Citroen 7 CV

By | November 26, 2017

A few nice 4 WHEEL ADAPTERS images I found:

Citroen 7 CV
Image by pedrosimoes7
MotorClássico, Lisbon, Portugal

in Wikipedia

Traction Avant monocoque

Front torsion bar suspension

The Traction Avant, French for "front wheel drive", was designed by André Lefèbvre and Flaminio Bertoni in late 1933 / early 1934. While not the first production front wheel drive car – Alvis built the 1928 FWD in the UK, Cord produced the L29 from 1929 to 1932 in the United States and DKW the F1 in 1931 in Germany – it was the world’s first front-wheel drive steel monocoque production car. Along with DKW’s 1930s models, the Traction successfully pioneered front-wheel drive on the European mass car market.

The Traction Avant’s structure was a welded monocoque (unitized body). Most other cars of the era were based on a separate frame (chassis) onto which the non-structural body ("coachwork") was built. Monocoque construction (also called Unit Body or "Unibody" in the US today) results in a lighter vehicle, and is now used for virtually all car construction, although body-on-frame construction remains suitable for larger vehicles such as trucks.
This method of construction was viewed with great suspicion in many quarters, with doubts about its strength. A type of crash test was conceived, taking the form of driving the car off a cliff, to illustrate its great inherent resilience.

The novel design made the car very low-slung relative to its contemporaries – the Traction Avant always possessed a unique look, which went from appearing rakish in 1934 to familiar and somewhat old fashioned by 1955.

The suspension was very advanced for the car’s era. The front wheels were independently sprung, using a torsion bar and wishbone suspension arrangement,[3] where most contemporaries used live axle and cart-type leaf spring designs. The rear suspension was a simple steel beam axle and a Panhard rod, trailing arms and torsion bars attached to a 3-inch (76 mm) steel tube, which in turn was bolted to the monocoque.

Since it was considerably lighter than conventional designs of the era, it was capable of 100 km/h (62 mph), and consumed fuel only at the rate of 10 litres per 100 kilometres (28 mpg-imp; 24 mpg-US).



Traction Avant rear

1937 7C Coupe Traction Avant

A French "familiale" 11 F 1954, 6 windows, 9 seats

Citroën 11 Commerciale 5-door

Traction Avant rears. The boot was lengthened and its volume doubled in Autumn 1952.[4]
The original model, which was presented on 18 April 1934, was a small saloon with a 1,303 cc (79.5 cu in) engine. This model was called the 7A, which was succeeded in June 1934 by the 7B with a higher-power engine of 1,529 cc (93.3 cu in). The 7B in turn, was succeeded in October 1934 by the 7C with an even higher-output 1,628 cc (99.3 cu in) engine. Later models were the 11 (launched in November 1934), which had a 1,911 cc (116.6 cu in) four-cylinder engine, and the 15 (launched in 1938), with a 2,867 cc (175.0 cu in) six. The numbers refer to the French fiscal horsepower rating, or CV. The 11 was an 11 CV, but curiously the 15 was actually 16 CV. The 11 was built in two versions, the 11L ("légère", or "light"), which was the same size as the 7 CV, and the normal model 11, which had a longer wheelbase and wider track.

Citroën planned two variants that never entered production, since there was not enough funding available to develop them, except as running prototype vehicles. One was an automatic transmission-equipped model, based on the Sensaud de Lavaud automatic transmission, the other a 22 CV model with a 3.8 liter V8. The transmission (which was actually originally designed for the Citroen) was a "gearless" automatic, using the torque-converter alone to match engine revolutions to the drivetrain revolutions, much like the Dynaflow Transmission introduced later in the USA. The car was supposed to have a less spartan interior than the other Traction Avants and it was to feature Citroën’s own new V8 engine. About twenty prototypes were made, but when the project was canceled in 1935 due to Michelin’s takeover; they were probably all destroyed.[citation needed]

In addition to the 4-door body, the car was also produced as a 2-door coupé with a rumble seat, as a convertible and as an extended length Familial model with three rows of seats. There was even a hatchback-type Commerciale variant, in 1939, well ahead of its time, in which the tailgate was in two halves, the lower of which carried the spare wheel with the upper opening up to roof level. A one-piece top-hinged tailgate was introduced when the Commerciale resumed production in 1954 after being suspended during World War II.
Wartime disruption[edit]

In September 1939 France declared war on Germany and in June 1940 the German army rapidly invaded and occupied Northern France.[1] The war years were characterised by a desperate shortage of raw materials for civilian industry and of petrol,[1] but these factors were not apparent instantly. The Paris Motor Show scheduled for October 1939 was cancelled at short notice, but Citroën’s own planned announcements had involved the forthcoming 2CV model rather than any significant changes to the Traction.[1] For the Traction, the last “normal” year in terms of production levels was 1939, and 8,120 of the 2910mm wheelbase 1628cc engined 7C models were produced.[1] This tumbled to 1,133 in 1940, which was the first year when the plant suffered serious air-raid damage – on this occasion caused by a German attack – on 3 June 1940. Production of the cars was suspended in June 1941, by when a further 154 had been produced in the six-month period just ended. The 7C would continue to appear in Citroën price-lists until March 1944, but production of this smaller engined “7CV” version of the Traction was not resumed after the war.[1] For the more powerful 1911cc engined 11 B-light models, the equivalent figures were 27,473 units produced in 1939, 4,415 in 1940 and 2,032 for 1941, though for this model production in 1941 ended only in November 1941 so the figure for that year represents 11 months of production.[1]

