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Click above for high-res gallery of 2009 MY changes

BMW's lineup of M-fortified vehicles now numbers nine, which is the largest it's ever been in the sub-brand's 30-year history. Munich has tweaked the lineup for 2009, and while nothing groundbreaking has been added, the additions and changes are worth noting. For instance, the BMW M3 Sedan gets a new rear end that sports updated taillights with two LED light clusters, and the entire M3 line gets some minor interior tweaks, new colors and crash-active headrests. The M5 and M6 soldier on with larger sideview mirrors, though BMW mentions that regenerative braking and an uncoupling air conditioner compressor – both fuel saving technologies – are right around the corner.

Of course, all M models are now offered with the latest generation of the automaker's much maligned iDrive control system. We haven't had the opportunity to sample the new version yet, so we'll refrain from making fun of its user interface for now. A new, impressively large 8.8-inch nav screen is, however, available with the optional Professional navigation system package and each system has moved from being DVD-based to storing all the info on an in-dash 80GB hard drive. This fall, BMW will also be offering ConnectedDrive, the first application of unrestricted internet access in a car, across the M lineup and iPhone integration has now been worked out, as well.

Perhaps the most significant addition is the arrival of a Competition Package for the M6 Coupe. The Competition Package includes a newly tuned performance suspension that lowers the car 12 mm up front and 10 mm in the rear, an adaptable suspension control system and double-spoke forged alloy wheels. BMW claims this will be the most athletic M6 you can buy and that there will be visual distinctions to set it apart from a standard M6. Unfortunately, BMW refrained from showing us what those visual distinctions will be. You can view what they did show us, however, in the gallery below.

[Source: BMW]


BMW M models for 2009: Maximum performance in every discipline

Munich. The high-performance BMW M GmbH sports cars enter the year 2009 both ideally equipped and in top shape. With specific body modifications to the BMW M3 Saloon, the introduction of the new iDrive generation for all versions of the BMW M3, the BMW M5 and the BMW M6 as well as a "competition package" for the BMW M6 Coupe, we have ensured that the respective models are able to continue to strengthen their pole position in the disciplines design, ease of operation and driving pleasure. The BMW M GmbH currently offers nine models, this being the most varied and attractive product portfolio in its 30-year history as a supplier of exceptionally sporty production cars.

More than 300,000 BMW M automobiles have been handed over to customers since 1978. The most successful model was and still is the BMW M3, now being offered in three different body versions. After the launch of the BMW M3 Coupe, the BMW M3 Saloon and the BMW M3 Convertible were also successfully brought to market this year. All versions of the BMW M3 are powered by a 4-litre,V8 engine delivering 309 kW/420 bhp at 8 300 rpm. The power unit was especially developed for this model and possesses high-revving characteristics with unequalled acceleration. As an alternative to the standard six-speed manual gearbox, all versions of the BMW M3 are optionally available with the M Double Clutch Transmission with Drivelogic. It has seven gears and shifts without interruption of traction, thereby facilitating even more dynamic acceleration. The M DKG Drivelogic also has a positive effect on the BMW M3's efficiency. Furthermore, it provides gear shifting comfort on par with the supreme standards of a BMW automatic transmission.

BMW M3 Saloon: New rear light design.
In the model year 2009 and analogous to the BMW 3 Series Saloon, the four-door BMW M3 will also feature divided rear lights with the brand-typical L-shaped contour. The two LED light clusters for the taillights and the indicator lights, which also feature LED technology, have a distinctive and high-quality appearance. The new rear end design is rounded off by modifications to the bumper and rear lid. The list of interior refinements includes a newly conceived fresh air grille located in the centre of the cockpit, a newly designed storage area under the armrest on the centre console and a pearlescent chrome light switch cluster.

