35 years since the first M3 was launched BMW is ready to launch its latest iteration of it. This is probably the most controversial one yet. With a snout that is very much a love it or hate it styling exercise, I for one don’t love it but have grown accustomed to it. It is not so bad especially with the number plate in place which sort of breaks it. The rest of the bodywork is typically aggressive, with flared arches, vents and additional air intakes as well as the traditional 4 exhaust tailpipes. There is also a host of extra M bits and bobs that can be added if you feel it’s not aggressive enough. There is an optional central exhaust set up with 3 tailpipes!. Once again looks are subjective and you can decide whether you like it or not.
When it comes to an M car this is what matters. I am not really interested in the 0-100kmh times as much anymore as most of this class does it in 4-5 seconds. For sake of completeness, I will quote them anyway. The standard M3/4 does it in 4.2 seconds while the competition variants need only 3.9 seconds. Drivability has always been more important to me. Where BMW has always tended to shine has been under the bonnet. I don’t foresee it being very different this time around. Powering the new M cars is a smooth twin-turbo straight 6 with a 3.0l capacity. In standard trim, it puts out a healthy 353kw/480hp and 550Nm. In competition-spec its boosted to an even healthier 375kw/510hp and 650Nm. Redline is set to 7200rpm.
Power is sent to the rear wheels via the 8-speed M Steptronic transmission on the competition models. The xDrive 4 wheel drive system will be available later on, this is a first on the M3/M4. Unique to the current market segment is the 6-speed manual you can get with the base M3/M4 which should add to the driver engagement. The M division has spent quite a considerable amount of time tuning the chassis and suspension to create a vehicle that is both dynamic and comfortable. There is now also much wider tyres and tracks than previous generation M cars. All the upgrades and improvements should make a pretty decent handling car.
On the inside, the new M3 and M4 carry over most of the interior from the rest of the 3/4 series range. However, there are quite a bit of additional M goodies like buttons on steering wheel, aluminium pedals and some bespoke graphic on the digital display. The two M buttons that adorn the steering can be configured to your personal preferences like engine mode, TC etc and are used as shortcuts. Once again if you dive into the M option catalogue there is a vast range of personal options to customize your M car. Everything from the specific colour leather to carbon bucket seats.