Subject: E46 M3 Canadian Intro

Arriving at BMW retail centres across the country this fall, the new M3 is one of the most highly anticipated BMW models ever. Priced at $69,800, the new M3 follows the successes of the previous two generations but elevates performance capabilities and luxury to a higher level than ever before.

The new M3 comes standard with a plethora of standard equipment including: an in-dash CD player, foglights, xenon headlights, heated front seats, nappa leather interior and a glass sunroof. Optional equipment includes:
rear side airbags
rain sensor
BMW navigation system including a CD-ROM with the map of Canada and the U.S. highway system. The first update of the CD-ROM is free with the navigation system option.

"The new M3 will knock your socks off," warns Hendrik von Kuenheim, BMW Canada's President and CEO. "The new M3 encompasses everything that the BMW brand stands for and everything that our customers have grown to expect: Power, Precision, Agility, Performance and Safety."

A new 3.2-liter inline six-cylinder engine, mated to a six-speed manual transmission, will deliver an estimated 330-horsepower, up from 240 in the previous M3. Torque will increase as well, to an estimated 255 lb.-ft. Other technical highlights include double VANOS, individual throttle butterflies for each cylinder with drive-by-wire throttle control and M Dynamic Driving Control, which allows the driver to select a "sport mode" for the throttle, providing quicker response to throttle inputs.

As is the philosophy with all BMW M cars, any increase in engine performance is matched by increased capabilities in handling and braking. The M3 sits on 18-inch M-style alloy wheels (8.0-inch wide front and 9.0-inch wide rear), with appropriately sized high-performance tires (225/45 ZR - 18 front and 255/40 ZR -18 rear).

A wider rear track than the normal 3 Series coupe, and the use of aluminum for the front suspension control arms and the rear trailing link assembly both contribute to better handling. The M Dynamic Driving Control also affects the power assist of the rack and pinion steering. For example, when the "sport mode" is selected by the driver, the power assist is reduced, providing a firmer road feel. Braking continues to be a competitive strength of the M3, thanks to generously-proportioned four-wheel antilock disc brakes - 12.8-inches in front and 12.9-inches in the rear.

While the M3 conceals much of its performance capability by avoiding superfluous body add-ons, there are nonetheless many distinctive M touches to set it apart from the standard 3 Series coupe. In addition to the 18-inch M-style wheels poised below larger wheel arches, there are the trademark four polished stainless-steel exhausts, vent "gills" in the front fenders and a power dome on the aluminum hood. The special front bumper covering (which incorporates the deep spoiler with large air intakes) and the rear bumper covering (which incorporates an integrated air diffuser) are also M exclusives. Finally, electrically-folding M exterior mirrors, exclusive rocker panel moldings and clear turn signals and side marker lenses help distinguish the M3 from the standard 3 Series coupes.

Inside, the M3 also has distinctive modifications which identify it as a member of the M family. These include: exclusive M sport seats with optional electrically-adjustable seat back width which provide a tighter fit in sporty driving situations M3 lettering on door sills,
M multi-function sports steering wheel M gauges

BMW Canada Inc., based in Whitby, Ontario, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BMW AG and is responsible for the distribution of BMW luxury performance automobiles, Sports Activity Vehicles, motorcycles, and beginning in 2002 the new MINI. BMW is represented by a total network of 32 independent BMW retail centres and 16 independent BMW motorcycle retailers across the country.

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