BMW reveals new M4
What's the news?
We get very excited around here when there's a new BMW M model due, but it's the M3 that excites us the most and though you're not technically looking at an M3, that's what the new M4 Coupé is in spirit. Not that you're looking at the M4 either, as this is actually the 'Concept M4 Coupé' rather than the finished product. It makes its world debut this week at the Pebble Beach extravaganza before being shipped over to Frankfurt for the motor show next month.
This concept is all about the exterior design and it's nothing short of spectacular. The M4 takes the well-worn path of the M division in terms of adding a serious dose of aggression without too much in the way of obvious spoilers. Despite that, much of the bodywork is bespoke. At the front, a deeper, heavily sculpted bumper seems to be made up more of cooling vents than plastic, and it's underlined by a carbon fibre splitter. At the extremities are stylised versions of BMW's new Air Curtain slots, which, in conjunction with the (even more stylised) Air Breather outlets in the front wings reduce drag and air disruption around the wheel wells. The M4 also adopts the M5/M6's double-bar kidney grille design, which houses the M4 badge. Above that there's a suitably large bonnet bulge.
We're glad to see the characteristic carbon fibre roof making a return, and for the concept the weave features three stripes in the M division colours. Below that there are muscular side sills, flared arches and distinctly open 20-inch alloy wheels in a double five-spoke design. Behind them you'll find carbon ceramic brakes with body colour matched callipers - though we'd be (pleasantly) surprised if these brakes are standard on the production model. Round the back there's a subtle lip spoiler at the trailing edge of the boot, which will go unnoticed next to the new bumper, quad tailpipe layout and rear aerodynamic diffuser. There are copious amounts of unpainted carbon fibre in all this too. Which we like.
We also like the stunning 'Aurum Dust' paint, which is a neat nod to that distinctive Dakar Yellow colour used on the E46 BMW M3 (Aurum is the Latin for gold incidentally).
No technical details have been released for the M4 Coupé as yet. It's generally believed that the car will be powered by a twin-turbocharged straight-six petrol engine and we estimate peak power to be around 450hp. No doubt there'll be an electronically controlled limited slip rear differential as standard and the option of adaptive damping. We're really hoping that BMW will continue to offer a manual version of the new M4, alongside the bigger-selling M-DCT variant (BMW's dual-clutch automatic) and we do wonder if xDrive four-wheel drive will find its way under the body at some stage.
Clearly BMW isn't giving up on its iconic M3 name just yet. We're attending a technical workshop on the next generation BMW M3 technology next month so it has to be assumed that there will be a new BMW M3 saloon. Could there be a Touring version this time around as well? You'll be the first to know...
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