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2021 BMW M3 and M4 Set to Debut This Year With ‘More Than 500 Horsepower’

And yes, a manual will be available.

BMW’s M division enjoyed a banger of a year in 2019. Between the sales of performance-lite M Sport coupes and high-performance sedans like the M5, the go-fast department managed to sell 139,829 vehicles in 2019 and break a company sales record along the way. In the midst of bragging about its healthy sales in a recent press release, the German automaker let slip that its new M3 and M4 will be revealed in 2020.

Both performance models will share the brand’s divisive new beaver-tooth grille, seen first on concept cars and later on leaked photos of pre-production M3s and M4s. Rumors that these model’s shared turbo-six drivetrain would surpass 500 horsepower in one form or another were confirmed last month by the automaker, which stated that at least one M4 variant will offer a version of the 3.0-liter S58 inline-six that produces “more than 500 horsepower.” Based on the figures produced by the current M Competition trims of the X3 and X4, we believe that specific figure to be 503.


The availability of the 500-plus horse engine is the subject of debate. One rumor suggested that this engine will be exclusive to the most powerful M3 and M4 variants, thought to be the Competition trim level, although a contrasting report says more powerful M cars could be in the works. Word is the water injection system seen on the M4 GTS could return to augment the next-gen M4 CS or CSL; a historic BMW nameplate that will supersede the GTS moniker. There has been no such rumor regarding a similar derivative of the M3 to our knowledge.

Regardless of power output, the new M3 and M4 “are very likely to offer rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, manual and automatic for both models,” according to BMW M CEO Markus Flasch. And joy of joys for those who like simple toys: Those manual, rear-drive models were identified as the cheapest options for both models by a self-proclaimed company insider last year. The only piece of bad news we have to share is that while the M3 and M4 may be revealed this year, they won’t hit dealers ’til 2021, soo says Flasch, and if anyone knows the truth about what’s going on inside M, it’s him.

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