BMW unveils four cars in Detroit including new M3 and M4

As is the case every year, BMW was busy at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Monday. The Bavarian manufacturer held three world premier unveilings, in addition to showcasing for the first time the Mini Cooper S John Cooper Works Concept.

After a wild introduction where loud music, dynamic lighting and intense videos got the hearts of the gathered journalists pumping, two new BMWs appeared on stage.  But they weren’t your run-of-the-mill bimmers.

They were the most recent performance monsters to leave the offices of the M division of BMW, the BMW M3 and the BMW M4. The latter is actually the coupe version of the M3, BMW having decided in 2013 to name its sedans using odd numbers and coupe models with even numbers.

The 2015 BMW M3 thus sits atop the 3 Series range while the M4 will do the same thing with the 4 Series range. Both cars will be powered by the same 6-cylinder inline engine complemented by two turbochargers and producing an output of 425 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque available from 1 800 rpm. That is 11 horsepower and 111 pound-feet of torque more than the V8 that powered the previous generation.

Purists will be pleased to know that BMW has not abandoned the manual transmission. A 6-speed gearbox will be offered as standard and will help the M3/M4 reach 60 mph in just over 4.0 seconds. A dual-clutch seven speed automatic transmission is optional and will allow both cars to reach 60 mph in 3.9 seconds

BMW 2 Series

BMW’s other unveiling in Detroit was the brand new 2 Series which will replace the 1 Series as BMW’s entry-level offering. Two cars were on hand on the floor of the Cobo Hall to showcase the smallest BMW, a 228i and a 235i.

The first is powered by a four-cylinder, 2.0-liter engine to which BMW engineers have added two turbochargers. Total output is 240 horsepower and BMW claims the 228i will be able to reach 60 mph in 5.4 seconds. In addition, BMW touted the fuel economy of its 2 Series, promissing an average fuel consumption of less than 7.0 liters per 100 kilometers on the highway.

The BMW 235i will in turn be equipped with a six-cylinder 3.0 liter engine that develops 322 horsepower. It reaches 60 mph in less than 5.0 seconds while offering an average fuel economy of 8.4 liters per 100 kilometers, again on the highway.

The new BMW 2 Series is expected to enter the market just before spring rolls around.

Mini Cooper S John Cooper Works Concept

While the BMW M3 and M4 were stealing the spotlight a few meters away, another performance-oriented car was being unveiled, this time as a concept. Indeed, the Mini Cooper S John Cooper Works Concept was another world premier for BMW in Detroit.

We had already seen the pictures, so the concept’s styling was not a shocker. Nevertheless, the Mini Cooper S John Cooper Works certainly delivers everything one would expect from a car baring the JCW badge.  

Its 18-inch wheels almost entirely fill the wheel well, the roof and side mirrors are painted red to contrast with the silver body paint and the perfectly-centered dual exhaust tip is bigger than what is found on the 2015 Mini Cooper. In short, the Mini Cooper S John Cooper Works Concept certainly looks the part.

The Mini Cooper S JCW Concept was covered in a special silver paint called Bright Highways Gray. Firstly, the paint is hand-polished in the factory before being clear coated, thus preserving the appearance of the manual polish. 

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