BMW have used the prestigious location of Pebble Beach to unveil its highly anticipated brand new M4 Concept.
The German manufacturer took the wraps off of the next stage of its reordering of its models, with the outgoing M3 coupe making way for the M4. The sports car will see the launch of its production ready model at the Detroit Motor Show in January, but BMW have left little to the imagination with this thinly veiled concept.
Although looking like being ready for the road, BMW have released no technical details on the M4 and insist that the model being shown in California is merely a design study. Despite this, it is highly likely that BMW will revert back to a straight-six engine in place of the outgoing car’s V8.
The M4 name will also be used for the upcoming cabriolet and Gran Coupe models, as the 4-series takes over from the 3-series coupe. The M3 name will only remain with the four-door saloon version that will also be debuted in Detroit next year.
All these models will share the same new engine, which is also anticipated to be a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre unit producing around 450bhp – up 35bhp on the outgoing M3 range. With turbos being added, torque is also expected to increase by 185lb ft to 480lb ft. These figures should see the new range to hit 62mph from standstill in around 4.5sec.
The M4 range will stick to rear-wheel drive and share the same seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox found in the M5 and M6. However, there is no manual version expected for the first time, and it is understood a four-wheel drive system was discussed, but BMW’s M division turned it down.
Some may argue that the M4 is a slightly beefed up version of the 4-series, but BMW has redesigned the front-end to include larger front air intakes, a new bumper, a front splitter fashioned from carbonfibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP), a ‘powerdrome’ bonnet and vertical air intakes in the front wheels to cool the carbon ceramic brakes. The quad exhausts obviously give the M4 the real give away to differentiate it from the standard 4-series.
Lightweight alloy has been used to forge the 20-inch wheels, whilst other features such as a roof and rear diffuser made from CFRP have been implemented to get the car’s weight as close to 1500kg as possible.
No details on the M4’s interior have been revealed, but the usual M division additions can be expected, such as sports seats, a new steering wheel and bespoke M aluminium and carbonfibre trim.
The M4 will cost around the £60,000 mark and reach UK shores for mid-2014.
Written by Sam Bisby