Review: Chris Harris drives the new BMW M3

Review: Chris Harris drives the new BMW M3

FineAuto

It’s here. The sixth generation G80 BMW M3 and *that* massive grille. Being such a controversial car, there was only one person to slot into the carbon bucket seat of this £75k, 503bhp, rear-wheel drive saloon: Craig Revel Horwood. Unfortunately, he wasn’t around, so we put Chris Harris behind the wheel instead. We hope that’s alright. Here’s what he had to say in this brand new instalment of Chris Harris Drives… Series 29: Geneva Online Motor Show: First Look: Want to watch a bit of on the internet? Welcome to the most comprehensive collection of official clips you’ll find on YouTube. Whether you’re searching for a caravan challenge, Ken Block in the Hoonicorn, cars versus fighter jets, Stig power laps or the latest Chris Harris Drives, you can find all the iconic films here.Want to share your views with the team?

so now an awful lot has been said about this new g series m3 and the way that it’s styled particularly that front end beaver’s teeth rabbits teeth bum face all the usual insults but i want to draw your attention to the wing mirror for me you can summarize the difference between this and the fantastic looking f series m3 by looking at the wingman the shape of this the three complicated lines the fact that the top bit comes out further than the bottom bit look at the wing mirror on that car it’s perfection it has a cohesion to it in a simplicity that actually is a metaphor for the styling differences between the two cars i’ve spent a lot of time in this over the last three days and i have to say the grill the obvious controversial bit i’m finding easier and easier it’s actually the rest of the car that i’m finding more problematic how long the front door is compared to the rest of the car this weird drop in height here the front wing is so bulbous that the front tire and wheel are just completely lost in it and there’s no sense of camber the f series car looks like they just got four wheels and just shrink wrapped a body right over the top of it admittedly this one is a bit lower than a standard car but this car has none and i repeat none of that tension it’s really really strange it’s not a bad looking car on the road people do respond to it pretty well but it’s fussy in its details and it just doesn’t have for me that kind of hunkered down good looking but subtle m car stance first up sorry about the hat i haven’t cut my hair and it’s cold today so here it is then the new m3 i don’t care who you are i don’t care how grizzled and bored with the new car world you are a new m3 is a big event and before i start telling you about this car i want to tell you something anecdotally that’s really apt i’m at castle comb today and there are several people that have turned up just to see this car um we’re all distance everything’s fine they’re part of the crew but people turn out to see an m3 because it’s new because it’s special and we forget that in all the controversy of this new styling exercise which i have to say isn’t really working for me the more time i spend with the car put simply the longer i spend with the car the more i get used to the front grille and the less accustomed i am to the rest of it the shapes the angles doesn’t quite work for me it really doesn’t but what’s underneath is as we all expected pretty damn spectacular starting with that engine twin turbo inline six now with 510 horsepower just under 480 foot pounds of torque pulling a car that is 1730 kilograms it’s big it’s heavy it’s much heavier than the last car but the chassis is outrageously good really is so competent all cars in the uk this is a uk-based video are at the moment with the competition packs we’ve got the powerful engine this is a two wheel drive chassis a michelin pilot support 4s for me today starting to up the speed a bit now whoa castle coombe is a mega circuit so how does it drive answer very very impressively it feels quicker than a car with a claim 500 horsepower wearing this much to me it’s very very very potent virtually no turbo lag but the conversation point here is this gearbox they’ve gone away from the dsg dual clutch and they’ve fitted the zf automatic is it as good it makes for a more comfortable drive everything’s a bit more slurred and softer edged but i think the cars really lost something certainly on the track and really on the road as well every time you want the car to respond instantly to an input there’s a little lag and that lag for me makes a big difference so yes we’ve got a very talented powertrain but i don’t think it’s got the specialness that i’d want from an m car i’ve got a lot of pipe noise coming in here the wltp emissions regs means it’s not making a huge amount of exhaust noise i can accept that but actually do you know what i’m it could be a it could be a very powerful m340 engine and that’s quite a big statement i think it’s it’s not a car whose powertrain is going to blow you away so what is going to blow you away the steering is really really good really really good i think for a car of this size it’s night and day better than anything else i’ve driven there’s not a huge amount of waiting and old-fashioned feel as they call it but for accuracy the relationship between the input you put into this car through the steering wheel and the way the car responds to it the way it turns the way it rotates is flipping exceptional bmw great work guys whoever’s still working there at bwm this is where the money gets spent this is where this car feels totally different to a normal bmw the way it turns and you know what in this day and age and everyone’s chasing performance figures i do love that grit pretty outrageous traction pretty outrageous i’ll admit to something for the first day and a half driving this thing i thought it was four-wheel drive because it’s been mild weather and on the road you don’t really get up it do you so i thought it was one of the four wheel drive cars just so competent the damping it’s got three damper settings leave it in comfort unless you are driving on a billiard table because it’s just too stiff otherwise i’ll shut up and throw it around a bit now for you shall i so here we go coming into the last corner and coomb over the start finish line horrendous corner ride it out onto the kerbs we’ll give it some potatoes down the back straight here it’s already doing 120 yards jesus that’s quick over there avon rise 113 nearly 140 miles an hour i’m gonna have a break before because i’m a shandy that’s put it through the old quarry there you go there she goes that’s an end car for you and that’s all you need to know you can’t do that in an rs4 you really can’t you can do it in a c63 but the next one’s gonna be four cylinders apparently this thing is direct it feels incredibly competent it’s only on a steel brake but i’ve got plenty of braking performance it is a much more capable car than the one it’s replacing it really is it’s just less angry less lairy and there’s a bit of a point to make there some people will miss that personality they really will i don’t buy into this roasted spectacles oh the last entry was the last great this and this and this and that the e90 the v8 m5 i owned one was for me pretty flawed car and i loved the f-80 i just i thought it was a fantastic response to that loads of torque for me even more personality this car doesn’t quite have that grab you by the scrap of the neck irritate you constantly jostle you down the road feel but it is you know what it’s mighty competent if you can get over the way it looks this as an estate car with a bit of a four wheel drive that’s going to be one hell of an all-rounder other things well the fuel tank’s a bit small the lane departure system appears to need to be reset every time you start the car which kills me i don’t really get on with the cabin this new big bucket seat with the carbon shell is superb really really good steering wheel’s too busy um the m drift analyzer is the most brilliantly pointless thing i’ve come across in a car and it’s going to cause lots of motoring journalists to crash as they try and get to the five stars but they wouldn’t have doubt my best so far today is 161 yards at 19.2 degrees for the duration of i think about five or six seconds it’s an expensive car though isn’t it this 75 grand basic by the time you spec it up 85 grand estate cars you probably get them to 100 000 pounds i know it’s not 100 thousand pounds no it’s whatever down and a thousand a month but it’s the m3 has become a very expensive car a very very expensive car and its competence definitely justifies the price but i wonder whether that engine in gearbox is quite special enough still what i like is that i’ve been one of the people that’s been nudging bmw and it’s frankly baffling social media campaigns over the last year um but i’ve finally driven it and it’s it’s a great car if you can live with the way it looks it’s a really fantastic car and who knows how much longer we’re going to have cars like this around to enjoy so maybe people like me should just shut the bleep up and enjoy them while we can because i’d far rather be driving this than any electric car i really would so yes well done bmw and i’m sorry that i’ve given you a low degree for the way it looks but i still think it looks a bit now i’m going to shut up and drive it like an absolute norm bye nope so you

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