In 1945 production restarted only slowly: the 11 B-light reappeared very little changed from the 1941 cars except that headlight surrounds were now painted rather than finished in chrome. By the end of December 1945 the year’s production had reached 1,525.[1] Currency depreciation is evident from the car’s listed price which had been 26,800 francs in January 1940, and had risen to 110,670 francs in October 1945.[1] In 1945 the car was the only model available from Citroën, and as another sign of the times, customers not able to supply their own tires were charged an additional 9,455 francs for a set of five.[1] In May 1946, presumably reflecting an easing of the war-time tire shortage, the car could at last be purchased with tires at no extra cost, but by now the overall price of an 11 B-light had risen to 121,180 francs.[1]

The 11 B-normal model, differentiated from the 11 B-light by its 3090mm wheelbase, experienced a similar drop off in volumes between 1939 and 1941, with just 341 cars produced during the first seven months of 1941.[1] After the war, a single 11 B-normal was produced in 1946, in time to be presented at the October 1946 Paris Motor Show: production built up during 1947, but during the car’s ten-year post-war period the shorter 11 B-light would, in France, continue to outsell the 11 B-normal.

Initially the French army lacked enthusiasm for the Citroën Traction, believing that it offered insufficient ground-clearance for their needs.[1] Nevertheless, by September 1939 roughly 250 had found their way into military service. With losses of cars at the frontier mounting, Citroën supplied a further 570 to the army between February and May 1940, and subsequent deliveries probably took place before military defeat intervened.[1] During the war many of the cars were reregistered with "WH…" (Wehrmacht Heer/Army command) license plates, having been requisitioned by the German Army.[1] These gave reliable service both in France and further afield, notably in Libya and Stalingrad. Tractions were also favoured by the Resistance, and as occupation gave way to Liberation they turned up all over France with FFI inscribed proudly on their doors. Less gloriously, the cars were known as favourites among gangsters such as the then infamous Pierrot le Fou, and his Traction gang.

UK built cars[edit]

Left-hand drive versions were built in Paris, in Forest, Belgium, in Copenhagen, Denmark for the Scandinavian market, and right-hand drive cars in Slough, England. The Slough version of the 11L was called the Light Fifteen and the long wheelbase 11 was called the Big Fifteen. This confusing terminology referred to the British fiscal tax rating of the time, which was higher than the French, so the 11CV engine was 15HP in England. The 15CV model was called "Big Six" in reference to its 6-cylinder engine. They were equipped with the leather seats and wooden dashboards popular in the UK, had a 12-volt electrical system and were distinguished by a different radiator grille and different bumpers. Some models also had a sliding sunroof.
A 1,911 cc (116.6 cu in) Light Fifteen tested by the British magazine The Motor in 1951 had a top speed of 72.6 mph (116.8 km/h) and could accelerate from 0–60 mph (97 km/h) in 29.7 seconds. A fuel consumption of 25.2 miles per imperial gallon (11.2 L/100 km; 21.0 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost GB£812 including taxes.[5]

A 2,866 cc (174.9 cu in) six-cylinder model was tested by the same magazine in 1954 and for this car the top speed found was 81.1 mph (130.5 km/h), acceleration from 0–60 mph (97 km/h) 21.2 seconds and fuel consumption 18.6 miles per imperial gallon (15.2 L/100 km; 15.5 mpg-US). The test car cost GB£1,349 including taxes.[6]

Citroën 11 CV Légère

The Traction Avant used a longitudinal, front-wheel drive layout, with the engine set well within the wheelbase, resulting in a very favourable weight distribution, aiding the car’s advanced handling characteristics. The gearbox was placed at the front of the vehicle with the engine behind it and the differential between them, a layout shared with the later Renault 4 and 16 and first generation Renault 5 but the opposite way round to many longitudinal front-wheel drive cars, such as the Saab 96 and Renault 12 and 18 and most Audi models. The gear change was set in the dashboard, with the lever protruding through a vertical, H-shaped gate.[7] Because this vertical orientation could have resulted in the car dropping out of gear when the lever was in the upper positions (i.e., second or reverse gears), the gear shift mechanism was locked when the mechanical clutch was engaged and released when the clutch pedal was depressed. The result of this layout, along with pendant pedals, umbrella-type handbrake control and front bench seats, was a very spacious interior, with a flat and unobstructed floor. The low-slung arrangement also eliminated the need for running boards to step into or out of the vehicle. These features made them ideal for use as limousines and taxi cabs, and they were quite popular among drivers and passengers alike. Until 1953, black was the only color available.

Impact on Motorsport[edit]

Another technical significance of Tranction Avant was the cast aluminium alloy transaxle, which was pioneered by Hans Ledwinka in the early 1930s for Tatra V570 used in front of the engine located in the rear, but was quite radical at the time.

