New BMW M cars in testing
BMW's next generation of M car will be revealed in mid- September 2020, prototype testing is well underway...
BMW is preparing the generation change for its iconic M sports cars. The forthcoming new M3 Saloon and new M4 Coupé have been undergoing driving dynamics tests on racetracks during what is now a crucial stage of their development. BMW says that the duo represent a «significant increase in performance» over their forebears – in particular in their M-specific suspension setups and newly-developed straight six-cylinder engines which will set benchmarks in the high-performance saloon and coupé segments. Of course one of the major benefits of M cars is that they are as capable on track as they are useable on the road, as such BMW has made «comprehensive innovations» when it comes to drive, suspension, and braking technology, all of which has been thoroughly tested on public roads at BMW Group's testing centres in Miramas, Southern France, and in the Swedish town of Arjeplog. The traditional yardstick for performance is the Nürburgring Nordschleife, however, BMW M has been busy testing camouflaged prototypes of both new M cars on a variety of circuits, with heavy use of the Sachsenring in Saxony, Germany – as pictured here.
Despite the disguises in place, it is already clearly perceptible that the two new M cars will boast the traditional M attributes, with outstanding dynamics and handling agility a given – balancing superior performance with everyday usability while taking things to a new level in the process.
Markus Flasch, chairman of the board of the BMW M, said: «With each BMW M automobile, we put motorsport technology on the road. The new BMW M3 Saloon and the new BMW M4 Coupé embody this principle in a particularly intensive way, because both models stand unmistakably in the tradition of the most successful touring cars worldwide. And results of the test drives show us that the new model generation is significantly superior to that of its predecessors in terms of performance.”
Like the current models in the BMW M range, the new M3 Saloon and M4 Coupé will be offered with two distinct performance levels. Alongside a 480bhp version, with a six-speed manual gearbox, will also come a 510hp Competition model with an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic. “For customers who prefer a puristic performance experience and particularly intense interaction with their vehicle, the model variants with a manual transmission constitute an offer that is unique in this segment,” explained Dirk Häcker, head of Development M Automobiles and BMW Individual. “On the other hand, with the Competition versions of the new M3 Saloon and M4 Coupé, we are addressing maximum dynamics in regards power development and transfer – initially with classic rear-wheel drive and, at a later date, also in conjunction with the latest version of our four-wheel drive system M xDrive.”
When compared with their preceding models, the new straight-six M TwinPower Turbo technology, high-revving engines, deliver an increased output of 49hp and 60hp (Competition models) with up to 480lb ft torque. BMW says that this incredible performance can be directly linked to its findings in motorsport. The power unit in question being employed in the new top-of- the-range M models the M4 GT3, coming in 2022.
Though disguised, it is clear that the new generation of BMW M cars will boast purposeful styling...