Controversial Looks, Excellent Performance
The M3 and M4 have always embodied the best of the BMW “ultimate driving machine” ethos. Now there’s a new 2021 M3 and M4 that the company just revealed. While they may have impressive performance, they look like two big heaping piles of derivative dog crap.
BMW will get a lot of heat for how these cars look. The twin-kidney grille is new and bigger than ever. It’s a large ugly thing that morphs the classic grille into two large gaping holes at the front of the car. The headlights lose that classic BMW look and instead look like something pulled from either a Ford Fusion or a Jaguar sedan. The vented hood on the cars reminds me of the one found on the Dodge Charger.
Around back things shape up a lot better. It at least looks like a BMW, though there’s nothing particularly special to write home about. In profile, the cars are just fine.
Looks aside, the M3 and M4 should be excellent cars. If you can keep your eyes closed until you’re in the driver’s seat, you should do just fine.
Under the hood, there’s a twin-turbo 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that makes 473 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. If you need more, you can go to the Competition variants, which provide more power—503 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque.
This puts the M3 and M4 with 0-60 mph times around 4.1 seconds and tops speeds of 180 mph when equipped with M Driver’s Package. The Competition variants up the ante with 0-60 mph times of 3.8 seconds, though the top speed remains the same.
The cars can be had with either an eight-speed automatic and a six-speed manual. This was something that enthusiasts everywhere cheered. The stick remains, and it’s one thing BMW got right. However, if you want the Competition variants, you’ll. have to get the auto. The six-speed manual can’t handle the extra torque, according to Carscoops.
The big news for the M3 and M4 is all-wheel drive. It’s exclusive to Competition variants, which means you can’t get all-wheel drive and manual transmission. If you do get the all-wheel-drive system, you’ll have some options. There’s 4WD Sport, which sends more torque to the rear wheels and 2WD, which turns off the stability control system and lets you get a little crazy.
The cars get Adaptive M suspension and M-specific double-joint spring strut front suspension. This should help make the car handle better than ever before. There’s also bracing on the subframes, which keeps everything taught and stiff. The steering is an M Servotronic system. There’s also an M Drive professional package that includes M traction control, which lets the driver select the level of wheel-slip.
The brakes are six-piston calipers that grab 15-inch rotors upfront. In the rear, there are single-piston calipers that grab 14.6-inch calipers. You can also get carbon-ceramic brakes and gold-painted calipers. The rotors are increased in size, too (15.7-inch front, 15-inch rear).
Compared to the exterior the interior is simple and modest. It’s sporty and leather-clad with high-quality trim materials and some small badging that denote the M3 or M4 status. If the exterior was as well-designed as the interior, this could be the best-looking car BMW has put out in years. As it sits now, it isn’t.
Both cars will hit showrooms in March. The starting price for the M3 is $69,900 ($72,800 Competition). The starting price for the M4 is $71,800 ($74,700 Competition).