As well as being a considerable part of the weight savings, the manufacturing facility for this transaxle contributed to the below mentioned financial crisis. But when John Cooper looked for a light transaxle case for Formula One rear engine revolution, Traction Avant unit was about the only candidate, as Volkswagen magnesium alloy transaxle was much smaller and lacking the space needed to house heftier gears needed for Formula One. The Traction Avant transaxle was used on Cooper T43 which won a F1 championship race as the first mid-mounted engine car to do so in 1958, and on its successors Cooper T45, T51 and T53. Cooper T51 won the GP World Championship in 1959.

Unlike the Volkswagen alloy case used by Hewland, the Traction Avant case could not be used up side down, as the input shaft height was much higher in relation to the output shaft axis so that the oil level needed to lubricate the gears would exceed the then-unreliable input shaft oil seal height if used upside down. So the engine needed to sit high above the ground with the oil sump space below, which was not needed by dry-sump racing engines. But the French transaxle was used by several racing car constructors in the late 1950s to 60’s with various levels of success.

In the case of Jack Brabham, who personally visited the ERSA foundry in Paris to discuss a possibility to strengthen the case ,[8] the transaxle became known as "ERSA Knight" with an additional spur-gear set mounted in the bellhousing spacer (engine to transaxle adapter) suggested by Ron Tauranac, named for Jack Knight who designed the modification and made the straight-cut gears. The height offset created by the spur gear set enabled the engine to sit lower, and became the reason why Cooper T53 was called the ‘Lowline’, which not only made Brabham the World Champion in 1960 but also became the precursor to the establishment of Brabham as a Formula One constructor.

Impact on Citroën[edit]

1954 six-cylinder 15CV with hydropneumatic suspension fitted to the rear wheels – in ‘high’ position

Traction Avant as modern wedding car

The development costs of the Traction Avant, combined with the redevelopment of its factory, were very high and Citroën declared bankruptcy in late 1934. The largest creditor was Michelin, who then owned Citroën from 1934 until 1976. Under Michelin, Citroën was run as a research laboratory, a test bed for their radial tires and new automotive technologies.
In 1954 Citroën’s experiments with hydropneumatic technology produced its first result, the "15H" – a variant of the 6-cylinder model 15 with a self-leveling, height-adjustable rear suspension, a field trial for the revolutionary DS released the following year.

Directly after the introduction of the Citroën ID, a simplified and more competitively priced version of the still revolutionary DS, production of the Traction Avant ended in July 1957. Over 23 years, 759,111 had been built, including 26,400 assembled in Slough in England, 31,750 assembled in Forest near Brussels and 1,823 assembled at Cologne in Germany. The total reflects the production stoppage during World War II.

The Traction Avant today[edit]

Big Fifteen sedan

In 2006, the oldest surviving 7A has production number ("coque nr") AZ 00-18, and is displayed in partly dismantled shape (engine and front wheels detached) in the Citroën Museum in Paris. The oldest running 7A is probably number AZ-00-23, which was, until 1 September 2006, in possession of a Dutch owner and is now with a Slovenian owner.
Traction Avants are fairly robust vehicles even by modern standards; however, they are prone to leaking water inside the cabin and care needs to be taken when buying one. Every few years, Traction Avant enthusiasts ship their vehicles to an exotic location for a rally. In 2002, for example, a group of over 30 Traction Avants drove from Los Angeles to New York without incident. [1] Championnat Européen de DRIFT – Bordeaux Mérignac Gironde 13 et 14 septembre 2014 – BMW M3 – Moteur Engine Puissance Power Car Speed Vitesse Explorer Explore Circuit Champion – Picture Image Photography King of Europe KOE turbo
Image by
Bordeaux race track makes its return on the calendar with a very nice and curvy layout. France is a big motorsport nation and with this event running just 1 week before the final, it means all the best drivers will be in attendance on this demanding circuit.…

La M3 e30 en compétition
BMW M3 E30 en course.
BMW M3 E30 en DTM (ici lors du Essen Motor Show 2011).

Parmi les nombreux préparateurs qui la développèrent et l’engagèrent, l’équipe britannique PRODRIVE de David Richards, connu son heure de gloire avec cette voiture.

Elle gagna à 4 reprises la fameuse course d’endurance des 24 Heures de Spa (1987, 1988, 1990 et 1992).

En rallyes, elle remporta la première manche du championnat du monde à laquelle elle participa : le Tour de Corse 1987, entre les mains du français Bernard Béguin (avec plus de deux minutes d’avance sur son compatriote Yves Loubet). Avec la M3, Béguin fut vice-champion de France des rallyes en 1987 et 1988.

Toujours en rallye, citons aussi :

ses deux titres en Championnat de Belgique des rallyes (BRC): en 1988 avec Patrick Snijers, vice-champion d’Europe la même année et 1989 grâce à Marc Duez. ;

ses deux titres en Championnat de France des rallyes (CFR) : en 1989 et 1990 pour François Chatriot.

Courses sur glace : les deux victoires aux 24 heures sur glace de Chamonix en 1991 et 1992 avec Marcel Tarrès (2), Christian Debias (1) et B. Béguin (1) et les trois autres victoires de M. Tarrès -seul cette fois- à la Ronde de Serre Chevalier en 1991, 1992 (version 4×4) et 1993 (4×4) dans le cadre du Trophée Andros.

