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.