BMW M3 and M4: which is best?
M Division has been in the laboratory cooking up turbos. Ollie Marriage investigates…
Posted: 07 Jul 2014
There are other buttons, too. Portimão is just about smooth enough to tolerate Sport Plus suspension (Sport is the sweet spot on Portugese roads). The steering is best in Sport wherever you are – it’s the Goldilocks mode, although the electro-mechanical system relies on weight and accuracy, not genuine transparency, to give you confidence. But we know the days of great steering are now past, don’t we?
But the Sport Plus engine mode is rather special. It has an anti-lag system. This, for me, is the M3’s party trick. If you lift off or brake, the ECU keeps the turbos spinning by managing the airflow and injecting a bit of extra fuel. And we mean spinning. The teeny turbos, each the diameter of a pill bottle top and driving three cylinders, don’t drop below 120,000rpm (they have a max speed of 190,000rpm), so when you get back on the power, they’re already there, forcing the induction. Look, it’s never going to have the almost shocking response and immediacy, let alone the yowling top end, that made the naturally aspirated M3s so utterly beguiling, but this might just be the best (and certainly most instantly responsive) turbocharged engine I’ve come across.