The new start/stop button, also in pearlescent chrome, and the rotary controls for the air conditioning sporting the same design are not only featured in the BMW M3, but also in the Coupe and the Convertible. Likewise, from the autumn, all variants of the BMW M3 will be equipped with crash-active headrests that reduce the risk of cervical injury in the event of a rear end collision. The choice of exterior colours available for the BMW M3 will also be widened as from the autumn. The colour space grey metallic is now also available for the BMW M3 Saloon. Le Mans blue metallic is new in the range of colours offered for all body variants.

Competition package for the BMW M6 Coupe.
In the model year 2009, the BMW M6 Coupe in particular presents itself as a top athlete on the road to new all-time highs. With the new competition package, the two-door coupe has managed to strengthen its consistently high performance-oriented profile even further. The competition package comprises a newly tuned suspension, including lowering by 12 millimetres at the front and 10 millimetres at the rear, adapted suspension control systems and forged alloy wheels in double spoke design. The modifications are prominently noticeable through improved handling and the competition package also contains distinctive visual differentiations. A re-contoured bonnet featuring two raised precision lines also emphasises the enhanced dynamic characteristics.

BMW M5 and BMW M6: New exterior mirrors with widened field of view and increased efficiency.
With new equipment features and optimisation in safety and efficiency, product quality offered by the models BMW M5 and BMW M5 Touring, the BMW M6 Coupe and the BMW M6 Convertible has increased even further in the model year 2009. In future, the high-performance sports cars powered by the 373 kW/507 bhp V10 engine will also feature brake energy regeneration and an air conditioning compressor which can be uncoupled - both features having been developed within the framework of BMW EfficientDynamics. Moreover, the new smooth-running bearing for the rear axle transmission is characterised by an optimised friction coefficient and its efficiency-enhancing construction.

The new exterior mirrors with widened field of view are an additional safety highlight on all four models. Carbon black metallic has been added to the range of available colours.

More supremacy through intuitive operation:
The new iDrive generation enhances driving pleasure.
From the autumn of 2008, BMW M models will also feature the new generation of the iDrive control system which will facilitate even easier activation and control of the most important entertainment, communication and navigation features as well as a number of other functions. The models BMW M5 and BMW M5 Touring, the BMW M6 Coupe and the BMW M6 Convertible are all equipped with the new iDrive control system as standard. It also comes with the BMW M3 in conjunction with an optionally available navigation system. It encompasses a newly devised controller which includes preference keys on the centre console and - in conjunction with the optional navigation system Professional - an 8.8-inch control display with a four times higher screen resolution (1280 x 480 pixel) for displaying high resolution graphics and a new menu structure.

Flat menu trees and familiar systematic with cascaded main menus derived from computer technology provide improved orientation. Visual control aids which include, for example, an image of the controller displayed on the monitor, provide additional clarity. Town or street names are spelled and telephone numbers entered by means of a circular "speller". The functional range of the tried and tested preference keys situated below the radio control unit have been further optimised. Using these, it is now also possible to store not only radio stations, telephone numbers and destinations, but also all further menu items accessible via iDrive, which can then be retrieved at the push of a button.

In the BMW M3, the new controller and the preference keys arranged in its vicinity are surrounded by a newly designed cover for the centre console. The central control element facilitates the operation of various functions by means of standardised rotary and toggle switches as well as push-buttons, whereby the additional keys can be operated without eye contact due to their individual haptic attributes, offering direct access to the most important menu options. The new iDrive controller is, therefore, now much simpler to use and can be operated intuitively without a long familiarisation period. Consequently, the driver gains additional confidence and can concentrate even more intensively on the job of driving.

The perfect travel companion: Navigation system Professional with full screen display, preview maps, 3D symbols and guided tours.
The new navigation system Professional for the models BMW M3, BMW M5 and BMW M6 offers full screen map display. Travel maps, details of the surrounding area and symbols for places of interest can be displayed as three-dimensional graphics. When defining a desired destination from a list of locations, a map preview of each proposed destination appears additionally on the display when the selection function is activated. Thanks to this geographical information, different destinations bearing the same name can easily be distinguished from each other. The travel planner with guided tours function integrates various destinations into an individual route and, if desired, the driver can also add his own choice of stopovers to the routeing.

