Final covers (almost) come off the new BMW M4

The new BMW M4 Coupe road car (left) and the GT3 racing version.
The new BMW M4 Coupe road car (left) and the GT3 racing version.
Image: Supplied

Ahead of its official world debut next month, the all-new BMW M4 Coupe was revealed in mildly camouflaged form at Austria’s Red Bull Ring in the run-up to this weekend’s Styrian MotoGP at the circuit.

And yes, it will have “that” grille.

The light camouflage confirms expectations (fears?) that the new M4 will have the controversial giant vertical air intakes first revealed on the new-generation 4 Series Coupe earlier this year. The bucktoothed uber-grille - a nod to the vertical air intakes of past models like the BMW 2000C cars of the 1960s and the 328 of the 1930s - has split opinion and set the Twittersphere ablaze.

Also unveiled at the Red Bull Ring was the car’s racing counterpart, the M4 Coupe GT3, which BMW M Customer Racing Teams will race in various GT series worldwide.

BMW chose the venue because it is title sponsor of this weekend’s BMW M Grand Prix of Styria and a long-term partner of MotoGP organiser Dorna Sports.

Like the new BMW M3 Sedan, the new M4 Coupe will be powered by a newly developed straight six-cylinder turbo engine with a high rev limit, available in two performance versions: the standard M4 will push out 353kW through a six-speed manual transmission, and the M4 Competition model will boast 375kW and an eight-speed M Steptronic.

The models will initially arrive in rear-wheel drive configuration and later be joined by variants featuring the latest, most compact version of the firm’s M xDrive all-wheel drive system.

The BMW M4 Coupe and its motorsport counterpart BMW M4 GT3 are prime examples of the technology transfer from motorsport to series production – and back again. From the outset, both the road-going M4 and the GT3 race version were developed parallel to each other, so they both have the same genes, says Markus Flasch, CEO of BMW M. 

From 2022 and following selected racing events in 2021, the BMW M4 GT3 will replace the BMW M6 GT3 as the top-of-the-range model in BMW’s customer sport offering.

The winner of this weekend’s Styrian MotoGP will be given a BMW M4 Coupe - that’s quite a prize!

The new M3 and M4 are expected to go on sale in SA late next year.

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