BMW has always used the motto of “the ultimate driving machine”, but the message is raised thanks to front-wheel-drive models such as the 2-Series Gran Coupe.
However, the M3 and M4 have always been ahead of this mantra and the company is looking to build on its success with all of the new releases launched tonight.
Starting with the hood, the cars have a 3.0-liter, six-cylinder twin-turbo engine that produces 473 hp (352 kW / 479 hp) and 550 Nm. The competition version is even more powerful, with 503 hp (375 kW / 510 hp) and 650 Nm of torque.
Due to the added power, the M3 and M4 can accelerate from 0-60 mph (0-96 km / h) in 4.1 seconds before the top of the driver’s M-package equipped 180 mph (290 km / h). Competition types are faster as the speed dash is cut to 3.8 seconds at 60 mph (96 km / h), but the top speed remains unchanged.
Enthusiasts can breathe a sigh of relief as the company announced the M3 standard and the M4 will be equipped with a 6-speed manual and rear-wheel drive. In addition to keeping drivers involved, the gearbox weighs 50 pounds (22.7 kg) less than the eight-speed automatic, and BMW says it helps improve weight distribution from front to back.
Due to the added torque, the competition versions are only automatic. To compensate for this, there is a gearshift function to reduce gear, and a manual mode controlled by the steering wheel-mounted paddles.
Of course, the big news is the addition of all-wheel drive. Exclusively available on the competition models, the M xDrive system is rear-biased and has an active rear differential.
To ensure the cars are handled in the traditional BMW M style, torque is directed to the rear wheels during normal driving. When additional traction is required, power is sent to the front wheels for added stability.
The four-wheel-drive system has three different modes including the default four-wheel-drive setting. The sporty all-wheel-drive system gives the rear wheels more torque during dynamic driving and is designed to work “well” on the track. Customers can also choose the two-wheel drive that turns off the dynamic stability control system and allows fans to “enjoy a pure rear-wheel-drive experience without system intervention”.
Speaking of handling, the cars come standard with an Adaptive M suspension and a dual-link spring-strut front suspension. Later features include “newly made aluminum wishbones with ball couplings, aluminum torque lever with new mounts, unique spring strut clamp and swivel bearing fitted to lightweight wheel bearings with an extremely high range.”
The rear suspension uses a five-link configuration with wishbone control levers that have been redesigned to provide “precise handling for the driver who matters most”. Last but not least, the front track rises 1.5 inches (38 mm) to improve flight stability and direction.
The model has an additional strut as well as a shock tower strut and vertical brackets that connect the engine compartment to the front subframe in aluminum. There is also a strut and cross beam connecting the rear subframe to the rear cargo area.