Au final, la M3 e30 remporta 16 victoires en CFR entre 1987 et 1990, 7 en BRC ,et 9 en ERC avec des pilotes français (6 avec des belges). Dans la foulée Pascal Thomasse obtint deux podiums en Championnat de France D2, en 1990 et 1994.

Elle était déclinée tant en version "Groupe N" qu’en "Groupe A".

Elle est à l’heure actuelle toujours utilisée par de nombreux pilotes amateurs, partout en Europe (entre’autres en Coupe de France des rallyes, où elle s’est imposée sans discontinuer entre 1990 et 1995, puis en 1998 (E30 et E36): Hugues Delage obtint les coupes 1990, 1993 et 1994, et Dominique de Meyer celle de l’année 1991 et la finale de 1995 (Christophe Lapierre vainqueur de la coupe 1992, et Patrick Rouillard de celle 1998 pour la dernière fois de l’évolution M3); au Liban Nabil Karam s’est imposé en 1991).

En Championnat d’Europe de course de côte, elle a remporté le titre de Catégorie I à cinq reprises consécutives avec Francis Dosières entre 1989 et 1993 (voiture homologuée Gr.A); s’en suivirent de nombreux autres titres toujours de Catégorie I pour les versions ultérieures de la M3 Gr.A, avec le tchèque Otakar Krámský (1995, 1997 et 1998), le croate Niko Pulić (1999, 2000 et 2001), le tchèque Robert Šenkýř (2003 et 2004) et l’allemand Jörg Weidinger (2005 et 2006), soit 15 titres de championne d’Europe entre 1989 et 2006. Le Challenge international de la montagne (FCHA) de la FIA ne lui a pas non plus échappé, avec le hongrois László Hernádi (2006, 2007 et 2008).

En Tourisme et Grand Tourisme, le titre mondial Tourisme 1987 (le seul attribué durant 18 ans) revint à l’italien Roberto Ravaglia (victoires de la M3 à Jarama, Dijon, aux 24 Heures de Spa, et à Silverstone), le Championnat d’Europe FIA des voitures de tourisme fut remporté en 1987 par Winfried Vogt (plus titre constructeurs) et en 1988 par Roberto Ravaglia, le Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (D.T.M.) pilotes (Tourisme) fut gagné en 1987 par Eric van de Poele et en 1989 encore par Roberto Ravaglia (plus les titres constructeurs de 1987 à 1990), le BTCC (British Touring Cars Championship) le fut par deux fois avec Frank Sytner (1988) et Will Hoy (1991, et titre constructeur), le Championnat de France de Supertourisme le fut aussi par deux fois grâce à Jean-Pierre Malcher (1989 et 1990; plus Dayraut en 2001 sur la version Silhouette), et le titre national Belge Grand Tourisme 1996 revint à l’équipage Hubert/Hubert/Duez; la voiture remporta notamment les 24 Heures du Nürburgring en 1989 (avec Ravaglia), 1990, 1991 et 1992 (Duez alors lauréat), puis 1994, 1996 et 1997 (E36 pour les deux dernières dates), et les 24 Heures de Spa en 1987, 1988 (avec Ravaglia), 1990 et 1992.

Ravaglia a ainsi pu obtenir le WTCC (1987), l’ETCC (1988) et le DTM (1989) avec la M3. Dans la foulée il a aussi remporté le Campionato Italiano Superturismo en 1990 et 1991 (16 victoires en deux ans). Sa première grande victoire sur M3 avait été au Grand Prix automobile de Macao, en 1987.

M3 E36 (1992-1999)
M3 E36
Marque BMW
Années de production 1992-1999
Production 71 242 exemplaires
Classe Sportive, GT,
Moteur et transmission
Moteur(s) S50B30 (3.0l) / S50B32 (3 2 l)
Puissance maximale 210 kW soit 286 ch (3 l) et 236 kW soit 321 ch (3,2 l) ch
Couple maximal 350 Nm à 3 200 tr/min Nm
Transmission propulsion
Poids et performances
Poids à vide 1 460 kg pour la 3.0l et 1 474 kg pour la 3.2l kg
Vitesse maximale 290 km/h
Accélération 0 à 100 km/h en 5,4 s pour la 3.2l et 5,7 s à 6 s pour la 3.0l s
Consommation mixte Ville/route/mixte : 16,9 / 7,5 / 11,0 L/100 km
Châssis – Carrosserie
Carrosserie(s) coupé (2 portes), sedan (4 portes) et cabriolet (2 portes)
Suspensions Pseudo MacPherson avant/ multi bras arrière
Longueur 4 430 mm
Largeur 1 710 mm
Hauteur 1 340 mm
Chronologie des modèles
Précédent BMW M3 E30 BMW M3 E46 Suivant
modifier Consultez la documentation du modèle

La M3 E36, commercialisée à partir de 1992 n’a plus grand-chose à voir avec la version précédente : l’E30. En effet, d’un point de vue esthétique, la ligne est entièrement revue.

