Last night, we were fortunate enough to be at the World Premiere of the BMW Concept M4 Coupe that was held in Pebble Beach. After having seen the first photos in the press release, I wasn't convinced that the car was going to be as unique or special over the standard 4 Series - especially when you take into account the 4 Series M Performance Parts that will be arriving for the car in the not too distant future.
Once the cover came off of the M4 Concept, all those doubts that I had were left in the dust because the car was almost screaming to you just how special it was. You can look at the obvious flared fenders and carbon fiber treatments to have a quick sense of this being an M car or you can look deeper at options like the Carbon Ceramic brakes that are tucked in behind the massive M double spoke wheels. One of my biggest complaints on the standard 4 Series has been the continued use of the "standard" BMW mirrors that are a bit boxy and it was a big relief to see some styled mirrors finally appearing on this M concept car.
You are probably asking just how much this car is going to differ from the production version, right? Based on history with the E92 M3 concept car - what you see today in the concept version is likely to be nearly identical to the production version. We didn't get 100% confirmation of this from BMW but they did give the impression that there won't be many changes in the production model.
At the end of the day, I have to say that I think the M division got this one right in the design aspect. They put together a car that will stand out from the crowd and give some M owners a reason to considering upgrading their car. What we don't have an answer for yet is arguably what matters most - what is going to power the M4, what is it going to weigh and how is it going to handle?
Rumors continue to peg the M4 as being powered by an inline 6 with twin turbos pushing out somewhere between 425 and 450 horsepower and roughly 400 lb-ft of torque. If this can be combined with weight savings from the use of lightweight components to shed a few hundred pounds, the M4 might be able to make everyone upset about the name chnage forget about it and embrace the future.
The M4 Coupe has arrived and this first showing of the exterior design gives a lot of hope for the future of the car. Let's just hope that the M division comes through on the driving experience that M cars are expected to have given their long history. We will know more later this year and are likely to see production versions of the car in January 2014 at the Detroit Auto Show.
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