2021 M3, M4, Beyond The Grille
Article By: Arnav Kulkarni, Siddharth Shirwadkar
BMW Designers, the artists whose design choices and masterpieces can only be coined "bold". The G80-M3 and G82-M4 are designed quite boldly. Is this the future of BMW Designs? How bad exactly is this? Does it hold up beyond the grille?
Let's find out! RPMStyle 😏
Some might argue that the M760Li or the M8 Competition are the flagships, but these are for the adrenaline junkies, the pièce de resistance of 'M' driving thrills, second maybe only to the M2 Comp/M2 CS, the car that makes you gape in awe at every point. Genuine sports cars, that’s what the M series are. But to us, works of art are what they are. Not to everyone's taste, but finely appreciated by the right people. The M series have always been part of an iconic legacy in sports cars. The E46 M3 GTR in the early 2000s, the M4 DTM The new M3 and M4 set to launch in 2021 have undergone big changes. So let's have a look at those!
The most significant change is the new grille both the cars feature. It is a turn away from the classic BMW Kidney Grilles toward these new... Lungs? Abs?. The most obvious and primary reaction any car enthusiast would have had is disdain for this move away from the signature kidney grille featured on the previous BMW cars. But we think that this is a step forward for the car series. BMW is making a big bold statement and they’re challenging the new decade of car design constructively. It is a step forward definitely. They are willing to look ahead instead of clinging on to the past. Audi did it in the early 2000s and while it may have looked out of place at first, it is much more common today.
The newer cars are bigger, badder and better than ever, literally and figuratively.
The M3 2021 is wider and taller. A step away from the iconic M3 look, but the scallops on the hood pair off quite nicely with the new vertical grill, which I think will grow on you as it has on us. The exhaust tips for the standard M3 are chrome finished, the Competition version does get these glossy black finished tips, which, when paired with the sweet looking 'stacked' exhaust-system option, in our opinion, complement the new colours and design language BMW has chosen to incorporate, spectacularly.
The M4 2021 will be 4.6 inches longer, 0.7 inch wider, 0.4 inch taller, and also features a wheelbase that is 1.8 inches longer as compared to the 2020 M4. The car is about 200 pounds heavier! Talk about making gains. The Competition, however, is a reduced 195 pounds.
The standard M3 and M4 comes with a steel roof that houses a sun roof fitted as standard. There is the option of a carbon fiber roof, which lowers the car’s centre of gravity, making the car entirely more stable, all while looking good. Among the six colours offered by BMW, the Sao Paolo yellow and this sweet, sweet looking Isle of Man green bring out the absolute beasts these cars are.
Let’s just address the elephant in the room, those new seats. Never have we been as excited as we are right now for car seats. BMW has outdone themselves on this one. The colour combinations work seamlessly, like the blue and black seats just look so good with the Sao Paolo Yellow. They could have just thrown black leather seats like a bunch of other car manufacturers but their attention to detail is what takes the cake for us.
The steering wheel is pretty much what we have to come to expect from a sports car with the M badge on it; the steering is direct with a sheer lack of understeer and the road feedback is precise and unadulterated. The BMW logo is placed in the centre, and is flanked on either side by buttons to control the different modes and features of the car. It includes buttons to change the driving modes of the car- the M mode buttons- and other features such as answering calls and controlling the stereo. At the bottom of the wheel is the logo for the M series. The steering wheel also has the two massive, super responsive paddle shifters at the back. Standard BMW steering wheel it is.
It goes without saying that we expect both cars to feature the latest technology in terms of infotainment and services. And as always, BMW delivers. Both cars come fitted with a 10.25-inch central touchscreen that is home to the iDrive 7 system. This gives the driver access to a range of features that are: a voice assistant, Android Auto, Apple Car Play and Navigation.
The super controversial grilles encapsulate an absolute beast of a power unit. The 3.0 litre Inline 6 in both the G80-M3 and G82-M4, pumps out 473 horsepower and unleashes 550 Nm (406 lb ft.) of torque on the rear wheels, which, when paired with the 6-speed manual (yes, that's not a typo, a manual!) makes the car sprint from a standstill to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds and continues to an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph (250 kmph). You think that's impressive? Try the Competition models. Pounding out 503 horsepower and 650 Nm (479 lb ft) to either all 4 wheels or just the rears. Paired with the 8-speed automatic, this leaps from a standstill to 60 mph in just under 3.8 seconds which rushes on to a slightly higher electronically limited top speed of 180 mph (290 kmh). Bringing the M Twins down to a standstill is distributed between the pair of 6-piston fixed calipers and a 14.9' discs in the front, and single piston suspended calipers on 14.6' discs in the rear with additional, larger Carbon Ceramics as an optional.The suspensions are stiffer than before, in M/Sport modes and much more refined in the highest comfort settings. The new modified, gargantuan exhausts are modified specifically to add the extra oomph when in M modes. The new gimmicks in the Competition models include additional services like the lap timer, data recorder, a drift analyzer and many other track-centric features/data. Also, a drift analyzer for your hoonings and related shenanigans. All synced to your iPhone via the BMW App. Sticking to the roots, and leaping to the future, all in one sexy, loud, quick little package
The Grilles... Let's talk about them. From the starting of writing this article to writing this sentence, the Grilles have definitely grown on us. Sure, they might not be to everyone's taste, but they grow on you surely. Now, Beyond The Grilles;
The G80, G82 series M-Twins strike a remarkable balance between plush and performance. The sheer comfort, features and the refined drive paired with the monstrous engines, bold styling elements and exhaust systems. This car will definitely turn heads pulling up on the streets. A perfect alternative to the M2 Competition for people with slightly higher storage/seating needs while still satiating petrolhead needs.