M3 and M4 are slated for simultaneous unveilings in mid-2020 followed by a market launch for the 2021 model year, both the G20’s M3 and M4 derivatives should benefit from more reengineering that may bring the magic back to the 3-series. In keeping with tradition, BMW will thoroughly retune and stiffen the M3/M4 chassis, meaning that the steering may get even more engaging. But that will be just the start.
Details are scant at this point, but we know that the next M3 and M4 will be differentiated from the base 3- and 4-series at least as much as the current M cars are. Expect to see spoilers, diffusers, flared fenders, gaping air intakes, bulging hoods, and wheels and tires sized 19 inches and up. As with the current generation, the M3 and M4 will offer exclusive color and trim choices, and the instrument cluster will be programmed to visually reflect BMW’s racing heritage.
This time around, though, we believe that BMW may offer all-wheel drive as an option, which should reduce zero-to-60-mph times to somewhere in the low threes. The seven-speed dual-clutch automatic likely will stick around, and even though there’s no manual in the regular 3-series for sale. We fully expect BMW to keep the three-pedal six-speed as the standard transmission for this generation M3 and M4.
As for the engine and transmission, the normal M twins will only be available with an eight-speed automatic, hooked up to a revised straight-six producing 474 horsepower. Now that you have your pitchforks firmly in hand, we’ve got one more curveball for you. To assuage the many M enthusiasts who want a manual transmission, BMW is said to be offering M3 and M4 “Pure” variants — these cars will be manual transmission only.
The M4 convertible will switch from a retractable hardtop to a power-operated softtop. It’s a change we wholeheartedly support, as it will drastically reduce weight and complexity, increase trunk space, and probably look better, too. Priced from around $70,000, the M3 and M4 will continue to face tough competition from the likes of the Audi RS5, the Lexus RC F, and the Mercedes-AMG C63, all of which have taken the basic M3 concept and made it their own.