The fine folks at Motoring Authority have more of the photos we’ve been waiting for. The next generation two door M3 likely called the M4 (rumored to be recently confirmed) is undergoing it’s initial Nurburgring development which likely means it’s about 18 months away from being on-sale. Expected to debut as a concept potentially at Frankfurt next fall, the M4 will sport the same turbo inline six drivetrain as the four door M3 that we should be seeing this spring in Geneva.
The M4 will likely follow the design path from the X5M up to the latest M6, with aggressive and angular air intakes in the bumper. It will also have a different front look compared to its base model 4 series as is evident by the redesign of the kidney grills we’ve seen on the M3 prototypes. Wheels are 19 inch and brakes will be of the fixed piston variety with the now typical blue M caliper coloring. M3 prototypes have been showing off a “power dome” hood bulge that unlike earlier reports pointed it as a vent for cooling, it more likely is for engine clearance or looks alone because it would have been exposed during this round of heat testing to check functionality if it was a vent.
What we do not see in these images is what’s under the hood. Sources have pointed us towards 450 bhp as a “nice number” and that the engine would be based on a future power-plant from the N55 engine family. The engine will have reworked valvetronic and double vanos systems as well as a new head and a reinforced block to cope with the added stresses of high boost from multiple turbo chargers. Plumbing under the hood will be extensive to ensure engine responsiveness and cooling which should account for the “power dome”. Shifting will be accomplished by either an M-DCT or 6 speed dry sump gear box with taller gearing in 6th to increase highway mileage. Steering will for the first time in an M car utilize EPS.
The headlights, mirrors and other styling cues are from the F30 3 series sedan and will be adjusted to M spec as testing progresses. We excitedly await this car, as it is said to be a true game changer and may even make us forget the fabulous S65B40 V8 from the current generation M3, a tough act to replace.