BMW has taken the wraps off the long-awaited M3 and M4, and the models’ launch heralds numerous firsts.
For the first time, the BMW M3 does not resemble the regular 3 Series. Instead, its front end is dominated by a pair of vertical kidney grilles, just like the M4.
The all-new BMW M3 and M4 are also being introduced alongside the more powerful Competition variants. In the past, the Competition models have been the updated versions of the initial cars.
The BMW M3 and M4 are for the first time available with xDrive, BMW’s all-wheel-drive system. Previously, xDrive was only found in higher-end models, such as the M5 and M6.
BOLD NEW FACES
While the previous M3 and M4 looked similar to their regular siblings, this is no longer true for the latest models.
This will undoubtedly polarise opinions, but the new M3 and M4 feature M-specific vertical kidney grilles with horizontal bars. Even from afar, their identities will be unmistakable.
Sculpted wheel arches, M gills and extended side sills with attachment parts for the front and rear aprons further add to the models’ road presence.
Both the BMW M3 and M4 also have roofs made from carbon fibre, which is lighter than steel (and glass) and lowers the centre of gravity.
The new BMW M3 and M4 are equipped with new, electrically adjustable M sports seats. Buyers who plan to track their cars can specify M Carbon bucket seats, whose integral head restraints can be removed to make space for helmets.
Enabling drivers to tweak the cars’ responses is the M mode button. It lets drivers adjust the characteristics of the various driver assistance systems, heads-up display and instrument cluster display.
A new addition to the BMW M3 and M4 (but standard in the Competition models) is M Drive Professional.
Aimed at track driving, M Drive Professional includes the new M Traction Control, which lets drivers adjust the wheel slip limitation function in the DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) by choosing one of 10 settings.
As before, the M3 and M4 allow drivers to store two individual configurations for the overall car setup. These can be activated by pressing the M buttons on the steering wheel.
EVEN HIGHER OUTPUTS
Powering the BMW M3 and M4 are twin-turbocharged 3-litre straight-6 engines that produce 480hp, or 49hp more than before. The maximum torque of 550Nm is unchanged.
Paired to a 6-speed manual gearbox, the M3 does zero to 100km/h in 3.9 seconds and has a maximum velocity of 290km/h.
Interestingly, with the same gearbox, it takes 4.2 seconds for the M4 to complete the century sprint. But its top speed is also 290km/h.
Aimed at buyers seeking greater performance are the BMW M3 Competition and M4 Competition.
The turbocharged straight-6 in these models is tuned to 510hp and 650Nm. As standard, the engine is paired to an 8-speed automatic gearbox. And this time, both the M3 and M4 finish the century dash in 3.9 seconds.
BRAKING, HANDLING AND CUSTOMISATION
The M3 and M4 feature a new integrated braking system that offers two selectable settings for pedal feel and response.
As standard, the M3 and M4 are equipped with 380mm brakes in front with six-piston callipers, and single-calliper, 360mm discs in the rear.
Carbon-ceramic brakes, featuring 400mm discs in front and 380mm discs in the rear, are optionally available. Both the BMW M3 and M4 have Adaptive M suspension, which features electronically controlled dampers.
Drivers who wish to further customise the M3 and M4 can do so by choosing from an extensive list of M Performance parts. This list includes 20-inch and 21-inch forged wheels, along with numerous carbon fibre aerodynamic components.
Torque understands that only the BMW M3 Competition and M4 Competition models will be officially sold in Singapore.
The cars are expected to arrive in the first quarter of 2021.