- 2021 BMW M3 sedan and M4 Coupe sport a fresh new look

New look M3 and M4 revealed ahead of launch early next year

With a look that's sure to polarise fans of the traditional hallmarks of the BMW M3 and M4, next year's more powerful models have been revealed.

THE latest generation high performance sports sedan and coupé from BMW M feature all-new motorsport-inspired platforms, powertrains and dynamic designs, and are set to be offered in rear wheel drive (at launch) and with M xDrive all-wheel drive, in Competition form.

There will also be a choice of 6-speed manual and 8-speed Streptronic automatic transmissions in the standard M3 and M4, with the BMW M TwinPower turbo six-cylinder in-line powerplant offering 353kW (473hp) of power and 550Nm of torque.

It will sprint to 100km/h (0-62mph) in 4.2 seconds. But step up to the Competition specification, which arrives late in 2021, and you can haul booty all the way to 100km/h (0-62mph) in just 3.9 seconds, thanks to a performance boost that offers up 375kW (503hp) and 650Nm (coupled with an auto transmission).

Vital statistics aside, the new look is sure to polarise fans of the BMW high performance models, with the front end the most controversial feature of what are the fastest and most powerful M3 and M4 ever offered.

But if you can look past that grille (pun intended), you should know that the next gen M3 and M4 feature a new BMW M Drive Professional system, which includes features such as M Traction Control and M Drift Analyser (yes it will teach you how to drift better).

2021 BMW M3 (Competition)

2021 BMW M3 (Competition)

When it arrives early next year, buyers will have also the option of M Carbon bucket seats, which feature structure-based design, lightweight construction and integral head restraints that can be dismantled for track driving .

Both models, which were unveiled today, combine segment leading performance backed by four decades of racetrack knowledge and new generation styling packages that provide dominant and unmistakable presence.

Now more powerful than ever, the significant dynamic advances made over their predecessors are the product of a typically M development and tuning process conducted in part alongside testing for the new BMW M4 GT3 race car.

Further common ground between the new BMW M cars is found in the spectrum of emotions sparked by their powertrain and chassis, visually expressive design and new, M-specific control and operation system.

These range from the joy of driving a car so capable over long distances yet so dynamically adept in everyday use, to the thrill of a sporting machine let off the leash on race circuits.

Inside the 2021 BMW M3 (Competition)

Inside the 2021 BMW M3 (Competition)

Two turbochargers with indirect charge air cooling, a flow-optimised air intake system and a petrol direct injection system working with maximum pressure of 350 bar help to generate the engine’s instantaneous power delivery, appetite for revs, and pure excitement.

A model-specific exhaust system with electrically controlled flaps provides an emotionally rich soundtrack.

A bespoke cooling system ensures optimal operating temperatures are maintained at all times for all powertrain components – in everyday driving over short distances and through town, but also when pushing to the limits of performance on the track.

BMW M's track focused development of the new models also translates to increased chassis rigidity, improved body control, and precisely controllable handling.

Adaptive M suspension with electronically-controlled shock absorbers and M-specific kinematics and elastokinematics for the front and rear axles are standard features of the new BMW M3 Sedan and new BMW M4 Coupé.

Inside the 2021 BMW M3 (Competition) - overseas model shown

Inside the 2021 BMW M3 (Competition) - overseas model shown

They also have M Servotronic steering with a variable ratio and an M-specific version of the integrated braking system, which presents the driver with two different brake response and pedal feel settings.

In addition, the standard inclusion of M Dynamic Mode opens the door to a particularly sporty driving experience, complete with controlled drifting ability. Standard specification also features 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.

It would be remiss of us to not cover off on the distinctive body design of the new BMW M3 sedan and BMW M4 coupé, which according to the M division, sends out a bolder statement than ever of the performance supremacy and emotionally engaging driving experience on offer.

Contributors to the visually striking appearance of the two models include the M-specific version of the large, vertical BMW kidney grille with horizontal bars, the powerfully sculpted wheel arches with eye-catching M gills and the prominently extended side sills with attachment parts for the front and rear aprons.

