Getting the M3 right is critical for BMW, because it's a sort of bellwether for the industry and enthusiasts alike--if a car is quick, it will inevitably be compared to the M3.
Getting the M4 right is even more critical for BMW, because it wears an all-new name over the bones and history of the M3 coupe. Committing any sins against its ancestors will be judged doubly for the M4.
Unfortunately, it's not yet clear just how good the new M duo is, but on paper at least, things are looking very good. As for how good it looks to the eyes of the aesthete, rather than those of the track dog, we'll let the images speak for themselves.
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The new M3 sedan and M4 coupe are lighter and more powerful than their predecessors. A 3.0-liter in-line six-cylinder twin-turbocharged engine rated at 425 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque generates 3.9-second 0-60 mph acceleration when paired with the M-DCT dual-clutch transmission.
If you opt for the six-speed manual, that figure rises to 4.1 seconds--the price you pay for rowing your own gears, though you won't have to worry about rev-matching even if you pick the three-pedal 'box, as BMW has included automatic throttle-blipping. BMW hasn't yet clarified if the feature can be turned off.
Of course, BMW cautions that these power and acceleration specs are preliminary, and not yet certified for the U.S. market. So things may change--but we wouldn't expect them to change by much. The engine also sounds pretty great, as you can hear for yourself in the video above. We don't expect that to change at all.
As for that new S55 twin-turbo six, it's looking like a very enticing lump indeed. The peak power figure is nice, but unlike you find in a zingy, high-revving normally aspirated engine, the S55's peak power is available across a huge band of the rev rage: 5,500-7,300 rpm. That's peak power across the whole top third of the engine's range (the rev limiter kicks in at 7,600 rpm). Peak torque comes on early, at 1,800 rpm, and stays flat through 5,500-rpm.