BMW’s has been drumming up hype ahead of the launch of its performance twins, the M3 and M4. This week a BMW M3 prototype was driven by some members of the media at the Sachsenring in Germany. Not only do we get these official images of the M3 prototype, but the company’s M Division has also confirmed power and drivetrain derivatives of the new, expanded range.
BMW was at the Sachsenring to fine-tune the final aspects of the M-specific suspension setup before the cars debut in September. “With each BMW M automobile, we put motorsport technology on the road,” says Markus Flasch, chairman of the board of the BMW M GmbH. “The new BMW M3 Saloon and the new BMW M4 Coupé embody this principle in a particularly intensive way, because both models stand unmistakably in the tradition of the most successful touring car worldwide. And results of the test drives show us that the new model generation is significantly superior to that of its predecessors in terms of performance.”
The new BMW M3 and M4 Coupé will be offered in two flavours. Opening up the range is a 353 kW variant with a six-speed manual gearbox. Stepping up into the Competition versions brings 373 kW and an eight-speed automatic transmission. “For customers who prefer a puristic performance experience and particularly intense interaction with their vehicle, the model variants with a manual transmission constitute an offer that is unique in this segment,” explains Dirk Häcker, head of Development M Automobiles and BMW Individual.
Competition versions will initially be offered with rear-wheel-drive and, at a later date, with BMW’s M xDrive all-wheel-drive system. But not to fear, AWD versions can also make smoky donuts and power oversteer as the system can send all the engine’s torque solely to the rear axle at the press of a button. BMW says maximum torque of up to 650 N.m of twist effort will be available.
And the question on everybody’s mind… will it have those XXL kidney grilles as seen on the recently launched 4 Series Coupe? Well, there was no info on that prickly subject on the press release. But if you watch the video of the BMW M3 prototype being driven in anger all the way to the end, you get a very good hint.