BMW’s long-awaited next-generation 2021 M3 sedan and M4 coupes will both debut in September. Beemer fans can rejoice as the cars will use a new 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six engine with a base 480 horsepower—stepping up to 510 hp. The M3 and M4 will be available in both regular and Competition forms. The base version will have 480 horsepower and manual transmission, while the Competition will get 510 horses and an eight-speed automatic. This set up makes BMW the only performance cars in their segments available with a manual transmission. Something that is sure to excite performance fans. BMW also ticked the box for the M3 and M4 having an optional all-wheel drive as well. The M-optimized xDrive system will be optional on the Competition trim, and the AWD models will be revealed sometime after the regular rear-drive cars. The new M3 will boast the latest 3-Series’ stroke-dependent damper technology, to go with a wider track and a new bespoke adaptive suspension system.
The new M3 will ride on BMW’s CLAR platform, which means it should be lighter and more agile than the previous model. The advanced CLAR donor platform also underpins the latest 3- and 4-series and is stiffer, approximately 50kg lighter, and more competent in terms of handling, road holding and ride. The M cars will get the same massive grille as the regular 4 Series widened fenders, both front, and rear. They are more substantial side sills, a small trunk lid spoiler, a different rear bumper quad tailpipes set into aggressive rear diffusers, and massive wheels and performance tires. Expect a palate of adventurous paint options.
Interior wise, blue and red M-colored stitching, sports pedals, and drive mode selectors similar to what’s on the M5 are expected. Along with high bolstered front seats and unique color that comes with trim options for the M models, it also comes with carbon fiber inserts and lots of metal trim. All creature comforts abound, including a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and a 10.25-inch infotainment display.
The new M3 will ride on BMW’s CLAR platform, which means it should be lighter and more agile than the previous model. The advanced CLAR donor platform, also underpins the latest 3- and 4-series and is stiffer, approximately 50kg lighter and more competent in terms of handling
The biggest news for fan of the German marque is the availability of a manual transmission- in this case, a 6-speed manual gearbox.
“We are aware there is a large fan base of M cars around the world, and we will do all we can to excite them and everything we can do not to disappoint them,” said BMW M division chief Carsten Piers in an interview with Auto Express magazine.
Teaming up with transmission is the new S58 engine, as found on the BMW X3 M and X4 M. It is a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter straight-six, with 480 horsepower in the base M3, and 510 HO in the M3 Competition. Everything will be sent to the road via a rear-wheel biased all-wheel-drive system. An electronically-controlled M differential will be supplied for optimum traction and grip.
The M3 and M4 will also feature redesigned suspension, tuned kinematics, recalibrated springs and dampers, thicker anti-roll bars, and notably tauter mounting points. Drive models include a Sport, Sport Plus, and Normal. The BMW M Steptronic with Drivelogic r on the new M3/M4 is the M xDrive all-wheel-drive system, which promises to shave two-tenths off the 0-62mph time while offering the dynamic spectrum from safe AWD to lurid RWD. The exact number, relayed off the record, is 3.8sec 0-62mph, which should improve to 3.6sec and even 3.4sec respectively as the more potent engines become available. By specifying the M driver’s package, the top speed of 155mph can be increased to 175mph. The M4 CSL will nuzzle up to the 200mph barrier, sources say.
Rivals include the Mercedes-AMG C 63 and C 63 S, of course, as well as the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, Audi RS4, and Cadillac’s upcoming CT4-V and CT5-V Blackwing variants. The M3 is projected to cost more than the old M3 sedan was priced from $64,195 (US) when it was still on sale. The new BMW M3 and M4 will be on sale in late 2020 or early 2021.