Munich squares up to rivals with jacked-up straight-six powerplant in next-generation M3 and M4 models
19 March 2019

The next-generation BMW M3 and M4 due in 2020 will receive a significantly upgraded six-cylinder engine capable of more than 500bhp in its top form. 

The flagship model to use this new engine will be a new M4 Gran Coupé (imagined by Autocar above), the first time the four-door coupé has featured a full-fat M variant. It will be joined once again by two-door coupé and cabriolet variants, beside the M3 saloon. 

The 3.0-litre powerplant, which carries the internal codename S58, is a development of the firm’s standard B58 unit, as used in the existing 440i and other BMW models. 

But as M division officials have revealed to Autocar, “it is for all intents and purposes an all-new drivetrain with significant changes to the base engine that allow it to rev beyond 7000rpm and deliver a much higher specific output” than today’s S55 engine. 

As well as being earmarked for the next M4 Coupé and the first-ever M4 Gran Coupé, the new twin-turbocharged straight six is also planned to propel a new M4 Convertible, the upcoming sixth-generation M3 and, in a lesser-powered form, the second-generation M2. It will be launched in the new X3M and X4M

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

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

An increase in power provides the new S58 engine with a higher specific output in Competition guise than the old S55 with water injection, a set-up used by the 493bhp M4 GTS. 

That unit provides the outgoing M4 Coupé with 425bhp in standard guise and 444bhp in Competition form. 

BMW’s M division engineers have managed to raise power by more than 11% in the standard M4 and 13% in the M4 Coupé Competition, with claimed outputs of 473bhp and 502bhp respectively. 

These figures appear set to place the new model in direct competition with the 444bhp Audi RS5 and 503bhp Mercedes-Benz C63S Coupé

Torque is also increased by 37lb ft, with the new S58 engine delivering 442lb ft on a band of revs between 2600rpm and 5600rpm. 

Despite the increase in performance, the S58 engine has been developed to meet strict new emission regulations to potentially provide the standard M4 with a CO2 figure of less than 200g/km, thanks in part to the adoption of twin Otto particulate filters. 

Key among the changes over the S55 engine is the adoption of a longer stroke, at 90mm. The bore measurement remains 84mm, but BMW M claims the altered internal measurements help to boost torque potential. 

Also included are two mono-scroll turbochargers in place of the single twin-scroll unit used on the B58 engine, as well as BMW M’s latest Valvetronic variable valve timing and ‘Double Vanos’ variable camshaft profile. The compression ratio has also been reduced, from 10.2:1 for the S55 to 9.3:1. 

Although the new engine goes without water injection, officials say it may appear on a further-developed version of the S58 unit likely to appear in a successor to today’s 453bhp M4 CS. 

Secrecy surrounds the rest of the M4’s mechanical makeup. However, insiders suggest it is in line to abandon tradition by adopting an eight-speed torque converter-equipped automatic transmission and a similar xDrive four-wheel drive system to the latest M5 (with an M-Dynamic mode apportioning power to the rear wheels) in at least one version. 

It is also suggested a cheaper and lower-powered entry-level model could potentially be offered, with a manual gearbox and rear-wheel drive.

Read more

New BMW X3M and X4M get 503bhp Competition version

BMW M4 review

Join the debate

Comments
15

19 March 2019

I have watched episodes of Top Gear and The Grand Tour in which Chris Harris and Jeremy Clarkson have both admitted that hey would have more fun driving on British roads in a Fiesta ST or Polo GTI than any supercar. Says it all, these things are now just status symbols.

19 March 2019
Shrub wrote:

I have watched episodes of Top Gear and The Grand Tour in which Chris Harris and Jeremy Clarkson have both admitted that hey would have more fun driving on British roads in a Fiesta ST or Polo GTI than any supercar. Says it all, these things are now just status symbols.

I've driven the new Fiesta ST, and believe me, while on the right road it can be a lot of fun, as a daily driver its hard ride soon becomes a real pain in the you know where. This is something gets glossed over in most of the rave reviews of the car. No idea about the Polo GTI though; have driven it yet.

19 March 2019
Shrub wrote:

I have watched episodes of Top Gear and The Grand Tour in which Chris Harris and Jeremy Clarkson have both admitted that hey would have more fun driving on British roads in a Fiesta ST or Polo GTI than any supercar. Says it all, these things are now just status symbols.

 

yep, gullible Shrub, they have "admitted" that...while looking at their AMGs/GT3s/Astons/Lambos in their garages, hehe. :-) 

19 March 2019

 Size matters, in a smaller, more compact vehicle?,yes BMW have the right idea, if you like, supercars are on there way out because three series sized cars and hatchbacks are nearly as fast in day to day driving,on twisty Roads most could keep up or indeed be better than a Supercar.

Peter Cavellini.

19 March 2019

Probably too wide for b roads considering the width of the current m3/m4. It is bound to be even wider.

The M2 seems  a better bet, smaller and to me looks just as good and "only" 400+ bhp... 

 

19 March 2019

I am late on this topic but this M4 Gran Coupe render actually looks very cool. The back door is way to far. For most people an estate version of a hatchback is sufficient, if it comes in some GT or Sport guisse is just bonus for the right price. SUVs are on a roll, but when you compare the space and overall expenses (servicing, bigger wheels, weight/MPG) an estate car is a clear winner. Also, do not forget driving dynamics wich is obviously very important today (if you read Car Magazines). Aside my humble opinions, it would be nice to have an M3 (as a second car), or  Alpina B3 S Biturbo Estate as the best of two worlds. 

Alpina

15 April 2019
The pdf files that my professor sent us were really big so I just compressed them through https://altocompresspdf.com/. This allowed me to save a lot of space in my laptop.

19 March 2019

Well straight 6's are pretty cheap to make compared to V6, V8's etc so I wonder how long before Audi starts to deplete the V6 and V8 range and maybe pumping out a straight 6 (if they haven't somehwere already). Hopefully there might be a point where the straight 5 makes a comeback, however unlikely it seems. 

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

19 March 2019
xxxx wrote:

Well straight 6's are pretty cheap to make compared to V6, V8's etc so I wonder how long before Audi starts to deplete the V6 and V8 range and maybe pumping out a straight 6 (if they haven't somehwere already). Hopefully there might be a point where the straight 5 makes a comeback, however unlikely it seems. 

 

That's interesting about the 6 cyl engine production costs, do you have the figures to share?.

19 March 2019

 Thirty five years ago a Fiesta XR2i was the Car of the moment, it had a 1.6 and pumped out a heady 115bhp I think, fast forward to now, now we have 197 from a three cylinder! And better mpg too!, yes, Ev Cars are faster, one gear and all that, I don’t know what they feel like to drive or how to drive it regards overtaking, braking and such, but, Fossil power isn’t going to go overnight, and the fact that car makers are putting this much power in the hands of the inexperienced is a concern, 500+...once upon a time that was Supercar power, hot hatches at best had about 200+, I think advanced driving should be taught as a matter of course so that tomorrow’s drivers can drive high powered cars.

Peter Cavellini.

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week