The arrival of BMW’s latest M3 and M4 should come as a surprise to no one, since the brand has been telegraphing their impending launch for some time now. The current M3 went on hiatus when the 3-Series was redesigned, and the M4 is all-new, based on the new 4-Series coupe. Both cars have been officially unveiled, and it’s good to have them back. The cars will hit the stage at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this January.
Long considered the king of sports sedans, the M3 now features a 3.0 liter twin-turbo inline six-cylinder engine that’s lighter and a whopping 40% more powerful than the previous V8. Power in the M3 and M4 is up to 425 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. 0-60 comes up in about four seconds. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and the seven-speed M Double Clutch automatic is optional.
The M Division’s motorsports experience was brought to bear when upgrading BMW’s coupe and sedan to become M cars. BMW tapped its factory drivers Timo Glock and Bruno Spengler in testing the cars at the Nürburgring, and the cars feature an active limited-slip rear differential. “As a race driver, I’m very impressed by the instant, lag-free response from the two turbos as soon you step on the gas,” Spengler said. “This is a sensational feature of this engine which translates to more fun at the wheel and is perfect for sporty driving.” Aluminum suspension components shave weight and improve handling sharpness. The new five-link rear axle uses more forged aluminum components, and the eighteen-inch wheels are lightweight as well. A unique electronic power steering setup features three input settings.
In addition to the familiar M styling cues, both the M3 sedan and M4 coupe feature carbon fiber roof panels, which reduce weight and help to lower the center of gravity. Carbon fiber is also used for the driveshaft and strut tower braces. The front apron helps channel cool air to the engine, and the flat underbody aids in drag reduction. The rear spoilers and other aerodynamic add-ons are all functional, even the unique exterior mirrors. Burlier wheel arches and a power-domed hood give the M3 and M4 a more purposeful and athletic look.