The 2020 BMW M3 and M4 have landed (after the usual, suspicious leak) with plenty of photos in lairy colours. And stacks of gear and power.
Yep, it’s got that nose. And in what is sure to be a staggeringly unpopular opinion, I don’t actually mind it now you see it with a number plate slapped across it.
But, let’s be honest, you’re not going to care about how it looks when it packs a 375kW twin turbo straight six with 650Nm to propel BMW’s sporty mid-sizer.
And today we’ve got pricing and spec!
How much is a 2021 BMW M3 or M4 and what do I get?
M3 MY21: $144,900
M4 MY21: $149,500
In what is sure to put a smile on a few people’s faces, the launch M3 and M4 pricing isn’t that much more than the outgoing model.
The M3 sedan six-speed starts at $144,900 and you get 19-inch alloys at the front and 20s at the rear, carbon fibre roof, adaptive suspension, keyless entry and start (part of BMW’s Comfort Access system), powered boot lid, BMW Laserlights (aw yeah), M Sport seats, heated front seats, head up display, Driving Assistant Plus (auto only), climate control, Live Cockpit Professional digital dash and Merino leather.
The usual massive touchscreen is powered by OS 7.0 and has – Harmon Kardon-branded speakers, DAB, Apple CarPlay and…ANDROID AUTO (it’s happening, folks), wireless charging pad and the CarPlay at least is wireless.
Look and feel
It’s a bold move to stick that nose on the usually more sedate M3 sedan. The elegant lines of the current G20 four-door are already well-known, having been kicking around for a couple of years now. If you can see past the retina-scarring colours BMW’s marketing has chosen (I know why they’ve done it, but still), it looks great without going overboard.
While you will no doubt be able to fit carbon fibre bits and pieces everywhere, I quite like the racy front end, call cool and collected side view and then four-pipe exhaust and diffuser combo. The M3 has always been pretty like the car it is based on without going nuts. The segment just won’t cop it.
The M4 is good-looking, too. Again, if it’s not in…uh…fermented butter yellow, it’s quite handsome in an 8-Series kind of way.
Also familiar is the G20’s interior, but the M cars predictably winds things up. The basic structure is rather lovely, with BMW interiors finally catching up with its German rivals.
The basic seats look pretty good even if you’re not a fan of the two-tone stuff. You can also see that the digital dash has Audi RS-style changes to take into account the sporting intentions with a simplified big-tacho-digital-speed layout.
The optional carbon shell seats look amazingly supportive but the colour scheme in the photos are not something I’d entertain.
As with the previous M3/M4 pair, there is a twin-turbo straight-six. At launch, there will be the, er, “low-power” version with 353kw (!) and 550Nm of torque.
Again, the launch cars will be available with rear-wheel drive matched to this engine, with a choice of the eight-speed ZF automatic (RIP twin-clutch DCT) or a six-speed manual (hooray!)(which hardly anyone will buy).
An automatic M3/M4 will cross the 100km/h line in just 4.1 seconds.
Later in 2021 the Competition models will arrive. That means the straight-six is dialled up to 375kW and 650Nm of torque. With the extra power, the 0-100km/h sprint will be over in 3.9 seconds.
The Competition also introduces all-wheel drive M xDrive, already familiar from the X3 M Competition and X4 M Competition. Transmission choices remain the same. As with the M5 and M8 Competition, switching off DSC also switches off drive to the front wheels, rendering your car into a power-sliding yobbo. Just like the entry-level RWD car, as it happens…
The new engine is bristling with all the usual tech. The sump has been split in two, each compartment with its own oil recovery system to ensure the high gs you pull on the track don’t starve the engine.
Two wingmanra in the wheel arches join the main radiator for extra cooling and the exhaust is allegedly “emotional.” Let’s hope the folks who did the M8’s had a crack at this one.
BMW says adaptive suspension will be standard across the range, which is promising if you’re considering this as an every day car. It also says that there are “M-specific kinematics and elastokinematics for the front and rear axles.”
The press release didn’t have an abundance of information. It did specify that xDrive cars will have an active M diff at the rear but stayed quiet on the RWD versions.
Both cars’ torsional rigidity is up by quite a margin but so is the weight – 1700kg in rear-wheel-drive form is not messing about.
The rubber measures 275/35 ZR19 at the front and 285/30 ZR20 at the rear, with lightweight forged M alloys.
Yes, but when?
UPDATE: As expected, the launch M3 and M4 will be here in 2021 but BMW Australia is saying Q1 which is not far away at all!
The Competition models will follow later in the year, probably Q4.
Obviously, both cars are confirmed for Australia because we love them. The launch car will arrive here in early 2021, which isn’t that far away, really.
No word on pricing, but expect a few more bucks than the outgoing model for both standard and Competition variants and I’ll be surprised if the MY22 M3 and M4 will even offer the non-Comp versions.
Peter Anderson is the Editor and founder of the theredline.com.au. He’s been writing about cars for years and finds it difficult to talk about anything else.