Mais c’est au niveau du moteur que la division "M" de BMW a effectué les plus gros changements : le 4 cylindres de l’E30 est remplacé par un 6 cylindres en ligne de 3 L et gagne ainsi, dans un premier temps, plus de 50 chevaux pour atteindre, sur la première version d’E36, 286 ch. D’autre modifications apparaissent en 1996 avec un 6 cylindres de 3,2 l équipé d’une épure binaire circulaire variable grâce au « vanos », qui lui confère un couple incroyable de 350 Nm. La puissance atteint les 321 ch accouplés à une boîte 6 vitesses, deuxième changement majeur de cette nouvelle version d’E36 M3. Elle a d’ailleurs été élue voiture du XXe siècle par le magazine Auto Plus, et voiture la plus maniable de l’époque par Car and Driver Magazine.

M3 E46 (2000-2006)
BMW M3 E46
Marque BMW
Années de production 2001-2006
Classe Sportives, GT
Moteur et transmission
Moteur(s) Essence 6 en ligne 3 246 cm3
Puissance maximale 3431 ch
Couple maximal 3652 Nm
Transmission Propulsion
Poids et performances
Poids à vide 1 4853 kg
Vitesse maximale 300 km/h
Accélération 0 à 100 km/h en 5,24 s
Consommation mixte 12.1 L/100 km
Émission de CO2 292 g/km
Châssis – Carrosserie
Carrosserie(s) Coupé et Cabriolet
Suspensions ???
Longueur 4 492 mm
Largeur 1 780 mm
Hauteur 1 370 mm
Chronologie des modèles
Précédent M3 E36 M3 E92 Suivant
modifier Consultez la documentation du modèle

La M3 E46 présente des attributs esthétiques évocateurs : ailes enflées, larges prise d’air, capot bosselé, petit becquet arrière, deux doubles sorties d’échappement, jantes 18" (19" en option), mais l’ensemble se veut haut de gamme et plutôt raffiné. À bord, en revanche, rien de neuf, la M3 se démarque très peu d’un coupé Série 3. Au niveau du moteur, elle possède une mécanique bien peu ordinaire. En effet, le six-cylindres 3,2 L de la version précédente est reconduit mais a gagné 45 cm3, 22 ch et 1,3 mkg de couple, obtenus 1 650 tr/min plus haut. Avec un rendement exceptionnel de 106 ch/litre, ce bloc vient rejoindre le podium des meilleurs « atmos » du moment, juste derrière la Honda S2000 et la Ferrari 360 Modena. Au-delà des chiffres, la disponibilité de cette mécanique sur une large plage d’utilisation réjouit tout autant que sa sonorité sportive à souhait. Un bouton "sport" au tableau de bord améliore la réponse des injecteurs et permet une conduite encore plus active. Au tableau de bord, un compte-tours "thermostatique" vous aide à prendre soin du bijou. Moteur froid, des diodes orange ponctuent chaque 500 tr/min à partir de 4 000 tr/min. Elles s’éteignent ensuite une à une quand le moteur monte en température. Avec ses 343 ch, elle effectue le 0 à 100 km/h en 5"25, 80 à 120 en 5"4 (en 4e). Cette nouvelle version ne fait pas beaucoup mieux que la précédente car elle a grossi et son rapport poids/puissance reste donc inchangé. Niveau consommation, la M3 E46 consomme 11,5 L/100 km, mais peut consommer jusqu’à 60 L/100 km en activant régulièrement le bouton "sport" sur le tableau de bord. En ce qui concerne le freinage, talon d’Achille des BMW M, comme sur l’ancienne version, les quatre grands disques sont suffisants en temps normal, mais leur efficacité est rapidement mise à mal en rythme soutenu pour stopper les 1 500 kg de cette sportive. La M3 E46 perpétue avec brio la réputation liée à son nom. Plus facile et abordable qu’auparavant, elle conserve un rapport prix/performances avantageux.

M3 E90/E92 (2007-2013)
BMW M3 (E92)
Marque BMW
Années de production 2007-2012
Classe Sportive, GT
Moteur et transmission
Moteur(s) Essence V8 4,0 l
Puissance maximale 309 kW soit 420 ch
Couple maximal 400 Nm
Transmission Manuelle 6 rapports
Poids et performances
Poids à vide 1 655 kg
Vitesse maximale 310 km/h
Accélération 0 à 100 km/h en 4,8 s
Consommation mixte 12,76 L/100 km
Émission de CO2 287 à 2927 g/km
Châssis – Carrosserie
Carrosserie(s) coupé 2 portes, berline 4 portes et cabriolet
Suspensions Ressorts hélicoïdaux
amortisseurs à gaz
barre antiroulis
Longueur 4 620 mm
Largeur 1 800 mm
Hauteur 1 420 mm
Chronologie des modèles
Précédent BMW M3 E46 BMW M4 F32 Suivant
modifier Consultez la documentation du modèle

Cette génération de BMW M3 se positionne comme la rivale de l’Audi RS4 (pour la E90) et de l’audi RS5 (pour la E92), mais aussi de la Mercedes C63 AMG

