BMW previews the new M4 with a concept car for the Tokyo motor show
Mark Tisshaw
15 August 2013

The BMW Concept M4 Coupe, to be shown at the Tokyo motor show, previews the firm's hotly anticipated new M4 coupe. Shown earlier this year at the Pebble Beach show in California, it offers a thinly veiled look at a production version that will launch at the Detroit motor show in January.

It is tipped to reach the UK in mid-2014, priced around £60,000. 

Although officially billed as a design study, BMW have previously revealed that the car will return to straight-six power, ditching the V8 of its M3 coupé predecessor. The engine that the production version will share with the next-gen M3 will offer up 424bhp from its twin-turbo 3.0-litre unit and develop "significantly more than 369lb ft".

No performance figures have been announced, but insiders suggest a 4.5sec 0-62mph is possible.

Drive will be sent to the rear wheels through BMW M’s seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, essentially the same transmission as found in the M5 and M6. A manual version is understood to be off the cards for the first time in the M3’s history. A four-wheel drive version was understood to be considered but was rejected by M.

As the 3-series coupé adopts the new 4-series name for its latest generation, so the M3 version adopts the M4 name. The M4 name will be used for the coupe and as-yet unseen cabriolet and Gran Coupe (four-door) versions of BMW’s new staple M car, with the M3 name remaining for the 3-series-based four-door saloon that will also be shown in Detroit.

The redesigned front-end includes larger front air takes, a new bumper, a splitter fashioned from carbonfibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP), a black kidney grille, LED headlights, a ‘powerdome’ bonnet and vertical air intakes in the front wheel arches to cool the carbon ceramic brakes.

The M4 is equipped with bi-colour 20-inch lightweight alloy wheels in BMW M’s traditional twin five-spoke design. Other lightweight features include a roof made from CFRP (designed to lower the centre of gravity), a material that’s also used for the rear diffuser. BMW is trying to get the M4’s kerb weight as close to the 1500kg mark as possible. 

Also at the rear is a downforce-producing lip spoiler integrated into the bootlid, sets of twin carbonfibre tailpipes at each corner, a new bumper and subtly redesigned taillights.

Another strong design feature is the strong character line on the side, emphasising the M gill air intake. This is not only to give a "sporty statement", as BMW puts it, it also helps channel the air down the side of the car, working with the vertical air intakes ahead of the front wheel arches. 

BMW has yet to reveal the M4’s interior, but the usual M upgrades, including new sports seats, a new steering wheel and bespoke M aluminium and carbonfibre trim, can be expected.

Reworked suspension geometry, three-stage dynamic damping control and the adoption of electro-mechanical steering for the first time are among the spec highlights, alongside the latest version of BMW M’s mechanical differential. 

Our Verdict

BMW M4

New name, new engine and two turbos and even a much needed facelift, the main question lingers - can the BMW M4 grab the initiative off of the Mercedes-AMG C 63 Coupé

Join the debate

Comments
56

15 August 2013

"A manual version is understood to be off the cards for the first time in the M3’s history."  Are they serious?

"450 HP".  When Audi has a 4-liter Turbo V-8 that gives 560 HP, what are they thinking?

"0-62 in about 4.5 sec."  Yeah, right.  So does a Bentley.

And Corvette is coming on like gang-busters in the States, with a manual transmission: 3.6 sec 0-60, 460 max HP with 340 HP at 4,000 RPM; 1.03g on the skid-pad; braking from 60 at 107 feet; and price is $55,000. 

You're going to have to  do better, BMW....

----------------

seb

15 August 2013

It's not about 0-60 time or maximum bhp anymore. It's more about feel, and this BMW knows how to get right.

15 August 2013

NMGOM wrote:

"A manual version is understood to be off the cards for the first time in the M3’s history."  Are they serious?

"450 HP".  When Audi has a 4-liter Turbo V-8 that gives 560 HP, what are they thinking?

"0-62 in about 4.5 sec."  Yeah, right.  So does a Bentley.

