Auto Review: 2018 BMW M3

PURE {adjective} meaning not mixed or adulterated with any other substance or material. That’s the Google definition of the word. Or as the urban dictionary describes it; “Pure” meaning that a person is more than beautiful, and nobody compares to them.

Switch out the person for a car, and you might well have the name and the definition perfectly correct, for the 2018 BMW M3 (PURE) is definitely more than beautiful and quite possibly without compare for its ability to unleash pure adrenalin and provide maximum enjoyment as a genuine driver’s car.

The PURE model option is essentially the standard M3 in its purest form, heaving with tradition and raw power. The pulsating heart of the new BMW M3 is the M TwinPower turbo inline 6-cylinder petrol engine with its tremendous power and unmistakable sound.

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That raw noise and insane power comes from optimally-tuned motor sport technologies, which allow a thrust of 317kW and 550Nm of torque. But just so you know, the M3 PURE edition also has a secret twin, the M3 Competition, the ‘pure’ model’s more fearsome sibling, capable of 331kW while maintaining the same 550Nm of torque, which also gains special suspension and new wheels.

Our 2018 M3 was fitted with a 7-speed double-clutch automatic transmission with DriveLogic (a 6-speed manual is available as a no cost option), an M series active diff and adaptive suspension, and carbon ceramic brakes.

Also fitted with M-Drive, which allows you to utilise two different performance settings (one mid-range and the other extreme), the M3 is an absolute joy to drive, striking the right balance between performance and a host of safety features.

These include airbags fro front, front-side and head in both front and rear of the vehicle, an alarm system with central locking and electronic immobiliser, inner-vented front and rear disc brakes, dynamic stability control and ABS.

You’ll also be protected by cornering brake control, dynamic traction control, cruise control with a braking function, approach control warnings, lane departure warnings, and a pedestrian warning system which features a light city braking function.

Outside, there’s LED lighting everywhere, wicked looking heated exterior mirrors and heat and sun protected glass, a carbon fibre roof, custom exhaust pipes, M gills and of course the signature kidney shaped grille with black M double rods.

The stunning looking M3 sits atop 19-inch M light-alloy double-spoke wheels in forged Ferric Grey, and is capable of an astounding 0-100km/h time of just 4.1 seconds.

Step inside the 2018 BMW M3 and you’ll find full leather Merino upholstery and carbon fibre and black chrome accents everywhere, as well as an anthracite roof liner, M-branded steering wheel, gear shift and door sills, and velour floor mats.

Much cooler though are the awesome looking and seriously comfortable M3 sports seats, with full electric adjustments and lumbar support, for the driver and front passenger which feature an illuminated M3 logo – at nice these things look completely unique.

The M3 also features BMW ConnectedDrive, which provides concierge services, 24/7 assistance via ConnectedDrive Call Centre, an intelligent emergency call system, and real time traffic information.

Adding to the connectivity, there’s AUX-IN, Bluetooth and USB connection, and a 12V socket in the centre console.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are still only an optional extra, but there is DAB+ digital radio and enhanced telephony with extended smart phone connectivity, including a voice control function.

Sound, and it’s also awesome just for the record, comes form the harman/kardon surround sound system, a 600W digital amplifier and 16 high end surround loudspeakers.

The instrument panel with extended contents features M-specific display items, and the professional navigation system features the latest brand new interface design and touch functionality, and includes an 8.8-inch colour display, iDrive touch controller, DVD player, 3D and satellite map options, voice control and a very cool 20GB of storage for audio files.

You’d better own a petrol card though if you own an M3, because despite a claimed 8.3-litres/100km from BMW, we couldn’t get close, with the best we could manage a still respectable 8.9-litres/100km.

Mostly though we were up around the 10-litres to 12-litres/100km range, and at some stages even 14-litres/100km. That said, you’ll love driving it so much you won’t actually care.

You’ll also have to get past creaky windows, but we suspect that was both the newness of the car we were driving and the rigidity of the chassis – the M3 is after all a very stiff performance car, setup wise.

If there is another downside to the M3, it’s in the fact that you will probably need to do an advanced driver training course to drive it – and BMW agrees.

This thing is wild, for all the right reasons, but in the hands of someone who is young, dumb and full off, well stupidity mostly, it could be a very short lived love affair.

Put simply, cars as refined and performance oriented as the 2018 BMW M3 are wasted on people who don’t know how to drive them, young or old. So if you do decide to hand over the folding stuff to get your hands on one of these amazing machines – for God’s sake, learn to drive it.

Take advantage of the free BMW Intensive Driving Experience course on offer from the German car maker, and if you’re still not sure you’re comfortable with it, sign up for some more courses.

The 2018 BMW M3 comes in an incredible range of colours, including Alpine White, and seven metallic options (Black Sapphire, Silverstone, Mineral White, Mineral Grey, Austin Yellow (our test car), Yas Marina Blue and Sakhir Orange II).

But thanks to the BMW Individual suite of options you can also choose your M3 in Azurite Black, Champagne Quartz, Tanzanite Blue, Smoked Topaz, Frozen Brilliant White, Frozen Black, Frozen Silver II and Frozen Red I.

As with all high end BMW models, the interior trim and add on options are pretty much endless, and include things like an electric sun blind, digital TV reception, a headlight washer system and even the ability to de-badge your M3.

Pricing for the 2018 BMW M3 (Pure Edition) starts from a little over $139,000 plus on-roads.

Our 2018 BMW M3 was provided by BMW Australia. To find out more, contact your local BMW dealer. BMW M3 pictures courtesy of CMC Photography.

Mark Holgate
Mark Holgate
A journalist with more than 24 years experience, Mark Holgate has worked with a number of regional, suburban and metropolitan newspapers, as well as stints with motoring specific publications like Which Car? Motorsport News, Auto Action and Street Machine. He is also a contributor to DriveTribe.


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