Could these stunning images change your mind about the new BMW M4 and M3?

By Motoring Staff Time of article published Mar 12, 2021

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JOHANNESBURG - BMW is set to launch its new M4 Coupe and M3 Sedan in South Africa next week, and the new performance twins are sure to cause a stir with their daringly large vertical grilles, largely inherited from the latest 4 Series but with some M Division touches such as horizontal louvres.

We don’t normally base a story around new pictures that have become available, but these striking images supplied by BMW got us thinking - in the right colour, and with the right lighting, could this controversial new design actually grow on you? Could the M4 actually be a thing of beauty?

We’ll leave you to make up your own mind, but needless to say criticism of the new 4 Series / M4 / M3 front end design has been nothing short of brutal - and even BMW admits to this. However, its senior vice-president of design, Adrian van Hooydonk, recently told Autocar that the negative feedback would not lead to the design team making any changes.

“If you want to create something that stands out, it must be distinguished and it has to be different,” van Hoordonk told the British publication.

“If you want to reach some customers, you have to stand out. It’s not our goal to please everyone in the world, but you have to please your customers.”

But regardless of what you think of the styling, the performance side of things is certainly exciting.

As has become the norm with M cars in South Africa, only the Competition versions will be offered, and these are now good for 375kW at 6250rpm and 650Nm from 2750 revs. Paired as standard with an eight-speed M Steptronic gearbox, the M3 and M4 will get you from 0-100km/h in a claimed 3.9 seconds.

In overseas markets, BMW also offers a tamer 353kW version of the straight-six petrol engine in the regular M3 and M4 models, which is paired with a good old fashioned six-speed manual gearbox, however local fans won’t get to experience this purist concoction.

All M3 and M4 models retain their predecessors’ rear-wheel drive layout, but the Competition models will reportedly be available with all-wheel drive from later in 2021. Working in tandem with the Active M Differential, the AWD system will have a rear-biased set-up and drivers will be able to choose from three modes: 4WD, 4WD Sport and 2WD for pure rear‑wheel drive and deactivated stability control.

Watch this space for driving impressions late next week.

IOL Motoring

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