The all-new BMW M3 and M4 have been officially revealed, bringing fresh styling and uprated engines and, for the first time, all-wheel drive in certain models.
The unveiling has confirmed one of the most talked about design elements in recent BMW history – the vertically stretched kidney grille that extends deep into the lower front bumper. The new kidney grille is a subject of much controversy, but here it is and it’s sure to take a little while to get used to. Nevertheless, its road presence is surely unmistakable.
Arriving in Q1, 2021, the M3 sedan and M4 coupe are highly configurable, with both models powered by a formidable six-cylinder in-line engine with BMW M TwinPower Turbo in two states of tune depending on the transmission offering.
In a move that will please pure driving enthusiasts, the M3 and M4 will continue to be offered with a six-speed manual transmission, which is unique in the segment. These models will deliver a peak torque of 550Nm all the way from 2,650 to 6,130rpm. Its maximum output of 353kW is available at 6,250rpm. The rear-wheel drive models can dash from 0 to 100km/h in 4.2 seconds.
The M3 and M4 Competition models lift power and torque levels to 375kW at 7200rpm and 650Nm from 2,750 to 5,500rpm. Featuring an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission, the standard sprint time for the rear-wheel drive Competition models is just 3.9 seconds.
The M3 and M4 will be rear-wheel-drive only, while the M3 and M4 Competition will be joined by all-wheel drive variants in late 2021, marking the first time the BMW xDrive system is used in the M3 and M4.
Transferring power to the tarmac are the forged M light-alloy wheels – in 19-inch format at the front axle and 20-inch at the rear. Tyres are 275/35 ZR19 at the front and 285/30 ZR20 at the rear.
Making first debut in the new M3 and M4 is the M Drive Professional which brings a host of new performance driving features and customisation options. Conceived specifically for track driving, it includes the new M Traction Control, which allows the new integrated wheel slip limitation function of the DSC system to be adjusted (through 10 stages) to the driver’s personal preferences and needs.
Other elements of M Drive Professional are the M Drift Analyser, which records and rates driving stats posted in dynamic cornering manoeuvres, and the M Laptimer, which supplies lap times and other information generated during track sessions.
The Setup button on the centre console provides direct access to the settings options for the engine, chassis, steering and braking system, plus – depending on the model and specification – the M xDrive system, Gear Shift Assistant and traction control.
Two individually composed configurations for the overall vehicle setup can then be stored and called up again instantaneously at any time using the M buttons on the steering wheel.
The control panel on the centre console also houses the M Mode button as standard. This can be used to adjust the responses and characteristics of the driver assistance systems and the displays in the instrument cluster and Head-Up Display to deliver a driving experience suited to the situation at hand.
The driver can choose from ROAD and SPORT settings, with the TRACK mode developed for outings on race circuits added to the armoury.
The 2021 BMW M3 and M4 will be available in the new and exclusive shades of Sao Paulo Yellow non-metallic, Toronto Red metallic and Isle of Man Green metallic. An optional M Carbon exterior package and model-specific BMW M Performance Parts can also be ordered from launch.
Specification and pricing (before on-road costs) for the 2021 BMW M3 and M4 launch line-up is listed below.
BMW M3 ($144,900) and M4 ($149,900) specification highlights:
- M TwinPower Turbo inline 6-cylinder petrol engine
- 6-speed Manual transmission
- Rear Wheel Drive
- 19”/20” M forged wheels with performance tyres
- M Carbon Fibre roof
- M Compound Brakes in Blue with M lettering
- M Drive Professional
- Active M Differential
- Tyre pressure indicator
- Tyre repair kit
- Adaptive M Suspension
- Alarm system
- Comfort Access system#
- Automatic tailgate operation
- BMW Laserlight
- High beam assistant
- BMW Individual Lights Shadow Line
- Interior and exterior mirror package
- Through loading system
- Storage compartment package
- M Sport Seats
- Seat adjustment, electric with memory for driver’s seat
- Lumbar support for driver and front passenger
- Seat heating for driver and front passenger
- M Seat belts
- Interior trim finishers ‘Carbon Fibre’ incl. carbon inserts in steering wheel
- Galvanic embellishers for controls
- Ambient light
- Automatic air conditioning
- Driving Assistant##
- Parking Assistant Plus
- BMW Head-Up Display
- Live Cockpit Professional
- ConnectedDrive services
- Connected Package Professional incl. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- DAB+ Digital Radio
- Harman / Kardon surround sound system
- Wireless smartphone charging
- Leather ‘Merino’ with extended contents
- Metallic paintwork
# BMW Digital Key not available with manual transmission
## Driving Assistant Professional not available with manual transmission
BMW M3 Competition ($154,900) and M4 Competition ($159,900) feature the following in addition to M3 and M4:
- Comfort Access incl. BMW Digital Key
- Driving Assistant Professional
- 8-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic
- Carbon gearshift paddles on steering wheel
- Full leather ‘Merino’ upholstery
A range of options allows customers to personalise their M3 and M4.
- M Carbon ceramic brakes, which deliver enhanced heat dissipation for high level racetrack performance ($16,500)
- M Carbon exterior package, which includes carbon fibre front bumper, mirror caps, rear spoiler and diffuser ($9,500)
- Lightweight M Carbon bucket seats, which reduce weight by 9.6kg and feature a structure-based design and integral head restraints that can be dismantled for track driving ($7,500)
- M Carbon Package, which combines M Carbon bucket seats, M Carbon exterior package and M Carbon ceramic brakes ($26,000)
- Track tyres: Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2+ or Pirelli P Zero Corsa+ ($2,000)