BMW has displayed its eagerly-awaited new M4 at the Red Bull Ring in Austria. Although the newcomer is still decked in camouflage (because the official reveal is still a few weeks away), the prototype confirms several of the upcoming coupe's finer design details.
During the run-up to the MotoGP “BMW M Grand Prix of Styria”, the CEO of BMW's M Division, Markus Flasch, has presented prototypes of both the roadgoing and GT3-class racing versions of the G82-generation M4 Coupe. "From the outset, both vehicles were developed parallel to each other, so they both have the same genes," he said.
From 2022, the M4 GT3 (right) will replace the M6 GT3 as the top-of-the-range model in BMW M Motorsport vehicle portfolio.
At the time, the Munich-based manufacturer was only willing to divulge that the M4 Coupe would be powered by a "newly-developed inline-6 engine featuring M TwinPower Turbo technology" and "a high-revving concept", as well that "before the model is actually released... final intensive tests still have to be performed."
However, it's widely accepted that the newcomer will be powered by a version of the 3.0-litre twin-turbo S58 engine that powers the X3 M and X4 M models, which will direct 353 kW and 600 Nm to the coupe's rear wheels through a 6-speed manual ‘box or 8-speed automatic transmission with Drivelogic. The Competition version, on the other hand, will reportedly produce 375 kW, and be available exclusively with M xDrive all-wheel-drive and the aforementioned auto 'box.
Note the subtle power dome in the new M4 Coupe's bonnet.
We recently published an artist’s impression of the G82-generation M4 Coupe (penned by Nikita Chuiko), which had originally appeared on Russian motoring site Kolesa. The renders expressed the muscular, purposeful look that the new range’s flagship could be expected to have, but left space for – that is to say, the potential to fit more dramatic/elaborate aerodynamic addenda to – even hotter interpretations of the car, such as upcoming DTM, GTS and CS derivatives.
The artist’s impression by Nikita Chuiko, which recently appeared on Kolesa.
Judging from these BMW-supplied images, however, the M4 won't necessarily be as understated as Chuiko anticipated. Compared with its standard siblings, the M4 Coupe has a significantly more sculpted front apron with a pair of large air intakes flanking that controversial upright grille, while vertical brake-cooling ducts sit at the outer ends of the bumper. There is no hint of a subtle black lip spoiler and, if anything, the similarly-coloured side sills are wider, while the M side mirrors look slightly taller and wider...
The arrow-pointed fender gills aren't that pronounced, come to think of it, but they do feature tiny black M4 badges...
The M4 Coupe prototype is fitted with 19-inch, 20-spoke black alloy wheels shod with Michelin Pilot Sport 275/35 tyres and its blood lid features a very subtle spoiler that's "split in half". Chuiko correctly antipated that the M4 Coupe's rear aspect would be distinguished by a motorsport-inspired diffuser with a quartet of exhaust tips jutting out between the pairs of fins (that's an M-car calling card, after all), but the actual rear bumper is even more aggressively contoured and the cutouts for the 'pipes more pronounced.
A carbon-fibre roof has been part and parcel of the M4 package, but curiously, the prototype featured a sunroof.
So, based on what you see here, is the exterior execution of the prototype bold enough for the next iteration of BMW’s most iconic sportscar? We'll bring you official images and specifications of the model as soon as they become available... In the meantime, please don't forget to read our BMW M3 (2020) International Prototype Drive article.