Both cars will feature similar mechanicals, though the M3 will be based on the BMW 3-Series sedan while the M4 will be based on the latest 4-Series coupe. A concept previewing the M4 was shown earlier this year at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
Power in either car will come from a direct-injected and twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter straight-six engine. Peak output will be approximately 430 horsepower and more than 369 pound-feet of torque.
Contrary to some rumors, the M3 and M4 will offer a six-speed manual gearbox as standard. A seven-speed M-DCT dual-clutch unit will also be available. One new addition will be an Active M Differential. The previous M3 used a mechanical differential to limit slip and enhance traction, but the new Active M unit uses an electric actuator to constantly vary the locking effect.
Performance of the cars will be impressive. Not only are the new M3 and M4 more powerful than their respective predecessors, they are also lighter. BMW says either car will weigh less than 3,300 pounds.
Stay tuned for an imminent online reveal of the new M3 and M4 and look forward to all the info and live photos once the cars make their debut at the Detroit Auto Show on January 13.