BMW has confirmed it will unwrap the new M3 and M4 models at the Frankfurt Show in September.
Both models will be powered by same twin-turbo six-cylinder engine seem in the X3M and X4M, boasting power outputs of 480bhp and 510bhp in the Competition version. It’s a move that reflects Mercedes-AMG’s two-tier engine strategy.
Base versions of the new M3 will be purely rear-wheel drive, while pricier M xDrive all-wheel-drive variants will include the same 2WD toggle mode as the M5 and M8.
More enticingly, BMW is planning entry-level M3 and M4 variants, sold as reduced-to-the-max drivers’ cars.
The internal nickname is M3 and M4 Pure, which sums up their role as no-frills, back-to-the-roots extensions of the range. They’ll have a little less power than the plusher models, 454bhp rather than 474bhp, but they’ll be the only M3/M4 variants without the otherwise standard eight-speed automatic transmission, and M xDrive system will be off limits too.
The Pure is the only M3/M4 offered with a manual gearbox because BMW has no stickshift that can handle more than 480lb ft – which higher-grade versions will exceed. Said torque comes from a twin-turbo 3.0-litre straight-six dubbed S58, the most sophisticated in-line six-cylinder unit ever conceived by the M division.
It’s fitted with water-injection to cool the high combustion temperatures, and with a new petrol particulate filter to placate emissions watchdogs.
As for the M3’s two-door M4 sibling, the M4 cabriolet switches from metal to soft top when it launches late next year. Over time, M division intends to launch three additional go-faster M4s.
The M4 Competition (expected 2021) benefits from more aggressive boost pressure, higher compression ratio, a more voluminous intake manifold and a less restrictive exhaust to pump out 503bhp, thus matching the C63 S AMG.