AC Schnitzer has given the new BMW M3 582bhp and a wing | Top Gear
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AC Schnitzer has given the new BMW M3 582bhp and a wing

Notoriously underpowered, track-averse car gets welcome injection of sportiness. Phew

Published: 08 Oct 2021
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Thank goodness. Finally, a tuning company has done what we’ve all been thinking about but too afraid to ask: given the notoriously underpowered, dynamically tame BMW M3 a welcome injection of power and pointiness.

This is the M3 by AC Schnitzer. The German tuning company has breathed on BMW’s wheezy straight-six turbo via… ways. We’re not sure which ways because it hasn’t specified, but one would suspect some level of ECU tweakery at play.

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Power jumps from the standard car’s 503bhp to a whopping 582bhp, while torque rises from 479lb ft to 553. Big jumps. No word on any accelerative improvement but the standard car is already quite fast thanks, so you’re probably good.

From January next year, the company will also offer lowered springs up front (up to 20mm lower) or indeed an ‘RS’ coilover suspension pack that allows far more adjustability in both compression and rebound. Lower, too. “Every M3 driver will realise when cornering that the true feeling for driving dynamics comes from Aachen,” says AC. We’d only proffer that every M3 driver will realise when cornering that the true feeling of fear comes from a spiky 3.0-litre turbo + rear-wheel drive.

You can order new AC wheels, a new louder sports exhaust and new body parts offering up more downforce (at least when tested at 124mph, says AC). Stuff like a new front splitter capable of adding 40kg of downforce, that new rear wing (+50kg), or a wing with a flap (+70kg), a rear spoiler (+20kg), and other non-aero bits. You can spot those.

“The sixth generation of the M3 by AC Schnitzer is again everything,” says, um, AC Schnitzer. “An absolutely everyday vehicle with pleasant comfort and, on the other hand, a sports car suitable for cornering and racing.” About time someone sorted the M3 out.

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