The sedan and coupé also have a roof made from carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) with aerodynamically optimised fins, a rear spoiler and the two pairs of large exhaust tailpipes that are now a customary feature of M cars.

2021 BMW M4 (Competition) delivers 375kW and 650Nm

2021 BMW M4 (Competition) delivers 375kW and 650Nm

BMW Laserlight is fitted as standard equipment, allowing a high-beam range of more than 500 metres.

The selection of exterior paint finishes includes the new and exclusive shades 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 be ordered from launch.

Among the interior design highlights are clearly structured surfaces and an ergonomically impeccable cockpit design that ensure the driver’s focus remains one hundred per cent on the intense driving experience.

Newly developed, electrically adjustable M sport seats and fine-grain Merino leather trim with extended features come as standard, with seat ventilation also available for the first time.

The control and display system of the new BMW M3 Sedan and new BMW M4 Coupé comprises an array of new features which play their role in the cars’ supremely engaging driving experience.

2021 BMW M4 (Competition)

2021 BMW M4 (Competition)

M Drive Professional, which makes its debut on the new models, has been conceived specifically for track driving. It includes the innovative 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 and worthy of the M badge.

Interior colours abound in the 2021 BMW M4 (Competition)

Interior colours abound in the 2021 BMW M4 (Competition)

The driver can choose from ROAD and SPORT settings, with the TRACK mode developed for outings on race circuits added to the armoury.

An array of new additions to the standard and optional equipment lists ensure the new BMW M3 Sedan and new BMW M4 Coupé raise the bar further not only in terms of racing flair but also comfort and functionality.

Cutting-edge driver assistance systems ease the driver’s workload in monotonous or unclear situations on the road.

Both competition models come standard with Driving Assistant Professional including Steering and Lane Control Assistant, Active Cruise Control, Cross Traffic Warning for front and rear, Lane Departure Warning and Lane Change Warning.

Also standard is Parking Assistant Plus with Parking Assistance, Surround View and Reversing Assistant, the BMW Head-Up Display with M-specific content and the Speed Limit Info road sign detection system.

Make some noise... the 2021 BMW M3 (Competition) will be loud and angry

Make some noise... the 2021 BMW M3 (Competition) will be loud and angry

Further standard equipment include Comfort Access System for keyless entry, three-zone automatic climate control, LED interior lighting including ambient lighting, and a 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround sound system to enhance comfort in everyday driving and over longer journeys.

BMW Live Cockpit Professional – with its fully digital display grouping, cloud-based navigation system BMW Maps and the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant – is also fitted as standard on the new BMW M3 Sedan and new BMW M4 Coupé.

Additionally, updated wireless smartphone integration enables the use of both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto via the car’s operating system.

A steel roof with integral glass tilt/sliding sunroof is available as a no-cost option for both models as an alternative to the standard carbon-fibre version.

Local pricing and full specifications (including colour range), will be confirmed closer to the official launch of the 2021 BMW M3 sedan and M4 coupe. This story first published on Exhaust Notes Australia as "BMW reveals bold new M3 sedan and M4 coupe ahead of 2021 arrival ".

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Comments (86)

  • The grille is one of those instances that make me say: “Why??” Why did they do that? Why did the design boss approve?

      29 days ago
    • A bold statement the boss of BMW M calls it, with a hint of tradition... the rest of the world is mostly going... why?

        29 days ago
    • I am still scratching my head.

        29 days ago
  • F80 M3 values just hardened...

      29 days ago
  • The funniest thing about every photo with these cars is they throw number plates on them before photographing them. Since when did manufacturers every photograph cars with number plates?

      29 days ago
  • Hm. Maybe Alpina could do something with their cars to dial back that... bold design.

      29 days ago
    • Definitely bold. Brave even. Will be interesting to see what Alpina does with the new M3 and M4, given they'll have a bit of time to think about how they work with them.

        29 days ago
    • I’m not averse to car makers really forging out on new ideas, as it stops things from becoming stale. Because I’m becoming an old grump, I guess I would like something less shouty.

        29 days ago
  • I see where they got their inspiration

      28 days ago

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