BMW’s new M-cars leverage sporting heritage

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BMW has released its latest tranche of M-cars, the M3 and M4 coupe. Based around the 3 and 4 Series platforms, the interiors have been revamped to provide both the functionality and aesthetic to back up the cars’ sporting credentials.

Beyond the obvious branding details highlighting the M-car heritage, there is a liberal application of carbon-fiber trim as well as functional components, such as the gear change paddles on the steering wheel, manufactured in the material.

BMW says it has developed new, heated seats for the models, featuring pronounced side bolsters, integrated head restraints and an illuminated model badge. It claims perforations in the seat leather enhances the performance of the optional seat ventilation, which is available for the first time in models this low in the M-range.

For customers looking for a more extreme performance seating option, both cars are also available with heated, carbon-fiber bucket seats, which beyond adding to the sporting intent of the interior, also give a 21 lb (9.5kg) weight saving over the standard seats. There is also provision for the use of multi-point racing harnesses.

Both the M3 and M4 feature the standard BMW Live Cockpit system, with a 12.3in instrument display and a 10.25in digital, high-resolution touchscreen center display. The iDrive 7.0 operating system includes navigation with cloud-based BMW Maps, wireless connectivity for mobile devices including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto compatibility and BMW’s Intelligent Personal Assistant. There are also M-specific displays for the instrument cluster and optional head-up display.

M-specific controls are also used to configure the powertrain and chassis to a driver’s personal tastes. To this end, a setup button on the center console provides direct access to the settings options for the seven powertrain and chassis settings. Pressing the button calls up the setup menu in the control display, which lists the currently selected vehicle settings.

An M mode button, also found on the center console, can be used to adjust the responses and characteristics of the driver assistance systems, along with the displays in the instrument cluster and optional head-up display.

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