BMW M4 Leaks, Can Smell You Where You Sit
An abundance of fragrant pollen in your author’s neighborhood has led to increasing sinus distress over the past few days, but he wouldn’t trade places with the upcoming BMW M4 for a second. No, sir. Not with those flared nostrils.
Leaked to the internet via the g20.bimmerpost forum, the muscled-up sibling to the 2021 BMW 4 Series Coupe unveiled this week takes that car’s already controversial front-end treatment to new extremes, confirming what we already expected.
Spy photos of both the camouflaged vehicle and individual pieces of bodywork suggested this M4 would prove polarizing; the automaker’s equally expressive Concept 4 foreshadowed everything last year. BMW followed it up with the Concept i4, a four-door electric that paves the way for the real thing. Both concepts made it clear that the brand’s signature kidney grille would end up stretched like warm taffy once the new 4 Series made it to production.
While the stock 4 Series coupe, available in four-cylinder 430i and six-cylinder mild-hybrid M440i guise, is certainly distinctive, comments tossed around the TTAC chatroom came out tepidly in Bimmer’s corner. It’ll get the thing noticed, and it isn’t as ugly as feared. High praise?
This M4, however, takes things further. Unlike the vaguely octagonal openings seen on the Concept 4 and the stock 4 Series coupe, the vehicle seen in this (lightened for viewer enjoyment) photo omits any air opening south of the slender slits, stretching grille acreage as close to the pavement as any designer would deem feasible. They’re somewhat reminiscent of the air intakes of various Cold War era jet fighters.
Indents in the hood only serve to enhance the impact of this new design direction, and the same goes for narrow headlamps underlined by LED running lamp mascara. BMW’s not shying away from anything here. It’s not worried about turning off longtime fans; it wants to get noticed, and to attract those who want to be seen. Elsewhere in the vicinity of this rhinoplasty procedure are two lower air openings flanked by narrow, vertical slits that would seem to allow the passage of air through the fender, reducing front wheel well turbulence and aiding the car’s aero mission.
Overall, whatever elegance the car’s enlarged proportions allows, the front end erases. A snarling animal, or a sightless fish seeking out edibles on the ocean floor? Where your mind goes upon gazing at this car is anyone’s guess.
Sadly, the leaker’s camera couldn’t see through all of that bodywork to the heart that beats inside. The previous M4 offered up a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six making 425 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque. There’s no chance of the model returning to the scene without extra power in tow. Rear- or all-wheel- drive is a go, according to recent comments by two Bimmer executives associated with the 4 Series line. Expect an eight-speed automatic, too, though the automaker has said a manual will be available.
Whether that stick shift makes its way to North America is an unanswered question.