And Corvette is coming on like gang-busters in the States, with a manual transmission: 3.6 sec 0-60, 460 max HP with 340 HP at 4,000 RPM; 1.03g on the skid-pad; braking from 60 at 107 feet; and price is $55,000. 

You're going to have to  do better, BMW....

----------------

You talk such total and utter crap and obviously have no idea what BMW are about! The M4 is a prestige 4 seater coupe. The Corveis is a 2 seater sports car! They are not competing in the same segment/for the same customers. BMW have never chase ultimate hp or top speed... They have always about control and handling... Something Audi have only managed with the RS4 and the R8... For all the hp their RS models boast they are never talked of as involving or fine handling cars. Noone will be surprised if the M4 out handles the equivalent Audi or Merc... Of course if big hp is what gets you off then we know where you'll be looking Wink 

And this is from an Audi driver!!! 

16 August 2013

Chillipepper....

Didn't mean to get you so upset.....Relax....have a beer....

1) I am BMW owner, and have two of them.  I do tours and spirited driving, and quite thoroughly understand handling and "feel".  But I am frustrated as hell that BMW continues to languish with low HP output on the 2K-4K end of RPM scale in dyno testing.  If the M4 does not come out with a turbo V-8 (to match the 560 HP 4-liter Audi, not only Corvette), it will be a huge mistake.  What in the world stops BMW from generating decent low-end HP**???

2) M-cars are classed with Corvettes, Ferrari's, and Porsche GT-3's in ALMS racing (GT) and LeMans (SP-9), so for performance, they are meant to be sports-competitive, which they will not be any longer.  Corvette will be left to rule the roost, with SRT Viper drawing a close second.  The reason people have gravitated toward BMW's M-cars is simple: BMW does not put out a real sports car (the 2007 Z4 3.0si, which I have, is a mix of sports car and GT car); and the M-coupes were the best substitute and were run as sports cars in competition. (BMW's lack of a real Boxster/Cayman-style sports car may explain BMW's JDA with Toyota, which also lacks that category.)

3) If people want a "prestige" BMW with good street abilities in handling and modest acceleration, there are plenty of BMW options within the M-performance packages, and even the N55 engine with 330 HP in settings like the 1-series (e.g, 135is).  The M4 may likely be considered more of a 2+2 car, not a true 4-seater, --- it would be awkward one at best. I certainly would not consider an M4-coupe if I wanted great rear-seat comfort and accessibility.

** The Corvette LT1 engine develops 15% more HP and torque at 3,000 RPM; and 30% more HP and torque at 4,000 RPM, compared to even the current BMW M-8 in the M3.  And those RPM's are where corner digging usually occurs...

------------------------------------

16 August 2013

Chillipepper]</p><p>[quote=NMGOM wrote:

"A manual version is understood to be off the cards for the first time in the M3’s history."  Are they serious?

"450 HP".  When Audi has a 4-liter Turbo V-8 that gives 560 HP, what are they thinking?

"0-62 in about 4.5 sec."  Yeah, right.  So does a Bentley.

And Corvette is coming on like gang-busters in the States, with a manual transmission: 3.6 sec 0-60, 460 max HP with 340 HP at 4,000 RPM; 1.03g on the skid-pad; braking from 60 at 107 feet; and price is $55,000. 

You're going to have to  do better, BMW....

----------------

You talk such total and utter crap and obviously have no idea what BMW are about! The M4 is a prestige 4 seater coupe. The Corveis is a 2 seater sports car! They are not competing in the same segment/for the same customers. BMW have never chase ultimate hp or top speed... They have always about control and handling... Something Audi have only managed with the RS4 and the R8... For all the hp their RS models boast they are never talked of as involving or fine handling cars. Noone will be surprised if the M4 out handles the equivalent Audi or Merc... Of course if big hp is what gets you off then we know where you'll be looking Wink 

And this is from an Audi driver!!! 

+1 infinity!

Poor misguided American dude.