S’offrant pour la première fois un moteur à 8 cylindres en V de série, installé en position centrale avant, cette quatrième génération de M3 développe 420 ch à 8 300 tr/min et abat ainsi le 0 à 100 km/h en 4,8 s. Constitué d’un bloc en alliage d’aluminium et de silicium, le moteur de la BMW M3 affiche une puissance spécifique de 105 ch par litre de cylindrée. Son couple maximum atteint les 400 Nm à 3 900 tr/min, dont 85 % délivré sur une plage de plus de 6 500 tr/min. La M3 se dote en effet d’une distribution variable de 8 papillons de gaz et d’un alternateur débrayable.
Séries limitées

En novembre 2009, BMW lance la M3 GTS limitée à 250 exemplaires. Sur le plan des performances, elle garde son V8 dont la puissance a été amenée à 450 ch. Sur le plan de l’esthétique, elle se pare d’une couleur orange exclusive avec un aileron typé course. À l’intérieur, BMW adapte la recette qui a fait le succès de la Porsche 911 GT3 RS : pas de GPS, ni de climatisation et des lanières en guise de poignées de portes. Enfin, le coupé perd ses deux places à l’arrière, et les remplace par un arceau-cage couleur carrosserie, un extincteur de course, donnant l’impression qu’il s’agit plus d’une bête de course qu’une voiture de tous les jours. Elle est d’ailleurs souvent comparée à la BMW M3 GTR E46.

L’année suivante, BMW dévoile la M3 Frozen Gray. Produite à seulement trente exemplaires, et seulement aux États-Unis, elle se reconnaît par sa teinte grise matte (référencée comme Frozen Gray chez BMW), ses jantes 19 pouces à l’extérieur, et son cuir bi-ton roux et noir à l’intérieur. Le moteur conserve ses 420 chevaux, mais la boîte DCT à double embrayage est fournie de série. Tout acheteur de cette Frozen Gray se verra offrir un stage de la BMW Performance Driving School.

En juin 2011, un modèle encore plus exclusif la CRT (pour Carbon Racing Technology), basé sur la M3 Saloon E90 fait la part belle au carbone, permettant la perte de 45 kg, le tout en gardant les équipements de confort (GPS et climatisation) qui font d’elle une berline de luxe. Elle est produite à seulement 67 exemplaires, le moteur garde ses 420 chevaux, mais il s’agit de la première édition spéciale de la M3 qui n’est disponible qu’en berline 4 portes. Toutefois, il faut noter qu’à l’arrière, ce ne sont plus trois personnes, mais deux personnes qui pourront s’y asseoir, dans deux beaux sièges baquets. Elle se reconnaît par sa teinte grise matte son cuir rouge, et ses jantes Full Black.

En 2012, BMW sort 3 séries spéciales de sa M3 en France. La M3 CS, la M3 Frozen 40 et la M3 DTM Champion Edition. La M3 CS, exclusivement française, se distingue par une teinte bleue matte éclatante (Frozen Blau), ainsi que par son intérieur aux surpiqûres bleues, avec une touche de rouge sur le volant. Il s’agit d’une version dépouillée, spécialement destinée aux virées sur circuit. La M3 Frozen 40, elle, a été créée pour toute l’Europe, et célébrait les 40 ans de BMW Motorsport. Elle se distingue à l’extérieur d’une M3 « normale » grâce à une calandre chromée, ainsi que des sorties d’échappement et des ouïes latérales noires. La version Frozen 40 dispose aussi de 4 coloris spécifiques mats, toutes nommées Frozen, que ce soit en bleu, bleu foncé, blanc ou rouge. À l’intérieur, la sellerie est exclusive, et les surpiqûres sont assorties à la teinte extérieure. Enfin, la version M3 DTM Champion Edition est un hommage à Bruno Spengler, le pilote canadien victorieux du championnat allemand DTM sur BMW M3. Elle est très facilement reconnaissable, grâce à sa teinte matte Frozen Black, ses bandes de pavillon aux couleurs de Motorsport, ainsi que le sticker sponsor sur la vitre de custode. Les jantes full black rajoutent une touche d’agressivité à la voiture. À l’intérieur, les inserts en carbone reçoivent la signature de Bruno Spengler, ainsi qu’une numérotation. Seulement 54 exemplaires seront produits.

The BMW M3 is a high-performance version of the BMW 3-Series, developed by BMW’s in-house motorsport division, BMW M. M3 models have been derived from the E30, E36, E46, E90/E92/E93, and F30 3-series, and sold with coupe, saloon and convertible body styles. Upgrades over the "standard" 3-Series automobiles include more powerful and responsive engines, improved handling/suspension/braking systems, aerodynamic body enhancements, and interior/exterior accents with the tri-colour "M" (Motorsport) emblem. The last M3 coupe was produced in Germany on 5 July 2013. Part of BMW’s renumbering to move the 3-Series coupe and convertible to the 4-Series, the M3 name will remain with the saloon version as the coupe version has ceased production and has been replaced by the M4 Coupe starting with the 2015 model year.

E92 M3 ZCP Competition Package

For 2011, BMW added the ZCP Competition Package to the M3’s lineup. Unlike the ZCP offered on the previous generation E46, the newest package didn’t change very much about the E92. Most of the adjustments were made to suspension components and the computer governing stability control. The changes for the E92 ZCP are as follows:

– The suspension has been lowered by 10mm. The spring rates are the same, but the springs themselves are shorter, to compensate for the shorter stance. The suspension’s shock damping was also adjusted by the M division. This was in order to compensate for the lower ride height, primarily for rebounding damping rates as opposed to actual compression.

