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2021 BMW M3 and M4 revealed: Is this a face you can love?

Stephen Ottley

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Wednesday 23rd September, 2020 - 1:07pm

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2021 BMW M3 Competition and M4 Competition

They warned us it was coming, unveiling a thinly-disguised concept car – but still, the bold new look of the latest BMW M3 and M4 will take some getting used to.

The German brand debut its bigger new grilles on the 4-Series earlier this year, but now the big nostril look has been applied to the M3 – further separating the sports sedan from the rest of the regular 3-Series line-up.

BMW claims the new grille provides for larger air intakes that optimise air-flow to keep the engine cool. Still, it’s a risky move from the Bavarian brand, as the M3 and M4 will go up against the popular Mercedes-AMG C63 and Audi RS4 and RS5 models in a highly competitive battle between the big three German premium brands.

2021 BMW M4 Competition

Only time will tell if BMW’s gamble will pay off, with both new models due to arrive in Australia in the first quarter of 2021. In the meantime, here’s what you can expect from the pair in terms of performance – as expected, both will be available in standard and Competition variants.

Crucially, while the looks won’t be to everyone’s taste, BMW has focused on ensuring the handling is better than before. Both the M3 and M4 were tested alongside the new M4 GT3 race car program.

M3

2021 BMW M3 Competition

Underneath the controversial new look is an evolution of the formula that has made the M3 such a sports sedan icon.

Behind the big new grille is the brand’s 3.0-litre twin-turbo unit that will make 353kW of power and 550Nm of torque in the M3. Step up to the M3 Competition and the wick is turned up to 375kW/650Nm.

The standard M3 will come equipped with a six-speed manual transmission, which will please purists, but the Competition will come exclusively with an eight-speed automatic.

The M3 will be rear-wheel drive only initially, however, the M3 Competition will get an all-wheel drive option by the end of the year. Even though it should have better traction, BMW will also incorporate an Active M Differential with its xDrive all-wheel drive system so that it can still be put into rear-wheel drive mode if the owner wants to hang the tail out.

A freshly tuned adaptive M suspension set-up with electronically controlled dampers will be standard. And BMW will offer two different brake packages – a standard compound or carbon ceramics, for those who want more bite.

While not revealed today, the company has also confirmed that an M3 Touring (BMW-speak for a wagon) will expand the line-up locally, likely before the end of 2021.

M4

2021 BMW M4 Competition

Not surprisingly the M4 Coupe shares similar technical specifications to its four-door counterpart.

It gets the same inline six, making 353kW/550Nm in the standard model and 375kW/650Nm in the M4 Competition. It also gets the same six-speed manual (standard) and eight-speed auto (M4 Competition) transmission pairings.

It also follows the same rear-wheel drive with upcoming all-wheel drive format too.

Both models also get a lightweight carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) roof to help cut kilos and lower the centre of gravity. Beyond the polarising front end the rest of the unique M Division bodywork – flared wheel arches, racing-inspired side sills and rear diffusers – give each model a genuinely muscular appearance.

BMW has already confirmed an M4 Convertible is coming down the pipeline too.

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