BMW M4 IN AUSTRALIA MID-2014
BMW's new M4 Coupe and M3 Sedan are official at last, debuting after more than a year of rumours, spy photos, concepts and leaked images.
Today's online unveiling also follows a flood of leaked images that surfaced online yesterday, revealing a first proper look at BMW M's muscly new strassenmeisters.
So now you've seen the car, let's talk numbers.
BMW has confirmed the turbocharged six-cylinder engine in both cars will produce 317kW of power at 5500rpm, and and a huge 550Nm of torque between 1850-5500rpm.
By comparison, the outgoing 4.0 litre V8 model produced 309kW at 8300rpm and 400Nm from 3900rpm. A not inconsiderable leap, then.
A six-speed manual transmission (with rev-matching on down shifts) is standard with both models, while a seven-speed dual-clutch auto can be had as an option.
The auto is again the quickest option, with its 0-100km/h cut from 4.8 seconds in the old model to 4.1 seconds in both the M4 and new M3. Sprint times for the manual have not been offered yet.
That quicker time is thanks in part to a roughly 80kg weight-loss program, which has seen the M4 in particular drop below 1500kg to a relatively lightfooted 1497kg.
Top speed in both is electronically limited to 250km/h.
Both models now get a carbon fibre-reinforced plastic roof (CFRP), marking a 5kg saving on its own, along with a liberal use of the lightweight material throughout the body.
All of this, BMW says, adds up to a nearly 50:50 weight distribution in both bodystyles.
This all helps with fuel consumption, too, with both models listing 8.8 l/100km on the combined cycle, running 95RON ULP.
BMW M's enhanced Active M differential is on-board to help with traction, while an M Dynamic Mode in the traction control system offers generous slip without completely disengaging the system.
There's also a new electromechanical steering system, offering Comfort, Sport and Sport+ models for different levels of assistance.
Both models get lightweight compound brakes as standard, but of course there's an M carbon-ceramic package also available.
And a quick rundown on some of the EfficientDynamics features: Brake Energy Regeneration, Electric Power Steering, Engine Start Stop function, Optimum Gearshift Indicator, on-demand operation of ancillary units, map-controlled oil pump, final drive with optimised warm-up behaviour.
Smokey the Bandit...
Interestingly, BMW has also produced a new 'Smokey Burnout' (yes, that's its official name) feature as part of the auto model's Launch Control system.
In BMW's words, Smokey will let the driver "indulge in a degree of rear wheel spin while the car is moving at low speeds."
'Pure Driving Pleasure', indeed. (Of course, Ford's new Mustang offers a similar function, so this might be the latest new trend in enthusiast-focused motoring.)
Those Mmmm looks
On the styling front, both models build on the existing 3 and 4 Series look with a host of styling and aero enhancements.
It's all there, from the familiar power dome in the bonnet to the heavily pumped guards, sports bumpers, quad exhaust tips, big wide alloy wheels and a deep vent in the front quarter panel.
In the cabin, both models get the usual enhancements, including a haul of carbon fibre highlights and BMW's new-design three-spoke steering wheel.
Speaking with TMR today, BMW Australia's Scott Croaker confirmed we'll see both models arrive, together, early in the second half of 2014.
Watch for more details on local pricing and spec as the Australian launch draws closer.