– The Electronic Damper Control in the “Sport Mode” has been modified. A quote taken from the Manager of BMWNA’s M Division, Larry Koch: “The Sport Mode before ZCP was locked at 75% of the way to full stiff. It still has that as a default, but is now variable like the ‘Comfort’ and ‘Normal’ modes.” This translates to a stiffer ride whilst sport mode is engaged, aiding heavy cornering on a track at a cost to ride comfort when driving normally on the road.

– Modifications have been made to the computer governing the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) in M Dynamic Mode. It is reworked and renamed to “Dynamic Traction Control” (DTC) which allows for larger angles of slip in heavy cornering. This translates to the rear end sliding out further than would be allowed on a non-ZCP M3 before the DTC kicks in to stop the tail slide. Also, once the DTC does kick in, instead of cutting power to the wheels in order to correct the slide (which is normal for the DSC on stock M3s), the DTC computer instead applies the brakes to individual wheels in order to keep the car from spinning excessively.

– In addition, forged 19 inch wheels in the same style as those on the E46 CSL are added to the car.
E92 M3 GTS
M3 GTS at the Autosport International Show 2011.

BMW announced the M3 GTS in November 2009. The car is powered by a 4.4-litre V8 based on the 4.0-litre engine found in the standard M3, which produces a maximum of 450 PS (331 kW; 444 hp). The car weighs 300 pounds less than the standard M3 due to various weight savings. A total of only 250 units were produced. This can accelerate from 0-62 mph in just 4.3 seconds and 0-100 mph in 8.5 seconds. In Germany deliveries began in May 2010 while other countries were scheduled for the summer of 2010. The BMW E92 M3 GTS was priced at around €115,000 per unit. All E92 M3 GTS models have been sold.
E90 M3 CRT

The M3 CRT (Carbon Racing Technology) was announced in June 2011 as a 2012 model. It is powered by the same engine as the GTS, but in opposite to the GTS coupe with roll cage and 4-point harnesses, the CRT is a saloon with navigation, high-end sound system etc. as standard equipment. Despite these luxury extras, the car still weighs 100 lb (45 kg) less than a regular M3 saloon. Compared to a saloon with the same luxury equipment, it weighs 155 lb (70 kg) less. The production will be limited to 67 cars, all numbered with a plaque on the dashboard. And it is claimed that it can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in just 4.4 seconds.
E92 M3 DTM Champion Edition

BMW Motorsport returned to the DTM in 2012, and the "DTM Champion Edition" was built to commemorate it winning the championship. The "DTM Champion Edition" was available only in the Frozen Black paint finish with the same M stripes over the roof and boot lid as on Bruno Spengler’s race car. It also incorporated visual clues to the race car, such as carbon flaps and gurney, dark chrome elements and matt black wheels. The interior had some exclusive parts such as interior trim in carbon fibre, Alcantara steering wheel and "M Power" embroidered on the handbrake grip. Each car had a numbered plaque with Spengler’s signature and the text "DTM champion 2012" above the glove box.

As the car was focused on high performance, options as M Drive, M DCT Drivelogic and the M Driver’s Package were fitted as standard equipment. For the car to have everyday usability, options as navigation system, heated seats and PDC were also standard.

The DTM Champion Edition was produced from February 2013, in a limited number of 54 cars, the same number as BMW’s victories in DTM. In Germany, the price started at €99,000.00 including VAT.
E92 M3 Lime Rock Park Edition

The M3 Lime Rock Park Edition was a US specific model, with a production limited to 200 cars, painted in Fire Orange. All 200 of these 2013 vehicles came with carbon fiber performance parts, such as roof, front splitter, rear spoiler, competition package, a lowered ride height in front of .60 inches, track style steering with fewer turns to lock and a lightweight muffler, courtesy of BMW’s MGmbh division. BMW claims the model has no added horsepower, however, when marketing the lightweight Inconel-titanium BMW Motorsports Exhaust to stock M3 vehicles, BMW Claims that the system adds about 5 H.P. The Lime Rock Park editions were equipped with either 6 speed transmissions, or the optional DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission). No changes made to the original 4.0L V8 (414 HP, redline 8300 rpm); however the ECU is programmed slightly differently from standard M3 vehicles with less interference from the dynamic stability control and a less interfering traction control. Each LRP edition’s governor is limited for achieving its natural top speed, which is claimed to be 187 MPH (Roughly 300 kph). Each M3 LRP Edition comes with a numbered plaque and paper certificate, each one reading "One of 200" instead of a numbering sequence. BMW did this to ensure none of the cars were worth more than another.
Rahal Letterman M3 GT2 racing at the 2009 Petit Le Mans
Schnitzer Motorsport’s BMW M3 GT2 racing at the 2010 1000 km of Zhuhai.
E92 M3 GT2

