35 years after the first BMW M3 took to the stage, the Bavarians at BMW M are presenting their latest generation of high-performance sports cars. The highly controversial models are here and it is time to run you through some of the highlights, which you wouldn’t immediately notice while you were mesmerized by the highly intriguing looks of the new M family members. Don’t like the looks deceive you, there is a lot underneath the skin that brings a huge ///M smile on your face.
Note that while reading through the different points mentioned below, you will notice that there are many different features. We were told that BMW M has been able to accommodate a lot of the customers’ demands. Some of those options allow for a unique feature set we have not seen before in a M product. Highlights like the M Drift Control mode, M Carbon bucket seats and unique color pallet are all covered below.
For those people in the M2 community, we would like you to replace the M3 or M4 model type, or both of them with the M2 model name across some points below, and you will have an idea of what you can expect in the years to come. There are some key features we will see them return in the new upcoming M2 G87, while there are also a few features that M2 owners would definitely love to see.
- Market launch later than you think
For those of you who were thinking that the new M3 / M4 would arrive relatively soon inside the showroom of your dealer, there is a bit more waiting time. The new models will have their market launch in March 2021. Two versions will be available for both the M3 and M4.
The new BMW M3 Sedan and new BMW M4 Coupé are fitted with a six-cylinder in-line engine, whose 353 kW/480 hp is channeled to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox. In the new BMW M3 Competition Sedan and new BMW M4 Competition Coupé, the 375 kW/510 hp version teams up with an 8-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic. The two Competition models will also be available (est. from summer 2021 depending on your market) with the M xDrive all-wheel-drive system.
- Split production for both M cars
The new BMW M3 Sedan will be built at BMW Plant Munich alongside the new BMW 3 Series Sedan. Production of the new BMW M4 Coupé will take place at BMW Plant Dingolfing, where models including the new BMW 4 Series Coupé, BMW M5 and all variants of the BMW M8 also roll off the assembly line.
- More powerful, but also a lot heavier
A quick look through the specification sheet of the new BMW M3 and M4 brings you past a few noticeable points, such as the weight. The new M3 (with the manual box and rear wheel drive) tips in at 1705 / 1780 kg (DIN/EU) unladen weight. The M4 is 5 kgs lighter. This means that both are roughly 200 kgs heavier than its predecessors. (M3 185 kgs / M4 + 203 kgs)
- Increased in size
Both models add 122 millimeters to the length of their predecessors (they now measure 4,794 millimeters) and 45 millimeters to their wheelbases (now 2,857 millimeters). The M3 G80 Sedan is also 26 millimeters wider, at 1,903 millimeters, and its height is 1,433 millimeters. It is 85 millimeters longer than the new BMW 3 Series Sedan, 75 millimeters wider and 2 millimeters lower.
The M4 G82 Coupé adds 17 millimeters to the width of its predecessor (now 1,887 millimeters) and 5 millimeters to its height (1,393 millimeters). It is also 24 millimeters longer, 40 millimeters wider and 10 millimeters taller than the new BMW 4 Series Coupé.
- Carbon roof offers roof rails
A steel roof with integral glass tilt/sliding sunroof is available as a no-cost option for both models as an alternative to the standard and newly designed carbon fiber version. Following customer request, the carbon fiber roof now offers standard roof rails allowing you to fit a roof rack.
- No grille surrounds for enhanced cooling
The highly discussed and visually striking appearance of the two models include the M-specific version of the large, vertical BMW kidney grille with horizontal bars. As you might have seen the grilles don’t have any surrounds like the new BMW 4-Series. This was done for enhanced cooling. The black color of the grilles was a request coming from the U.S. market.
- Competition model offers improved oil cooling
A bespoke cooling system ensures optimal operating temperatures. A central cooling module is joined by two remote high-temperature radiators in the wheel arches. In the Competition models, the system also includes an additional engine oil cooler and separate transmission oil cooler.
- 100 mm diameter exhaust tail pipes
The pairs of twin pipes at the rear of the car are 100 mm in size and finished in Chrome on the new BMW M3 Sedan and new BMW M4 Coupé, or Black Chrome on the Competition models. The acoustics inside the cabin are influenced by the engine mode selected.
Choosing SPORT or SPORT+ mode by pushing the relevant button on the center console changes the exhaust note. A fake interior exhaust note (also known as ASD) is still available to provide an additional fake enhancement to the sound track.
- M mode settings taken from M5 and M8 family members
The M xDrive system available for the M3 and M4 in the second half of 2021 has a rear-wheel bias and links up with the Active M Differential at the rear axle. The driver can choose between 4WD and 4WD Sport modes, the latter directing a greater proportion of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels. And switching off DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) brings 2WD mode into the equation.
The manual gearbox features the Gear Shift Assistant, which uses engagement speed control to ensure slip-free operation when downshifting under braking into corners. Throttle blipping can be disabled in the M settings set up menu and pre-set under the M1 and M2 buttons.
The driver can choose from ROAD and SPORT settings, with the TRACK mode developed for outings on race circuits. Two individually selectable settings for the brake pedal feel and response are also available. The stock calipers are painted in Blue metallic as standard or optionally in Black or Red; all bear the M logo. The ceramic calipers are painted in Gold metallic.
- Front diagonal strut braces now behind the intercooler
A model-specific package of bracing elements for the engine compartment, a front axle subframe with aluminum shear panel, underfloor bracing elements and a rear axle subframe are part of the M-specific chassis. Unique to these two M cars is the fact that the signature front diagonal strut braces are now placed behind the front intercooler. They are not visible anymore through the kidney grilles.
