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2021 BMW M3 and M4: What to expect

New spy photos show the BMW M3 and M4 are edging closer and closer to production. Here, we run through what to expect when they're revealed later this year.

James Wong
James Wong
Production Editor
Published

New images of a 2021 BMW M4 Coupe prototype have surfaced this week, following BMW’s recent official preview of the related M3 super sedan.

We’re getting close to an official unveil, so let’s go through what we know ahead of their respective reveals.

Despite the obvious aesthetic differences – the M3 will be a sedan, the M4 a coupe/convertible – both nameplates will draw on a new 3.0-litre twin-turbo inline six first seen in the X3 M and X4 M.

BMW has confirmed the base M3 will have 358kW of power, while the range-topping Competition will pump out 380kW. Expect the range-topper to have around 600Nm of torque, if the X3 M Competition is a guide.

Purists will be glad to hear a six-speed manual will be offered as an option on the entry-level M3 Pure, as per the outgoing models.

Although Alfa Romeo offers a three-pedal Giulia QV in Europe, the Mercedes-AMG C63 and Audi RS4 are auto-only.

BMW last month confirmed the M3 (and likely the M4) will offer both rear- and all-wheel drivetrains for the first time. It’ll ditch the dual-clutch transmission for the eight-speed torque converter taken from the larger M5.

Also borrowed from the larger M5? The all-wheel drive M3 and M4 are expected to feature the same xDrive M system as their bigger brother, allowing drivers to decouple the front axle for serious sideways action.

Currently, the M3 and M4 make 331kW and 550Nm in Competition specification, with the M3 CS and M4 CS pushing those figures to 338kW and 600Nm.

With the added traction of all-wheel drive, the new range-topping M3 and M4 should improve significantly on their current 0-100km/h claims (4.2- and 4.0 seconds in Competition spec respectively), likely clocking in around the 3.5-second mark.

That would make it quicker than the Alfa Romeo Giulia QV (3.9 seconds), the Audi RS5 (3.9 seconds) and the Mercedes-AMG C63 S (3.9 seconds).

BMW is still yet to confirm an official reveal date for the M3 and M4, though both models are expected to make their debut before the end of 2020, ahead a sales release early in 2021.

Stay tuned to CarExpert for all the latest, and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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James Wong
James Wong

James Wong is the Production Editor at CarExpert based in Melbourne, Australia. With experience on both media and manufacturer sides of the industry, James has a specialty for product knowledge which stems from a life-long obsession with cars. James is a Monash University journalism graduate, an avid tennis player, and the proud charity ambassador for Drive Against Depression – an organisation that supports mental wellness through the freedom of driving and the love of cars. He's also the proud father of Freddy, a 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI .

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