BMW Motorsport announced in February 2008 that Rahal Letterman Racing will campaign two factory-backed E92 M3s in the American Le Mans Series in 2009, following a two-year absence by the brand. The cars are homologated for the GT2 category. This was the cover car for the simulation racing game Need for Speed: Shift. Schnitzer Motorsport entered 2 cars at the 1000 km of Spa and finished 4th after a move by the Ferrari in the final corner. For 2010, BMW Motorsport has been granted entry in the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans and in the 2010 24 Hours Nürburgring. BMW Motorsport/Schnitzer Motorsport went onto to take an overall win at the 24 Hours Nürburgring with the #25 M3 GT2 of Jörg Müller, Augusto Farfus, Pedro Lamy, and Uwe Alzen while the top competitors from Porsche and Audi dropped out one by one. In addition, one of the M3 GT2’s that competed at Le Mans (#79) has been chosen as the 17th BMW Art Car, which will be done by American artist, Jeff Koons. At the 2010 24 Hours of Spa, BMW qualified 1st in class (2nd overall) and maintained 1st with the #79 car throughout the race until it succumbed to a suspension failure with just half an hour remaining, forcing them to give the overall lead to two Porsche 997 GT3-RSRs. The M3s still came 1st in the GTN class. The BMW M3s won the GT2 category in the ILMC 1000 km of Zhuhai. In 2011, the BMW achieved a 1-2 finish in the 12 Hours of Sebring. In the 2011 American Le Mans Series GT class, BMW Team RLL swept all categories, winning the GT manufacturer, team and driver championships. They contest another year in the ALMS GT class, coming off of another fantastic win at the 2012 60th running of the 12 Hours of Sebring. The M3 GT2 was succeeded by the BMW Z4 GTE, an LMGTE specification racing car alongside the Group GT3 spec BMW Z4 GT3. The Z4 GTE started racing at the 2013 12 Hours of Sebring.
E92 M3 GT4

On 10 April 2009, the week after the debut of the GT4, BMW’s Customer Racing program announced it had partnered with Schubert Motorsport (sponsored by Motorsport Arena Oschersleben) to run the BMW M3 GT4 in the 2009 24 Hours Nürburgring race, in the new class for GT4 cars, listed as SP10 there. The BMW M3 GT4 also raced in the Nürburgring VLN ADAC Westfalenfahrt in April 2009, taking the win in the SP10 class and finishing 30th overall. The 2009 24h race took place on the weekend of 23 and 24 May, with Jörg Müller, Andy Priaulx and sport auto journalist Jochen Übler at the wheel. Despite qualifying as best SP10/GT4 car at 57th overall and being at least 10 seconds per lap faster, the team finished third in the class, behind two Aston Martin V8 Vantage N24. The overall rank was 47th.

BMW Motorsport announced on 7 July 2009 the launch of a line of BMW M3 race cars which meet the SRO/FIA’s GT4 spec and are oriented for sale to private teams and drivers. The BMW M3 GT4 price is 121,500 EUR without VAT. While BMW states that ‘the BMW M3 GT4 weighs just 1,430 kilograms’ and the ‘420 bhp engine remained largely untouched’, the 2010 24 Hours Nürburgring "Balance of Performance" requires that the power must not exceed 390 PS (385 HP), while the minimum weight is set to 1400 kg.

The M3 GT4 is offered in Europe as a homologated production race car for sale to the general public. According to Larry Koch, then BMW NA M-brand manager, a feasibility study is currently being conducted to evaluate the possible sale of the M3 GT4 in North America. However, without a sanctioned GT4-class racing series in the USA, the sale of the M3 GT4 in the States is not likely.
Critical reception

Arthur St. Antoine of Motor Trend magazine says: "World’s single greatest car? Seriously? Yes – the new BMW M3 is unquestionably a contender. Probably no other car combines so many virtues – speed, handling, good looks, roominess, practicality – into one package. Driving the new BMW M3 is an absolutely blissful experience, flooding your brain with dopamine as if you were arriving to courtside seats at the Lakers game with Jennifer Connelly on your arm." -and- "If you put an F1 car and a premium sedan in a blender, the M3 would be the cocktail that pours out. Mmmm, nothing else like it. A toast then: To the BMW M3, the greatest all-around car in the world."
Mark Gillies of Car and Driver magazine says: "A car has got to be pretty spectacular to win over the curmudgeons here at 1585 Eisenhower Place, especially when familiarity sets in over the course of 40,000 miles. But our Sparkling Graphite Metallic M3 did indeed win us over.", and "Based on our experience, the current M3 is the world’s all-around best car for the money, although several staffers would have preferred to trade some of the coupe’s looks for the added practicality of the sedan.", and "This is the finest car on the market, period."
Ezra Dyer of Automobile magazine once suggested that "…car magazines generally regard the M3 the same way a four-year-old regards Santa Claus."
Jeremy Clarkson of BBC television show Top Gear says: "This [The M3] is the best car, and always will be, and there’s no point in ever thinking otherwise."
Mark Magrath of Edmunds Inside Line wrote these comments after driving a 2009 E90 M3 saloon in the canyons of Southern California: "This is the best most complete car in the world. It’s actually a bargain for what you get. Wow."
In the high-performance sports luxury niche (an entry-level luxury/compact executive car with a V8 engine), the E90 M3 (usually an E92 M3 Coupé being tested) has won comparison tests against rivals such as the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, Lexus IS-F, Audi RS4, Audi RS5 and Cadillac CTS-V.

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