What to expect from the next-generation BMW M4, going by the new M4 GT3 racecar
BMW has teased the new M4 GT3 racecar, set to be its ultimate M Motorsport offering when it debuts in the second half of the 2020 season of racing. However, the new M4 GT3 will be available to customer racing teams only for the 2022 season, in keeping with the arrival of new regulations for that class of racing. The M4 GT3 teaser shows a car with a large gaping grille just about hidden in the shadows, whilst also showing off massive aero work, and swollen wheelarches, covering the wider track. And according to BMW, the M4 GT3 car will be closely based on the next-generation M4, itself set for a mid-2020 reveal.
The next 2021 BMW M4 will of course follow in the styling of the new BMW 4 Series, which in turn is said to be quite close to the Concept 4 shown at the Frankfurt Auto Show this year, which was meant to preview the styling on the upcoming new-gen 4 Series, as will be the upcoming electric i4 sedan. While we welcome the aggressive bulges on the hood, the leading edge of the hood where it meets the angular grille looks to be quite a busy place, with each line on the hood exaggerating the grille's outline. The lower air dams seem to be fairly busy as well, with a Y-shaped motif inside, and sharp cuts leading the eye to the bumper instead of the slim headlights.
Recent spy pictures of what is reported to be the new M4 show similarities to the Concept 4, especially with the inclusion of the large, squarish grille. It appears that the bottom and top halves of the grille will be in a single continuous frame, like on the Concept, but the heavily camouflaged car shows larger headlights which are said to be production-ready. The sharp, aggressive bumpers look like they will be present, though at the rear, the M4 will continue with its signature four tailpipe exits, contained within a squarish diffuser, and placed towards the centre of the car.
This new 3-litre twin turbo engine, codenamed the S58, is the first new M Division inline-six engine in half a decade. It's also the higher performance M version of the B58 engine that finds home in the new-generation BMW Z4 (where it makes 382PS internationally), as well as the Toyota Supra (tuned to only 335PS). BMW claims the stock S58 engine will make over 500PS, with some reports claiming the figures to be 507PS specifically. Considering the most powerful version of the current-gen M4, the CS, makes 460PS from its S55 engine, the jump in power will be welcome, as will reports that BMW will make both manual and automatic versions available. It remains to be seen whether the next-gen BMW M4 will be purely rear-wheel drive, or get the switchable all-wheel drive system as seen on the M5.
The M4 GT3 will succeed the now-ageing M6 GT3, which has been in service since 2016. That 4.4-litre V8-powered car (engine codename S63) producing up to 585PS, has taken two wins in the Spa 24 hours race, and a win in the Macau round of the FIA GT World Cup, but in the face of new competition from Porsche and Audi has not been able to be as competitive. BMW would be hoping to get the M Motorsport programme back on track with the new M4 GT3.
Spy photos courtesy: Motor1
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