While you’ve probably already seen the new BMW M3 and M4, the Munich-based firm has now officially unveiled its high-performance twins, releasing all the juicy facts and figures, too.
We’ll leave you to make up your own mind about that M-specific version of the vertically arranged kidney grille and focus on the performance details instead. Before we get there, though, take note BMW Group South Africa says only Competition variants will be offered locally. So, that means no manual gearbox option for us...
So, what do you need to know? Well, the new G80-generation M3 sedan and G82-generation M4 coupé are powered by a twin-turbo 3,0-litre inline six-cylinder engine, sending 353 kW and 550 N.m (the latter from 2 650 to 6 130 r/min) to the rear axle via a six-speed manual gearbox. This cog-swapper, says BMW, features a “gear shift assistant”, which uses “engagement speed control to ensure slip-free operation when downshifting under braking into corners”.
For the new M3 Competition and M4 Competition, meanwhile, BMW has turned the wick up to 375 kW and 650 N.m (peak twisting force is on offer between 2 750 and 5 500 r/min), and fitted an eight-speed automatic transmission. These Competition-based models will later become in “M xDrive” all-wheel-drive form, too.
Wondering about the obligatory 0-100 km/h sprint times? Well, the “standard” M3 and M4 that won't be offered in South Africa take a claimed 4,2 seconds to hit the mark (reaching 200 km/h from standstill in 13,7 seconds), while the rear-driven Competition models blast to three figures in a claimed 3,9 seconds (and 200 km/h in 12,5 seconds). The upcoming all-paw variants will, of course, be even quicker to the mark. Top speed is listed as an electronically governed 250 km/h ... or 290 km/h should you specify the M Driver’s Package.
The Munich-based firm promises the model-specific exhaust system (complete with electrically controlled flaps) provides an “emotionally rich soundtrack”. Adaptive M suspension with electronically controlled shock absorbers, meanwhile, is standard across the range, along with variable-ratio steering and an M-specific version of the braking system, with two different brake response and pedal feel settings.
Standard specification furthermore includes forged M light-alloy wheels, with 18-inch items wrapped in 275/40 ZR18 tyres up front and 19-inch wheels shod in 285/35 ZR19 tyres at the rear. The roof, meanwhile, is fashioned from carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic. Interestingly, a steel roof with integral glass sunroof will be offered as a “no-cost option” as an alternative.
Inside, you’ll find “newly developed” electrically adjustable M sport seats and fine-grain Merino leather trim, although BMW will also offer optional M Carbon bucket seats enabling the use of multi-point seat belts.
There’s a “setup” button on the centre console that provides direct access to the settings options for the engine, chassis, steering and braking system. As with other modern M cars, two individually composed configurations for the overall vehicle setup can be stored and called up using the M buttons on the steering wheel. Standard equipment inside includes three-zone automatic climate control, LED interior lighting and BMW Live Cockpit Professional (with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality).
The first units are set to be delivered in South Africa in the first half of 2021, with fresh colours including Sao Paulo Yellow, Toronto Red metallic and Isle of Man Green metallic. An optional M Carbon exterior package and M Performance parts will also be available from launch, along with a new M Race Track Package, which includes carbon-ceramic brakes, “weight-minimised” alloys (available as an option with semi-slick tyres) and the M Carbon bucket seats.