BMW M4 Leaks, Can Smell You Where You Sit

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
bmw m4 leaks can smell you where you sit

An abundance of fragrant pollen in your author’s neighborhood has led to increasing sinus distress over the past few days, but he wouldn’t trade places with the upcoming BMW M4 for a second. No, sir. Not with those flared nostrils.

Leaked to the internet via the g20.bimmerpost forum, the muscled-up sibling to the 2021 BMW 4 Series Coupe unveiled this week takes that car’s already controversial front-end treatment to new extremes, confirming what we already expected.

Spy photos of both the camouflaged vehicle and individual pieces of bodywork suggested this M4 would prove polarizing; the automaker’s equally expressive Concept 4 foreshadowed everything last year. BMW followed it up with the Concept i4, a four-door electric that paves the way for the real thing. Both concepts made it clear that the brand’s signature kidney grille would end up stretched like warm taffy once the new 4 Series made it to production.

While the stock 4 Series coupe, available in four-cylinder 430i and six-cylinder mild-hybrid M440i guise, is certainly distinctive, comments tossed around the TTAC chatroom came out tepidly in Bimmer’s corner. It’ll get the thing noticed, and it isn’t as ugly as feared. High praise?

This M4, however, takes things further. Unlike the vaguely octagonal openings seen on the Concept 4 and the stock 4 Series coupe, the vehicle seen in this (lightened for viewer enjoyment) photo omits any air opening south of the slender slits, stretching grille acreage as close to the pavement as any designer would deem feasible. They’re somewhat reminiscent of the air intakes of various Cold War era jet fighters.

Indents in the hood only serve to enhance the impact of this new design direction, and the same goes for narrow headlamps underlined by LED running lamp mascara. BMW’s not shying away from anything here. It’s not worried about turning off longtime fans; it wants to get noticed, and to attract those who want to be seen. Elsewhere in the vicinity of this rhinoplasty procedure are two lower air openings flanked by narrow, vertical slits that would seem to allow the passage of air through the fender, reducing front wheel well turbulence and aiding the car’s aero mission.

Overall, whatever elegance the car’s enlarged proportions allows, the front end erases. A snarling animal, or a sightless fish seeking out edibles on the ocean floor? Where your mind goes upon gazing at this car is anyone’s guess.

Sadly, the leaker’s camera couldn’t see through all of that bodywork to the heart that beats inside. The previous M4 offered up a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six making 425 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque. There’s no chance of the model returning to the scene without extra power in tow. Rear- or all-wheel- drive is a go, according to recent comments by two Bimmer executives associated with the 4 Series line. Expect an eight-speed automatic, too, though the automaker has said a manual will be available.

Whether that stick shift makes its way to North America is an unanswered question.


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2 of 41 comments
  • Texasjack Texasjack on Jun 07, 2020

    UGLY. Stop the grills eating everything in front of them. Old kidney grill was perfect.

  • Threeer Threeer on Jun 08, 2020

    BMW=Bucktooth Motor Works Gads, whatever happened to restrained athleticism? Makes me long for any of my previous Bimmers (1974 2002, 1985 318i, 1993 325is). These new ones are an abomination. And here I was thinking of buying one at the end of my assignment here in Germany. Now...not so much.

  • MaintenanceCosts We hear endlessly from the usual suspects about the scenarios where EVs don't work as well as gas cars. We never hear the opposite side of the coin. From an EV owner (since 2019) who has a second EV reserved, here are a few points the "I road trip 1000 miles every day" crowd won't tell you about:[list][*]When you have a convenient charging situation, EV fueling is more convenient than a gas car. There is no stopping at gas stations and you start every day with a full tank.[/*][*]Where there are no-idling rules (school pickup/dropoff, lines for ferries or services, city loading, whatever else) you can keep warm or cool to your heart's content in your EV.[/*][*]In the cold, EVs will give you heat from the second you turn them on.[/*][*]EVs don't care one bit if you use them for tons of very short trips. Their mechanicals don't need to boil off condensation. (Just tonight, I used my EV to drive six blocks, because it was 31 degrees and raining, and walking would have been unpleasant.)[/*][*]EVs don't stink and don't make you breathe carcinogens on cold start.[/*][*]EV maintenance is much less frequent and much cheaper, eliminating almost all items having to do with engine, transmission, or brakes in a gas car. In most EVs the maintenance schedule consists of battery coolant changes and tire maintenance.[/*][*]You can accelerate fast in EVs without noisily attracting the attention of the cops and every passerby on the street.[/*][/list]
  • MaintenanceCosts Still can't get a RAV4 Prime for love or money. Availability of normal hybrid RAV4s and Highlanders is only slightly better. At least around here I think Toyota could sell twice the number of vehicles that they are actually bringing in at the moment.
  • Tree Trunk Been in the market for a new Highlander Hybrid, it is sold out with order time of 6 months plus. Probably would have bit the bullet if it was not for the dealers the refuse to take an order but instead want to sell from allotment whether it fits or not and at thousands over MRSP.
  • AKHusky The expense argument is nonsense. My mach e was $42k after tax credit. Basically the same as similarly equipped edge. And it completely ignores that the best selling vehicles are Rams, F150s, and Silverados, all more expensive that a bolt, MAch e or ID4. As an owner, I'd say they are still in second car territory for most places in the country.
  • Johnster I live in a red state and I see quite a few EVs being purchased by conservative, upper-class Republicans (many of them Trump-supporters). I suspect that it is a way for them to flaunt their wealth and that, over time, the preference for EVs will trickle down to less well-off Republicans.