BMW's released a corporate-sanctioned photo spread on the new, fourth-generation M3, of a scale rivaling the baby pictures of Ludwig II of Bavaria. Of course, Baby Ludwig was likely rendered in oils, whereas the M3 gets the latest in photographic geegaw. Some of the collection's highlights are "M3 Rounding Corner," "M3 About to Round Corner," and "M3 Parked on Test Track." We hear a more subversive photo, "M3 Descending Staircase" was redacted. Enjoy. (Specs after the junp.)

Press Release

Fourth-generation of the BMW M3, all-new, unique high-performance
sports car from BMW M GmbH with unprecedented design
and technology, developed on the basis of the BMW 3 Series Coupe ?.

Unique character and supreme driving dynamics secure leading position in
the market segment, unique combination of engine power and low
weight ensured by intelligent lightweight technology, power-to-weight ratio
3.8 kg/hp.

First-ever BMW M3 with an eight-cylinder power unit, all-new V8
displacing 4.0 litres and developing maximum output of 309 kW/420 hp
plus peak torque of 400 Nm/295 lb-ft at 3,900 rpm,
maximum engine speed 8,400 rpm, optimum power and torque
throughout the entire engine speed range.

Individual throttle butterflies, variable double-VANOS camshaft control,
Brake Energy Regeneration, engine weight 15 kg/33 lb less than the
six-cylinder in the former model.

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Acceleration to 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds, top speed limited electronically
to 250 km/h (155 mph), average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle
12.4 litres/100 kilometres (equal to 22.8 mpg Imp).

Manual six-speed gearbox with integrated, temperature-related oil cooling,
mass inertia-optimised double-plate clutch.

MDrive for setting and retrieving the driver's specific configuration
of the engine control map, suspension and DSC set-up, as well as the
Servotronic control map as an additional option.

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All-new suspension with special, weight-optimised components
as well as axle kinematics characteristic of BMW M for a highly dynamic
driving experience, forged aluminium track control arms, compound
high-performance brake system, optional Electronic Damper Control
(EDC) with three freely available control maps.

First production vehicle in its segment with carbon-fibre-reinforced roof,
carbon fibre serving to reduce the weight of the vehicle and enhance agility
by lowering the centre of gravity, carbon-fibre roof in visible technology
symbolising exclusivity and a direct link to motorsport.

Authentic BMW M design underlining the athletic look of the car,
aluminium engine compartment lid with a striking powerdome as a clear
signal of supreme power and performance, characteristic front end
with large air intake scoops, muscular, powerfully flared wheel arches.

Air intake gills in the front side panels, M-specific side-sills accentuating
the concept of rear-wheel drive, discreet spoiler lip reducing lift forces
at the rear, roof in clearly visible carbon-fibre look, dual tailpipes typical of
BMW M.

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High-quality, sophisticated and perfectly appointed interior with a wide
range of customisation, innovative colour and materials concept,
four seats, BMW Individual high-end audio system tailored to the car as an
option, model-specific paintwork and equipment variants highlighting
the exclusivity of the new BMW M3.

Related:
Fourth Gen! 2009 BMW M3 in the Webosphere [internal}