- Ten-stage M Drift Control is all we wanted
According to BMW M, the new optional M Drive Professional has been released specifically for track driving, but that is not all. The kit includes the new M Traction Control, which allows the new integrated wheel slip limitation function of the DSC system to be adjusted (through ten stages) to all more slip if you need it. You might remember this feature from the Mercedes-AMG GT R and McLaren 720S.
Other elements of M Drive Professional are the M Drift Analyser, which records and rates you while going sideways and the M Laptimer, which supplies lap times and other information generated during track sessions. The drift analyser notes down the duration (in time), line and angle of the driver’s latest drift. The rating shown on the Control Display is made up of a mark between one and five stars and a comparison with the driver’s best demonstration yet of steering on the throttle.
In other words, you can now have a drift battle with your mates and record how well you guys can go sideways while making your way through M Town or Mexico. Can we please have this feature on every M car, BMW?
- M Race Track package is new
M Race Track Package offers a reduction in weight of about 25 kgs. This package includes M Carbon ceramic brakes, weight-minimized M light-alloy wheels (available as an option with semi-slick tires) and the M Carbon bucket seats. Other options in the package which are market depended are the M Driver’s package and the carbon high gloss interior package.
- M Driver’s package = 290 km/h (185 mph)
The M Driver’s package raises the top speed of the new BMW M3 Sedan and new BMW M4 Coupé to 290 km/h (180 mph).
- New color pallet
The communication colors for the M3 and M4 are respectively Isle of Man Green metallic and Sao Paulo Yellow non-metallic. People can also order the cars in Toronto Red metallic. Other colors available at launch will be Alpine White non-metallic, Sapphire Black metallic, Skyscraper Grey metallic, Brooklyn Grey metallic and Portimao Blue metallic.
BMW Individual paint shades are also available from launch. Customers who opt for the Competition models can choose for the newly designed M exterior mirrors and a rear spoiler to be in body color, plus chrome tailpipes.
- New M Carbon exterior package
M Carbon exterior package is also available as an option. The parts included in the package are wide front air intakes, a rear diffuser – with unique geometry for each model – and exterior mirror caps and a rear spoiler made from gloss carbon fiber.
- Colorful interior trims
Both cars come as standard with newly developed M sport seats, which offer height-adjustable head rests, length-adjustable base and fine-grain Merino leather trim. This leather trim, like the optional fine-grain Merino full leather trim, is available in Black with accents in Anthracite, Silverstone/Black with accents in Anthracite, Kyalami Orange/Black with accents in Black and Yas Marina Blue/Black with accents in Yellow.
Another option is the BMW Individual full leather trim in Fjord Blue/Black, Fiona Red/Black, Tartufo or Ivory White.
- M Carbon bucket seats shed 9.6 kgs
The M Carbon bucket seats are a new addition to the M3 and M4 option list. The newly developed seats have integral head restraints and an illuminated model badge. The use of carbon parts positioned between your legs and on the backrest are an absolute feast for carbon fetishists.
The cut-outs in the side bolsters and below the head restraints complement the seat package offering 9.6 kilograms in weight saving over the two standard M sport seats. The buckets are only available with automatic controls. Manual seat control is not available.
- M Carbon bucket seats set up for track use
In track outings, when the driver and front passenger are planning to wear a helmet, the head restraints of the M Carbon bucket seats can be dismantled. You also have the option of using optional multi-point seat belts. Electric adjustment for the seat height and angle, the seat’s fore/aft position, the backrest width and backrest angle is also included. The driver’s seat has a memory function. The seat position can be set even lower than the standard M sport seats.
- M paddle shifters fitted with braille
The M interior carbon package offers a carbon steering wheel part and carbon parts on the dashboard, alongside carbon paddle shifters, which have a peculiar pattern of raised and lowered dots on the back of the shifters normally only required by visual impaired people in need of braille.
- M Performance range is going bold
The new range of M Performance parts of the G80 M3 and G82 M4 offers an even bolder expressive styling than the stock vehicles offer from the production floor. A wider variety of aftermarket parts is available to enhance your new M car.
- M Performance Kidney grille in carbon fibre
- M Performance Aero flics in carbon fibre left/right
- M Performance Gills in carbon fibre left/right
- M Performance Exhaust system
- M Performance Exterior mirror caps in carbon fibre left/right
- M Performance Side skirt attachments in carbon fibre left/right
- M Performance Rear wing in carbon fibre
- M Performance Rear spoiler in carbon fibre
- M Performance Rear diffusor in carbon fibre
- M Performance Rear apron attachments in carbon fibre left/right
- M Performance Carbon ceramic brakes
- M Performance Fuel filler cap in carbon fibre
- 20-inch/21-inch M Performance forged wheels Cross-spoke 1000 M Frozen Gold, summer complete wheel set
- 20-inch/21-inch M Performance forged wheels Cross-spoke 1000 M Jet Black matt, summer complete wheel set
- 19-inch/20-inch M Performance forged wheels Y-spoke 963 M FrozenGunmetal Grey, summer complete wheel set
- 19-inch M Performance light-alloy wheels Double-spoke 829 M Jet Black matt, winter complete wheel set
- M Performance Tyre bags
- M Performance Steering wheel
- M Performance Steering wheel cover in carbon fibre/Alcantara
- M Performance Steering wheel cover in carbon fibre/leather
- M Performance Gearshift paddles in carbon fibre
- M Performance Interior trim strips in carbon fibre/Alcantara
- M Performance Door sill strips
- M Performance Floor mats
- M Performance Logos for LED door projectors
- M Performance Key case in Alcantara/in carbon fibre