These are the first spy pics of the new BMW M4 model, which will replace BMW’s existing M3 coupé and cabriolet. Also planned is a swoopy four-door 4-series Gran Coupé.
The new M4 name follows BMW’s decision to axe the 3-series badge in favour of 4-series for next-generation versions of its 3-series-based coupé and cabriolet. The decision to give the two-door models their own unique positioning will allow BMW to charge a premium as a result. The strategy is mirrored with the 5-series and 6-series models.
M4 coupé, cabriolet and Gran Coupé models will share their basic structure and new turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine with the M3 saloon. The former two are due to be launched in late 2014, with the Gran Coupé set for a launch some time in 2015.
Both the M4 coupé and Gran Coupé models will take weight saving further than on the M3 by adopting a carbonfibre roof, something that’s also designed to provide the cars with the lowest possible centre of gravity.
While the extended 3-series line-up will feature four full-blown M models, it is not clear if BMW M will rework its smaller models. The latest 1-series line-up is also due for expansion with a new four-door saloon. But, like the 1-series hatchback, there will be no full-blown M model; instead an M Performance version is likely to use the same 316bhp 3.0-litre straight-six engine as the upcoming M135i hatchback.
As with the 3-series range, next-generation 1-series coupé and cabriolet models will get distinctive badging with the creation of the 2-series. BMW M is known to be more receptive to creating an M2, which could mark a first for a modern M car by getting a four-cylinder engine as M further experiments with downsizing.