The storing of navigation data on an on-board 80 GB hard drive guarantees shorter access times. Moreover, this data storage medium can be used as a music archive. For this purpose, music files from a CD, an external MP3 player or a USB stick can be transferred to the hard disc, after which the music files are permanently accessible.

New from BMW ConnectedDrive: Unrestricted in-car use of the Internet and enhanced remote functions.
The further advanced iDrive controller also forms the basis for in-car use of the Internet. From the autumn of 2008, BMW will be the first car manufacturer worldwide to offer unrestricted access to the internet as an option. The function of the controller is similar to a conventional computer mouse. Internet pages can be displayed on the screen in high resolution. An additional function renders possible an enlargement of visible screen areas for highlighting details.

Internet access is optionally available for the BMW M3, the BMW M5 and the BMW M6 on attractive flat rate terms. For safety reasons, the displaying of internet pages on the screen - analogous to the TV function available for BMW M models - is only possible when the vehicle is stationary.

In addition to the Internet access, new remote functions provide an even wider variety of telematics and online services included in the BMW ConnectedDrive range. From the autumn of 2008, enhanced remote functions will be available for BMW M models as an integral part of the BMW Assist service. In the event of the car key being left inside a locked boot or when the driver is not sure whether he or she locked the vehicle when in a hurry, all he or she has to do in future is call the BMW Call Center. After confirmed identification, a BMW Call Center employee can then lock or unlock the car by remote control.

Integrated use of a smartphone with USB connection for the Apple iPhone and other smartphones.
Commencing in the model year 2009, the accessory range will include a new snap-in adaptor for the full integration of the latest smartphones into the vehicle and an optional compatible USB board will be available for the BMW M3, the BMW M5 and the BMW M6. Using the upgrade option of linking the music player to the mobile phone, it will be possible to utilise both the communication and entertainment functions of the respective mobile phone and to control them via the iDrive control system. Telephone numbers and music titles stored in the smartphone are displayed on the vehicle's control monitor. The driver has permanent access to both the telephone and the MP3 functions of the external device. Furthermore, the power supply to the smartphone and reception via the car aerial are guaranteed. The new interface is suitable for the integration of the Apple iPhone, the Sony Ericsson K850i and the Nokia 6500c cell phones.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'd bet this new M iteration with the "rear grill-cum-rocket exhaust" would be "in vogue" among upcoming car designs...looks bad ass.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Title should read: "it's official the M3 now looks like a bitch car".
      • 6 Years Ago
      i just wish the Z4 coupe had the turbo 6
      • 6 Years Ago
      The whole rear end are soooo ugly.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Seriously, BMW needs to completely refocus and accurately determine the market. There is absolutely no market for a X3, X5, and X6 with an M badge. With the current public outlook for fuel economy, this is putting the two worst factors together. BMW needs to focus on its motorsports heritage and future by producing cars that garner the respect and acclaim that even the old E30 M3 earned. The current M3 and M5/M6 are placed correctly in the lineup and serve as competition to Audi and Mercedes and the likes. HOWEVER, there will be a growing market in the sports sector with the R8, GTR, Porsche's with Direct Injection, etc etc. A M3 CSL fits nicely for the purists and there IS a calling for it. Dropping a few hundred pounds, and adding hp and efficiency through direct injection is all the company needs. Tweak the suspensions, chassis, give ceramic brakes, and optimize aerodynamics. Make both turbo AND NA motors available for M series cars. I'd say, optimize the turbo motors for the masses and offer high strung NA motors and revised exhaust for a more track/performance emphasized model, the CSL.
      • 6 Years Ago
      In reply to rsfourever:

      the M5 has a wagon counterpart (in Europe).
      • 6 Years Ago

      I liked it better when the M models were more exclusive or niche models. Today it almost seems that BMW is mass producing them.
      • 6 Years Ago
      They need to update their mass and loss a few hundred kilos
      • 6 Years Ago
      i like the new 3, it looks much more aggressive from the back and the new headlights are awesome. either way, i cant afford a M right now, but if i could, i would get the M3 coupe.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'm going to have to disagree, at least with the back end of the 3. The old brake lights were ugly but the new ones are even worse. Now in addition to all the creases and lines from the bumper, there are additional non-matching lines at the top of the trunk where the inner and outer light assemblies touch. It's a mess. They had an opportunity to fix it and they made it worse. As for the exhaust, they could have lowered and widened that weird hole to be more integrated and to accommodate the exhaust pipes so they don't look like the afterthought they do now. I've owned both an E46 M3 and an E39 M5 and in my book those two will go down as beautiful, timeless car designs. These new ones won't even come close.
        • 6 Years Ago
        'BMW has gotten more fashionable than it used to be. it used to be a set of premium cars that were all about driving, who cares what anyone else thinks. Now it is all about what everyone thinks, and everything else takes a back seat, or has gotten left behind.'

        I disagree. They are still the only car company making dead sure that their cars are fun to drive. Even if they are keeping up with everyone else in terms of bloat, they still have that focus on driving dynamics.
        In terms of looks I do agree. They don't move me like they used to. I'll keep my E46.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Front is a good evolution.
        coupe back is nice but a little too last gen Civic.
        the sedan is too super-nipponese.

        crazy. bimmers looking like they should be subies. Subies looking like Kias.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Have to agree with Matt. (my name, also.)

        The lines are getting worse, the tail light asymmetrical shapes are getting worse. The styling is getting disjointed and a bit frumpy.

        And why not just put the exhaust tips in that vent hole in the rear bumper cover? Otherwise why have it? It looks saggy with it's rounded ends, anyway. Fits with the front, I guess.

        E36 and E46 this is not. 5-series has fallen away from the E39, as well.

        The 6 series would be cool if it were a bit smaller. it seems huge. The X6 shouldn't wear the number 6 anyway, it has 4 doors, and is big as a house.

        BMW has gotten more fashionable than it used to be. it used to be a set of premium cars that were all about driving, who cares what anyone else thinks. Now it is all about what everyone thinks, and everything else takes a back seat, or has gotten left behind. Even sports cars like the Z4 roadster and coupe are a bit wonky in styling. (I like the hatchback bit, though)

        It used to be that BMW was at the top of the list in the segments it had an entry for. Now, I can think of better.

        CTS looks better between the 3 and 5. CTS-V is going to be quite compelling compared to the M5.

        M3 isn't bad, but not as clean as it used to be. The Jag XF Supercharged seems like a nicer V8 cruiser, albeit not as focused. I would buy a sports car or a motorcycle if I wanted focus, though.

        Porsche Boxster and Cayman better than the Z4 variants. Mid engined chassis for the win.

        Quattroporte is better looking than the 7-series, possibly the A8, as well.

        The 1 series seems lost, and I would pick a G37 over a 135i coupe.

        I'd buy a used Aston, or a new Porsche C4S, before a new 6-series.

        Mini is really the shining star right now. There really isn't a premium compact Front-driver to beat it.

        But BMWs are good, especially if you don't mind the bodywork. Underneath they are QUITE good. But they aren't necessarily the drool-worthy best, like they used to be. They are almost as primped and preened as MB anymore. :D (just fanning a bit of flame. :D )
      • 6 Years Ago
      haha why does the M3 sedan rear have an assh0le?
      • 6 Years Ago
      i only count 5 models (m6, m5, m3 coupe, m3 sedan, m roadster/z4m)...
      what are the other 4 models?
        • 6 Years Ago
        (cont) and I figure the Competition Package on the M6 makes it 9.
        • 6 Years Ago
        M6 coupe/convertible, Z4m coupe/convertible, M3 sedan/coupe/convertible-coupe and M5.
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