If there is one misconception about the new 2021 BMW M3 and M4 is that the two M brothers were built and designed for the Chinese market. But today, in a meeting with BMW M, we learned that, as expected, the U.S. market and customers are the real target for the G80 M3 and G82 M4. Nearly 45 percent of future G80 M3 customers are expected to come from the United States (40 percent) and Canada (5 percent). Out of those, 12 percent are more likely to grab the standard rear-wheel drive M3, 28 percent of them the M3 Competition RWD and the rest 60 percent will likely opt for the M3 Competition with M xDrive.

The second market share is reserved for the United Kingdom (14 percent), followed by the Germany with 7 percent. The sales in China are expected to represent a market share of 6 percent, same as Australia, and ahead of Japan at 4 percent. The G82 M4 Coupe seems to be less popular in North America with a projected market share of 34 percent – 30% for the US. The UK again comes second with 18 percent, preceding Germany (12 percent), China (11 percent) and Japan (5 percent).

The model split is similar to the G80 M3 sedan. 8 percent of customers are expected to take ownership of the rear-wheel drive M4, while 29 percent could be interested in the M4 Competition model. The largest market share by models is reserved for the M4 Competition with all-wheel drive.

At the height of the pandemic in 2020, we sat down for a Zoom interview with Domagoj Dukec, BMW Head of Design. We asked him point-blank if the massive and controversial kidney grille was designed with the Chinese market in mind. “We don’t design cars for specific markets,” Dukec said at the time. “Of course, we look at the trends and influences in different markets, but in the end, we are a global company and with a global lineup,” added the chief designer.

BMW has also emphasized over the last few months during many formal and informal discussions with us that this new direction in design aims to shake up the revolutionary design approach we’ve seen in the past decade. For years, many BMW customers have asked for a broader differentiation in design, moving away from the stigma of “same sausage, different lengths.” And if there is one thing that’s clear is that the new M3 and M4 will have no problem standing out in the BMW lineup, or even on the road among other brands.