The radically redesigned BMW M3 and M4 have gone on sale in top-rung Competition form in the UK, with prices starting from £74,755 and £76,055 respectively.
Set to begin arriving with customers in March, the new performance models offer up to 503bhp from a six-cylinder engine and, for the first time, an optional fully variable M xDrive four-wheel drive system.
The M4 xDrive coupé and its M3 xDrive saloon sibling are planned to follow the initial rear-wheel-drive models into showrooms next summer.
Along with the saloon and coupé, BMW is also developing the first ever M3 Touring estate, as well as a follow-up to the M4 Cabriolet and a new M4 Gran Coupé four-door in an expanded line-up that’s also set to include even more powerful, track-focused CS derivatives later down the line.
Radical design changes
High visual impact is a key criterion to the styling of the M3 and M4, both of which are heavily differentiated from the lesser M340i xDrive and M440i xDrive models they’re respectively positioned above.
Ending a 35-year tradition, the models receive their own individual front-end styling, dominated by a large vertical grille that features seven double horizontal louvres and a mounting point for the front numberplate.
The new grille is similar in shape to that adorning the new 4 Series but comprises two distinct elements, rather than being a single-frame design.
Further unique touches include a heavily structured front bumper, standard full-LED headlights, a bonnet that features two distinctive indents to accentuate the look of the grille, widened front wings and sills, air ducts within the front flanks and double-arm wing mirror housings.
The M3 and M4 also have a carbonfibre-reinforced plastic roof with two ‘rails’ running lengthways to optimise airflow, a boot-mounted spoiler and a reworked rear bumper with a multi-channel diffuser and a pair of chromed round tailpipes either side.