The new BMW M3 Competition Sedan and BMW M4 Competition Coupe are now available in South Africa. This photo gallery includes pictures taken on location in the Western Cape. And as you’d expect, they’re breathtaking. The G80 M3 and G82 M4 are some of the most controversial cars in the world at the moment, for any brand, and its design is what’s causing the division. So far, in most polls we’ve run, there is an even split between likes and dislikes. For every customer appalled by the new design direction, there is one that embraces the revolutionary design approach, despite its controversy. But the jury is still out on whether this new M3/M4 will be successful and the first checkpoint will be in 2022.
As you can see in the images below, both cars are polarizing and will certainly stand out on any roads. In our experience, they have a lot of presence when seen in real life and they certainly don’t look boring. And that’s exactly what some of us have complained about with the previous generation Fx models which were often deemed as being “too safe” in terms of design.
But the full story is the performance of the G80 M3/G82 M4. And that’s something that most journalists have agreed on: the duo delivers on the promise of the Ultimate Driving Machine, despite being heavier than ever. The running heart is the S58 engine, which specifically enhanced by the BMW M division using the B58 unit as starting point. The straight-six petrol engine is offered in two output stages. The entry-level M3 and M4 models receive the 353 kW / 480 PS (473 hp) iteration of the powertrain, whereas the range-topping Competition versions are powered by the 375 kW / 510 PS (503 hp) version of the S58 unit.
Power delivery is performed either via six-speed manual gearbox or an 8-speed M Steptronic transmission with M Drivelogic management unit. The output essentially reaches the rear-axle wheels for both the 480 PS and the 510 PS Competition variants.
Most journalists have also praised the chassis and the suspension of the new M cars. The stiffness of the M chassis is immediately noticeable, and also possible thanks to the new M suspension system making use of kinematics and elastokinematics architecture for the front and rear axle, which are standard equipment and offer an optimal level of predictability and lateral support. Furthermore, the M Servotronic steering system with variable ratio and the M-specific braking system deliver outstanding handling and safety characteristics. The wheel slip limitation function added to the DSC system for the first time increases the driving precision.
The new BMW M4 Coupe generation brings in a total novelty: the M Drive Professional system, developed specifically with racetrack driving in mind. The technology incorporates an array of solutions as follows: M Traction Control, M Drift Analyzer and M Laptimer.
The M Traction Control allows complete freedom in adjusting the wheel slip limitation function of the DSC system to cater the driver’s preferences and needs in up to ten stages. The newly introduced M Drift Analyzer function is used to capture the relevant data related to dynamic cornering actions on the race track. Finally, the M Laptimer records and displays the times performed during track sessions, together with other data of significant importance.
Overall, despite some shortcomings, the new generation M3/M4 is an improvement over the F8x models. Gone is the hooligan feeling of the previous M3, but the new car is certainly more potent on the track, and absolutely easier to live with as a daily driver. And in the end, that’s what most new M products are: a great daily driving machine and a beast on the track in the weekends.