Currently reading: Tokyo motor show 2013: BMW M4 concept
BMW previews the new M4 with a concept car for the Tokyo motor show

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.


Read our review

Car review

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

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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. 

Mark Tisshaw

Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.

From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.

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Ford_Prefect777 24 August 2013

M division must shape up

The M division seem to have lost their understanding of a sports car. It isn't about how much power you have, it's about how you use it. 0-60 times are of no concern. Quite why it won't have a manual gearbox is beyond my understanding. There was a time, many years ago, when BMW and its M division made very reasonable cars, like the E30 M3. Front-engined, rear-wheel drive mated to a proper manual 'box is the beginning for a driver's car. Then you have to have a decent engine, like a naturally aspirated unit. Maybe a 4-litre straight-six, but displacement isn't everything, nor is the amount of gadgetry in the car. A driver's car showcases your abilities as a driver, not have them shrouded behind more assistants and three-letter acronyms than you can count.

camel99 20 August 2013


You could always buy an BMW Alpina B3 Bi-Turbo. 410bhp- 0-62 in 4.2 and unlimited max speed of 190mph. Plus it won't break your teeth when you go over a pot hole Smile


Probably be less expensive too...


spqr 19 August 2013


At least it has a straight six. Nearly every other 4 Series you will see on UK roads will be a four cylinder diesel. Depressing. But also why, with justification, the 4 Series (and 3 Series) are now merely sales reps cars.