The BMW M3 and M4 have sent enthusiasts on more of an emotional roller coaster than perhaps any other car since the new Land Rover Defender. Every time we started growing excited about an all-new version of the iconic sports car based on the great new series, another leak of its beaver-tooth front end came out; every time we started getting bummed out over the styling, another rumor about its powertrain or performance would slide past us, getting us all excited again.
Well, this latest batch of info comes straight from the horse's mouth, and it has us just as torn as ever. BMW all but took the wraps off the new M4 at MotoGP's BMW M Grand Prix of Styria, showing off the vehicle in an eye-twisting livery that hides some of its details but does little to mask that massive grille.
Yet if the front end is a bit overwrought, the rest of the car's lines look almost minimalist in their restraint. There's no bulging hood like on the current car; compared with the new BMW 4 Series coupe, the changes seem almost minor, though the fenders do seem a bit more flared and the tail more upswept. We'll have to wait to see the car freed of its racing wrap to render final judgement, but overall, we have to say it's a surprisingly appealing look (apart from, y'know).
The big news, though, is BMW's announcement that the M3 and M4 will, as long anticipated, offer buyers the chance to have their new sports car with a six-speed manual gearbox. The stick shift will only be paired with the 474-horsepower version of the twin-turbo inline-six, as hypothesized; anyone who desperately needs the 503-hp M3 / M4 Competition models will have to live with an eight-speed automatic. Both will start out as rear-wheel-drive models, though xDrive AWD will come to the Competition versions later.
BMW also took advantage of this occasion to let us know when we can see the new M3 and M4 in all their glory: September 2020. (Which, in case you've lost track of time during this absurd year, is next month.) That said, as BMW Blog discovered, BMW dealerships are already being invited to order their demo cars, giving them a chance to choose between seven exterior colors (Alpine White, Sao Paulo Yellow, Black Sapphire Metallic, Portimao Blue Metallic, Toronto Red Metallic, Isle of Man Green metallic and Brooklyn Grey metallic) and black and black/gray leather interior colors; not surprisingly, these demo cars will all come fully loaded with everything from gesture control to adaptive LED headlights.
Which is another way of saying: if you want to take one of those demo cars off your dealers' hands and be one of the first people with a new M4, be prepared to pay way more than the expected base price of around $70,000.