Expect plenty more of this as the reveal of the new BMW M3 and M4 in September draws nearer; tiny, miniscule extra bits of information about the car, eagerly lapped up by the world's media as they attempt to sate M3 appetite.
This press release is called: "Final sprint on the way to the first row of the starting grid", which is nothing if not confident. It adds some detail on the development programme, how the M3/M4 have been tested where you would expect - Nordschleife, Arjeplog, BMW facilities - but a new circuit as well, in the Sachsenring. The variety on offer at the DTM circuit is said to allow "targeted optimisation of the longitudinal and lateral driving dynamics" lap after lap; moreover, the engineers are said to be keen that the M3/M4 performs "on the most varied racetrack profiles" - and not just the Nordschleife, basically. More encouraging news.
BMW is talking circuit aims more than achievements at the moment, with the focus on an 'M-characteristic' combination of "dynamics, agility and precision". It goes further, too, suggesting that the "balance between superior performance and unrestricted everyday suitability of an M attains a new level." Which is some promise given the bar set by the current range.
Where things are a little more concrete is in the powertrain department; the M3 range will kick off with a 480hp version of the S58 turbo straight-six, mated exclusively to a six-speed manual and rear-wheel drive. Dirk Hacker says that M3 and M4 is there for customers "who prefer a puristic performance experience and particularly intense interaction with their vehicle". Which is about the most attention a manual M3 has had in BMW bumf for years; perhaps it may now get a little love from buyers as the sole manual option in the market.
As for the M3 Competition, that will use M xDrive all-wheel drive with the eight-speed automatic. In case you hadn't heard. Like the X3 M Competitionwith which it shares an engine, the M3 equivalent makes 510hp; what's interesting, however, is that the M3 and M4 will make more torque, with a peak of 479lb ft on offer against the SUV's 442. There isn't yet a torque figure for the non-Competition car. BMW is promising "extraordinarily spontaneous response in every speed range" for an engine that will also go on to power the M4 GT3.
So there we have a little bit more information about one of 2020's most anticipated cars, albeit with plenty left to discover over the next couple of months. The middle of September is when the M3 and M4 will be shown to the world, a new model that's "significantly superior" to the predecessor according to M GmbH chairman Marcus Flasch. We can't wait to find out how superior.
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