The long-awaited G80 BMW M3 and G82 M4 will be unveiled in mid-September, and Munich has begun opening the floodgates of information regarding its new high-performance sedan and coupé. The company promises a significant increase in performance thanks to improvements to the chassis, brakes and engine.
Much of what’s new is under the bonnet. The S58 engine has been lifted from the X3 and X4 M, and while the twin-turbo straight-six still displaces 3.0 litres, it’s a brand new unit that, in standard form, produces an extra 49 PS at 480 PS. Purists will be delighted to know that a six-speed manual gearbox and rear-wheel drive will come as standard, although Autocar reports that an eight-speed automatic will also be available.
For those looking for a bit more pep, BMW is offering a Competition model at launch, bumping outputs to 510 PS and 650 Nm of torque. This one, however, is fitted exclusively with the slushbox, with an M xDrive all-wheel-drive system set to be offered as an option later on. The latter will likely be derived from the M5 and M8, replete with a rear-drive mode for maximum skids.
Underpinning the car will be an M-specific chassis setup with upgraded suspension, springs, dampers and braking. As for the visual enhancements, the M3 and M4 will share a common front end, and that means the sedan will adopt the coupé’s massive (and hugely contentious) double kidney grille, along with the trapezoidal headlights that are split from the grille.
Other expected changes include larger front air intakes, more muscular fender bulges to hide the wider 19-inch alloy wheels, M-specific wing mirrors and a rear diffuser with the obligatory (and real) quad tailpipes. Inside, the cars will feature the M8’s Setup button that controls the individual settings of the engine, gearbox, drivetrain and suspension, while Competition models will get racy carbon fibre bucket seats.
Autocar also reports that the M4 lineup will be expanded this generation. In addition to the usual Coupé and Convertible variants, the car will also be offered as a four-door Gran Coupé for the first time, mirroring the M8’s range of body styles.
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