Spy shots

New 2020 BMW M4 spied testing ahead of launch

BMW’s next M4 promises much, but will it deliver? Here’s everything we know so far

Following a brief look at the next M4 Cabriolet in mid-2019, our spy photographers have snapped the M4 Coupe undergoing final testing in Germany. Though expected to launch later this year, a full reveal date is still yet to be announced. However, BMW has provided us with technical details about its upcoming performance coupe.

As confirmed in an official teaser from BMW M CEO Markus Flasch, the new M4 will receive the same controversial grille as its standard 4-series counterpart. The latest test mule also drops some camouflage to reveal its redesigned front bumper, complete with larger intakes for improved cooling.

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> 2020 BMW 4-series revealed – new coupe range topped by 369bhp M440i

Look past the new grille and you’ll notice the use of wider, more aggressive front arches, aerodynamically sculpted M wing mirrors, wider side sills and, of course, the trademark central quad-tip exhaust exits. Though this mule may not be the final article, it’s also clear that it lacks the famous M bonnet bump, a feature first seen on the E46 generation.

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Behind the newly designed Competition-style wheels sit a set of carbon-ceramic brakes. However, you’ll receive four-piston calipers with 395mm steel discs at the front as standard. Meanwhile, 19- and 20-inch wheel options are to be expected, wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tyres.

Though the design is still under wraps, we now know that both the M4 and its four-door sibling will come equipped with the S58 3-litre twin-turbocharged straight-six. Based on the B58 found in BMW’s M-lite 40i products, it adopts a larger bore and a shorter stroke for a marginal reduction in capacity and increased 7250rpm rev limit.

A lower compression ratio is also used for more power, with the B58’s single twin-scroll turbocharger swapped for a pair of single-scroll items, and the oil pan, intake, oil coolers and heads uprated for increased performance. Though you’ll receive 442lb ft of torque across the board, you’ll have the option of either 473bhp in the standard car or 503bhp should you opt for the M4 Competition.

> 2020 BMW M3 tech specs revealed – choice is the word for BMW’s sports saloon

Though rumours suggested the new M4 would be available only in all-wheel-drive form, the marque has confirmed that base versions will be a six-speed manual, rear-wheel-drive affair. The more expensive Competition will come with an eight-speed automatic and an xDrive all-wheel-drive system, however, with RWD available at the push of a button, similar to the system seen on the F90 M5.

One thing to note is that the UK hasn’t received non-Competition variants in recent times. Should this be the case with the new M3/4, we may be left without the rear-wheel-drive, manual version. No official information on model availability has been announced, however, so time will tell...

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