Currently reading: New BMW M3 and M4 leak online ahead of tonight's unveiling
Next-generation performance duo share bold new front end and turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six
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3 mins read
22 September 2020

The next-generation BMW M3 saloon and its M4 coupé sibling have been revealed in a series of images posted online ahead of their official debut tonight. 

UPDATE: the new BMW M3 and M4 have been officially revealed - read the full story

Originally posted on Reddit, the high-quality images confirm that Munich's mechanically identical performance duo have a similar vertically oriented front grille to the newly revealed second-generation 4 Series, rather than a variation of the 3 Series' subtler front end. 

Elsewhere, significantly widened wheel arches set the M3 and M4 apart from their standard counterparts, while bespoke rear-end designs incorporate a prominent downforce-enhancing diffuser, a subtle lip spoiler and a quad-exit sports exhaust. The pair also receive unique wheel designs, a contrasting roof and new bonnets with added creases for a more aggressive look. 

The hotly anticipated performance saloons will use an extensively updated version of BMW’s twin-scroll turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six engine, producing 473bhp and 443lb ft in entry-level form. As with the X3 M and X4 M performance SUVs, a top-rung Competition variant (which will likely be the only available option in the UK) will produce in excess of 500bhp. 

For the first time on an M3, four-wheel drive will become an option soon after the new cars' launch but all forms of electrification are believed to have been vetoed. However, persistent reports suggest that they could be the final M models to be launched without some form of electrification; something made necessary by the increasing priority of meeting fleet-average CO2 targets.

There are no confirmed details about the pair's performance, but the lighter, more powerful cars will eclipse the current M3 CS’s 0-62mph time of 3.9sec. They will be sold with a choice of a six-speed manual gearbox or an optional eight-speed automatic, but the auto will enable better performance figures thanks to a built-in electronic launch control system. 

The M3 and M4 will also benefit from the increased rigidity offered by their part-aluminium, part-high-strength steel CLAR underpinnings. This is a key reason behind BMW already making class-leading claims about the dynamic abilities of the base 3 Series. The regular car’s wider track and uprated suspension systems should also give engineers the foundations for a more dynamically capable M3 and M4.

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As well as offering greater performance potential, the stiffer chassis will reduce the amount of vibration transmitted into the cabin to enhance overall refinement. It should also allow engineers to adopt softer spring rates to give the M3 and M4 a more compliant ride in their most comfortable mode, without hampering the car’s overall dynamic ability. 

Inside, images show that the duo will follow in the M5's footsteps by swapping the current dash-top infotainment screen for one that’s more tidily integrated into the dashboard. The iDrive system will retain a rotary control knob, which has been praised for its ease of use in current cars.

The duo will also gain significantly more advanced driver assist features, but former BMW sales and marketing boss Ian Robertson has hinted to Autocar that most BMW models will steer clear of the full autonomous hardware suites to be used on i5 and i7 due from 2021. M models, in particular, will still possess a very driver-centric character.

It remains uncertain whether the cars will feature an active rear-wheel steering system to enhance agility and boost high-speed stability. Although it is under consideration, the business case for developing the system for the M3 and M4 only is believed to be under debate. If the hardware does make the cut and is fitted to the super-saloon, it will not then be rolled out the standard 3 Series and 4 Series.

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Comments
54

19 December 2017

That's the question that M3 owners (and M4) that were previously burnt by BMW will be asking.

 

From BimmerBoost:

BMW ignores the F80 M3 & F82 M4 S55 engine crank hub issue and is it the worst BMW M3 production engine defect of all time?

Owners change bearings as preventative maintenance but if you are out of the warranty period it almost feels like a ticking time bomb. BMW does not care and just wants cars out of the warranty period as quickly as possible so they can wash their hands of any issue.

BMW has its flaws and its marketed image versus the reality (and reliability) of its products are vastly different things. They will chase profit over proper design.

 

19 December 2017

All the German manufacturers seem to have proritised Soft palstics, conectivity and "infotainnment" over actual substance to keep the price down.

Alfa are far more reliable than their reputation suggests and its a better drivers car, with harder plastics, so if I was able to by a "super Saloon", I'd go for the Alfa

29 January 2019
Richard H wrote:

All the German manufacturers seem to have proritised Soft palstics, conectivity and "infotainnment" over actual substance to keep the price down.

This quote! I couldnt agree more! and the iphone generation are just lapping it up

19 December 2017

.... as your anti-BMW post following a BMW M series article

19 December 2017
xxxx wrote:

.... as your anti-BMW post following a BMW M series article

Do you seek the truth?   If so, then do your own searches.   Do your own research.   Go and find out for yourself.

 

30 November 2018
Symanski wrote:

xxxx wrote:

.... as your anti-BMW post following a BMW M series article

Do you seek the truth?   If so, then do your own searches.   Do your own research.   Go and find out for yourself.

 

 

I hate to rain on your little anti BMW parade, but faults are not exclusive to BMW. They can and do happen to every brand.

Grow up and give it a rest already.

19 December 2017

My 140i has covered 27000 miles and unfortunatly I have had to put 1/2 cup of water into the cooling system, when I bought my 1300 Meastro I had to put a bucket full in every day.Get Real.

19 December 2017
Gojohnygo wrote:

My 140i has covered 27000 miles and unfortunatly I have had to put 1/2 cup of water into the cooling system, when I bought my 1300 Meastro I had to put a bucket full in every day.Get Real.

 

You have B58 engine.    Quickest of searches and here's what you find:

 

The upper crankshaft guide bearing may wear out prematurely. The wear on the upper guide bearing can cause the clutch pedal to malfunction during shifting. The Engine Malfunction warning may be illuminated and a fault will be stored in the DME memory for the crankshaft sensor. Noise may be heard from the lower engine and transmission bell housing area. If the crankshaft guide bearing or crankshaft is found damaged during the inspection then the engine must be replaced.

 

(Read that back to yourself - cranshaft guide bearing wearing out requiring a new engine!).

 

30 November 2018

 Correct if I’m wrong, but this is old News, I never had one bit of bother with my 04’ plate one, ran sweet as a Nut.

22 October 2019
Symanski wrote:

That's the question that M3 owners (and M4) that were previously burnt by BMW will be asking.

 

From BimmerBoost:

BMW ignores the F80 M3 & F82 M4 S55 engine crank hub issue and is it the worst BMW M3 production engine defect of all time?

Owners change bearings as preventative maintenance but if you are out of the warranty period it almost feels like a ticking time bomb. BMW does not care and just wants cars out of the warranty period as quickly as possible so they can wash their hands of any issue.

BMW has its flaws and its marketed image versus the reality (and reliability) of its products are vastly different things. They will chase profit over proper design.

 

 

Porsche have huge problems with intermediate shaft bearings, Mazda rotary engines fail in large proportions, Vauxhall cam chains are rubbish, K Series head gaskets failed, Nissan Navarra engines were made of chocolate, the list is endless with engine weaknesses over many years and marques.

Can't you just restrict yourself to writing letters to BMW in private with your little tin hat on? Would save boring us to tears on every single BMW thread. Can't you see you're one of those bitter old men?

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