16 August 2013

@Chillipepper

Dude, the last M3 Coupe came last out of four on each of the three tracks it was tested on in a known German car magazine. The other contenders were, in order of finish - Porsche 991 (400hp), Corvette (427hp), Audi TT RS (360hp). TTRS came 9! seconds before M3. And the conclusion was - M3 is heavy and understeering. Was E90 M3 faster on the ring compared to E46 M3 CSL? Barely. Only because of larger displacement and more power.

No manual - no fun

15 August 2013

NMGOM wrote:

"A manual version is understood to be off the cards for the first time in the M3’s history."  Are they serious?

"450 HP".  When Audi has a 4-liter Turbo V-8 that gives 560 HP, what are they thinking?

"0-62 in about 4.5 sec."  Yeah, right.  So does a Bentley.

And Corvette is coming on like gang-busters in the States, with a manual transmission: 3.6 sec 0-60, 460 max HP with 340 HP at 4,000 RPM; 1.03g on the skid-pad; braking from 60 at 107 feet; and price is $55,000. 

You're going to have to  do better, BMW....

----------------

16 August 2013


NMGOM wrote:

"A manual version is understood to be off the cards for the first time in the M3’s history."  Are they serious?

"450 HP".  When Audi has a 4-liter Turbo V-8 that gives 560 HP, what are they thinking?

"0-62 in about 4.5 sec."  Yeah, right.  So does a Bentley.

And Corvette is coming on like gang-busters in the States, with a manual transmission: 3.6 sec 0-60, 460 max HP with 340 HP at 4,000 RPM; 1.03g on the skid-pad; braking from 60 at 107 feet; and price is $55,000. 

You're going to have to  do better, BMW....

----------------

That is a staggeringly disingenuous or (most probably) ignorant post. 

- The Audi engine: is from the RS6 which is a totally different class of car.

- The Bentley comment: At least twice the cost of the BMW, and is a totally different class of car.

- The Corvette comment: Doesn't seat four, is not a premium brand product. It has a totally different clientele. BMW has a greater focus on comfort, fuel efficiency and practicality.

- Chevrolet's official acceleration figure from zero to sixty miles per hour is 3.95seconds.

Your comment is possibly the least-informed and erroneous ever to be posted here.

 

 

16 August 2013

NMGOM@

Which retirement home are u in?,Porsche have stuck an auto in the GT3,and the Mag's this one included have raved on about how good it is,now, i like a manual box too, but,in car's like this firing it through the gears this quick must be great,because, even the quickest manual changes are at least a gear change behind the auto's change up or down speed?,plus, ever graunched a gear change?,just missed a gear change?,well, auto's like this never miss.

Peter Cavellini.

16 August 2013

Peter Cavellini wrote:

NMGOM@

Which retirement home are u in?,Porsche have stuck an auto in the GT3,and the Mag's this one included have raved on about how good it is,now, i like a manual box too, but,in car's like this firing it through the gears this quick must be great,because, even the quickest manual changes are at least a gear change behind the auto's change up or down speed?,plus, ever graunched a gear change?,just missed a gear change?,well, auto's like this never miss.

A semi-auto may be quicker but it's just not as involving. Why not let the computers steer for you too? It would probably be quicker through the corners. 

There's nothing like heel-toeing perfectly on a downshift to make you feel like you're really driving a car and if you're grinding gears then you obviously need more practice.

I wouldn't drop £60k on a car which I would always feel is tailored towards lazy people who can't drive properly.

 

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Kia Stonic
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Handsome entrant into the bulging small crossover market has a strong engine and agile handling, but isn’t as comfortable or complete as rivals
  • Hyundai Kona
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Hyundai's funky-looking Kona crossover with a peppy three-cylinder engine makes all the right noises for the car to be a success in a crowded segment
  • Citroën C3 Aircross
    First Drive
    17 October 2017
    The Citroen C3 Aircross has got funky looks and a charming interior, but it's another small SUV, and another dynamic miss. Numb steering is just one thing keeping it from class best
  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq
  • Audi Q7 e-tron
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Expensive and flawed but this understated diesel-electric Audi Q7 has a lot to offer