BMW M4 Officially Unveiled in Concept Form at Pebble Beach
Not only does Car Week in Monterey host fabulous auctions and incredible cars competing for Concours trophies, but many automakers take the opportunity to debut concept vehicles that show where their designs and aspirations are focused for the foreseeable future. Cadillac’s Elmiraj takes the Art and Science theme to another level, but BMW’s M4 concept will spawn a roadgoing car much sooner. As with Caddy, the BMW production models developed from a concept more or less stay true to their original form. So while the M4 (an M3 coupe that gets a name change due to BMW’s marketing team) shown at Pebble Beach is technically a design preview, it is likely to be nearly identical to the M4 due to be released next year.
As with the E92 and E46 M3s, the F82’s hood swallows a healthy dose of Viagra and emerges with a serious bulge to clue onlookers that this isn’t the pedestrian 335i. A front spoiler treatment, fender badges, and quad tailpipes round out the exterior treatment. The changes between the 4 Series and M4 are practically the same as the old 3 Series coupe and M3, and one wonders if BMW’s designers will ever think outside the box when it comes to making steroidal versions of its best selling sedans and coupes. Jalopnik’s Raphael Orlove says it best: “…the rear end in no way matches the drama of the front.” All is not lost, however, for as uninspiring as the car’s surface is, the M3 has always proven to be more dynamic than its sheetmetal suggests.
We examined rumors of the E92 M3 successor back in January, when CAR Magazine leaked info about the M3/4. The legendary M3 name will serve the sedan only, much to the chagrin of BMW fans and journalists. There was a most welcome tradeoff, however, as the lauded inline-6 would return to the M3/4 after a brief flirtation with a V8. To keep up with the Jonses, two or three turbochargers will complement the I6 to develop more oomph than the eight cylinder’s 400hp and 294 lb-ft of torque.
We will be watching the next M3/4 with much interest, as the car consistently wipes the floor with the German and American competition in the compact sports car segment.
Photos courtesy of BMW.