about.

In the beginning, the company put together a vehicle profile that combined their experience with the previous M3 with customer surveys as well as market and competition forecasts. This information then led them to a series of product requirements the company felt would satisfy customers and remain true to the M brand.

Part of this early focus centered on the idea of creating a "lightweight athlete in a bespoke suit." AsSmieskol explained, the focus was on "weight reduction and reversing the trend towards increasing weight."

At the same time the company decided to embrace characteristics of the M3 E46 which was seem as "wilder" with a "devil-may-care" attitude. According to Smieskol, "We wanted to turn the wheel back a little and give the car a few of its rough edges back, to turn its performance into something with more experience value. This is reflected in the fact that we still offer manual gear changing, because the customers still want to deal more consciously with the car's operation, both with and without throttle blipping."

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BMW highlights the development of the M3 & M4