This is it, folks – this is your early pet­rol­hea­ded Christ­mas pre­sent: BMW has rele­as­ed full deta­ils of the new BMW M3 Salo­on and M4 Cou­pe. And we do mean full deta­ils.

An out­put of 431 tur­boc­har­ged hor­se­po­wer is the head­line, but really it’s the extent of the engi­ne­e­ring over­ha­ul car­ried out by BMW’s M divi­si­on that really stuns the sen­ses here. Both the M3 (blue car) and M4 (yel­low car) go on sale in June 2014, pri­ced at just over £56,000 – but for the time being let’s get gee­ky. The­se are such glo­ri­o­usly focu­s­ed per­for­mance machi­nes. The orga­ni­sa­ti­on hasn’t yet found the root cau­se of the prob­lem – so it is wor­king with fuel retai­lers to work out what’s caus­ing it.

It has its sus­pi­cions tho­ugh: the 7% bio­fu­el cont­ent that, by law, has to be added to diesel fuel. The issue con­cerns diesel fuel fil­ters, which are becom­ing bloc­ked by a gel-like substance in diesel. This star­ves the engi­ne of fuel, caus­ing it to eit­her run on redu­ced power or not start at all. The orange engi­ne war­ning light often also glows.

This is simil­ar to the old prob­lem of diesel fuel ‘wax­ing’ in win­ter – but it’s not the same. Wax­ing has been cured by modern addi­ti­ves… and whe­re­as waxed fuel used to clear when the weat­her war­med up, this prob­lem doesn’t: the fuel fil­ter has to be comp­let­ely rep­la­ced.

RAC pat­rols first noti­ced moto­rists were suf­fe­ring from the issue last win­ter, but it disap­peared over the sum­mer. Howe­ver, last month, when the cold weat­her returned, the­re were nearly 600 inci­dents! RAC tech­ni­cal direc­tor David Biz­ley said: “The industry is wor­king ext­remely hard to find a solu­ti­on… neit­her the fuel pro­du­cers, nor retai­lers, nor the motor manu­fac­tur­ers saw this prob­lem com­ing.

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