BMW presents the 2021 BMW M3 and M4.
BMW finally introduced the M versions of its 3 Series and 4 Series models this week. As expected, the 2021 editions come with a huge grille that is still being talked about.
In addition to the familiar if oversized kidney-shaped format, we see they’re now equipped with horizontal slats instead of metal uprights. Which might be just as well, given that a vertically-minded design would have accentuated their size even more.
The models’ bodies are also wider and feature a bigger diffuser in the rear, as well as four prominent exhaust tailpipes. The front fenders have vertically oriented vents and the side skirts match the rear diffuser. The carbon-fibre roof, a long-standing signature feature of the models, is also back for 2021. It can be replaced by a painted steel roof if the customer wants a sunroof.
Behind the nostrils of the M3 and M4 is one of two versions of the 3.0L twin-turbo 6-cylinder engine introduced with the X3 M and X4 M SUVs. Serving the regular M3 and M4, it develops 473 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. For the Competition variants, those figures climb to 503 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. With the former, 0-96 km/h acceleration takes 4.1 seconds, and in the case the latter, 3.8 seconds.
The base M3 and M4 are exclusively equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission, making it the only manual offering in the segment. This transmission is also 50 lb lighter than the 8-speed automatic transmission found in the Competition lineup. The mechanical transmission has a speed-matching feature, but it can be disabled.
All models are rear-wheel drive, but the Competition variant will be available with all-wheel drive, starting next summer. The system can be set to remain in rear-wheel drive mode with the aids turned off. Both powertrains are equipped with electronically controlled limited-slip differentials.
Naturally, BMW has upgraded the chassis of its cars to handle the extra power. The base models benefit from 18-inch front and 19-inch rear wheels. The Competition variants get 19-inch and 20-inch wheels. Oversized brakes are standard, and even more massive carbon-ceramic units will be available as an option.
On board, not surprisingly, it's going to be similar to what you find in the 2021 3 and 4 Series, though without the wood trim; expect just aluminum or carbon-fibre elements. A 12.3-inch digital display instrument cluster and 10.25-inch multimedia screen are standard, as are sport seats. BMW offers an optional new series of lightweight carbon-fibre power seats that together take 21 lb out of the equation. These also feature cut-outs for racing harnesses.
Some bold interior colors are also available, such as Kyalami orange on the M3 and Yas Marina blue on the M4.
The M3 and M4 are expected around March of next year, with the all-wheel drive Competition variants expected to follow in the summer of 2021. As for Canadian pricing, that has now been published by BMW. The M3 will thus get a starting price of $84,300 CAD, while the M4 starts at $85,100.