M options – the 2012 3 Series has more than ever. First there ‘s the M Sport package. It includes the lowered M Sport suspension, featuring a 10 millimetre (0.4 in.) drop in ride height, which works with firmer suspension and damping as well as harder anti- roll bars. Also featured are 18 or 19-inch M alloy wheels. The package is completed by an M aerodynamics package featuring special body parts, and by chrome tailpipes, exclusive exterior paintwork and interior trim to match.
The M aerodynamics package and M Sport suspension can also be specified separately. Also optionally available for the new BMW 3 Series is an Adaptive M Sport suspension with electronically controlled damping. Based on incoming information about body and wheel acceleration, lateral and longitudinal acceleration, vehicle speed and steering wheel position, an electronic control unit adapts the damper mapping to the road surface and driving situation. At the same time the driver can use the Driving Experience Control switch to vary the basic suspension characteristics between more comfortable or sportier settings.
But the classic M Sport package is just the start.
For performance-minded customers, BMW can alternatively offer the M Sport brake, which combines high performance standards with sporty styling. Aluminium four-piston fixed callipers at the front and two-piston fixed callipers at the rear, and large brake discs, combine extremely low weight with very short stopping distances.
An all-new aerodynamic package for the exterior clearly sets cars specified with this package apart from the base model and the three lines. Added to which, 18-inch light-alloy wheels (19-inch as an option) in hallmark M design, M Sport suspension and BMW Individual High-gloss Shadowline trim give the car that typical M look. The car’s dynamic character is further emphasised by an optional exclusive M paint shade and optional M Sport brakes with contrasting blue paint finish. The theme continues inside the car with sports seats boasting distinctive cloth/Alcantara upholstery, trim elements with blue accent strips, an M Shortshifter (in models with manual gearbox), M door sill finishers, an M driver’s footrest and the new M leather steering wheel.