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.
Even though the refreshed BMW 5 Series earned top billing this week, Bavaria’s favorite automaker also released an inky black teaser image of the revamped 4 Series — a vehicle that, like its larger sedan sibling, was forced into a digital debut after coronavirus fears ended basically every car-related gathering expected to take place in 2020.
Despite the car being shrouded in blackness, we managed to enact some digital trickery of our own to get a better glimpse of its front end. While there was only so much we could do to the image before it became a complete mess, the move managed to shed some light on the model’s grille — and how closely it plans on adhering to the Concept 4 that debuted at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show.
Superfans of BMW’s M subsidiary — or, more accurately, its cars — are in for some good news. The German automaker announced an extra special heritage edition of the M4 on Tuesday. Called the BMW M4 Edition ///M Heritage, and limited exclusively to the F82 coupe, the model is supposed to commemorate everything the M Division stands for.
While that absolutely includes making BMW money, the automaker has yet to provide the model with an MSRP. That said, its special nature will undoubtedly push it beyond the model’s $70,000 base price. It’s also limited to just 750 examples worldwide, which ought to tack on a premium of its own.
Toyota GAZOO Racing showed their Supra GT4 Concept at the Geneva motor show in March, but the word “Concept” must be emphasized. While they are planning to bring the car to market, and parading it on the media accounts, the entire program is very early in its development. With no existing sales and support team based in the United States, let’s investigate what it will take to bring the GT4 to IMSA and SRO GT America competition in the U.S.
GT4 is an international homologation specification that is owned by the SRO Motorsports Group and adopted by race sanctioning bodies around the globe. The Supra GT4 will be entering a class that includes entries such as the Aston Martin Vantage, Audi R8, Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Mustang, McLaren 570S, Mercedes-AMG GT, Porsche Cayman, and — of course — the BMW M4.
Going over the announcement of BMW’s updated 4 Series was reminiscent of my childhood attempts to parse out the difference between two nearly identical images in the monthly Double Check of my Highlights for Children magazine.
Beyond the M Sport styled front bumper and newly standardized LED headlights and taillights for each trim, there is nothing obvious about this mid-cycle refresh of the 4 Series. Most of the improvements are minimal and located below the surface, including the only one that really matters to driving enthusiasts — an improved standard suspension designed to encourage a neutral response at the limit and better feedback.
Mercedes-AMG took the wrapper off its dual-flavored C63 AMG Coupe on Wednesday — and to quote the great Denny Green: “They are who we thought they were.”
The Affalterbach duo was shown online after weeks of teases and official photo “leaks” two days ago. The only surprise left were the official specs of the coupes, which were close to what many people predicted.
The C63 “normal” will boast 476 horsepower and 479 pounds-feet of torque, while the C63 S will bump up to 510 hp and 516 pounds-feet of twist. Earlier estimates, based on the C63 sedan, were pegged 6 and 7 horsepower fewer, respectively. And curb weight, provided you’re a 150-pound human, with 15 pounds of cargo and nearly a full tank of fuel (I love how specific Mercedes can be) is 3,968 pounds for the C63 and 3,935 for the C63 S. (Unladen, the C63 and C63 S is 3,802 pounds and 3,769 pounds, respectively.)
BMW may be coy about it, but there’s no denying that manual transmissions are dying a fairly ignominious death in most cars. It’s a shame. Manuals are more often found as slushboxes in econo-drones with cloth everything paired to a remedial engine.
Cheap manual transmissions aren’t worth saving. In 20 years, when everything except your mountain bike comes with an automatic transmission, will you look fondly on the Chevy Cobalt’s 5-speed guessing game? Probably not.
The last Lexus coupé-only model to grace luxury Japanese dealer lots was the 1991-2000 Lexus SC 300/SC 400. Since then Lexus has tried to satisfy luxury coupé and convertible shoppers simultaneously with the hardtop SC and IS convertibles since 2001.
That is until the folks in Japan decided to change their strategy to compete more directly with BMW, Mercedes and Audi in every segment. The result is the development of the RC.
Perhaps because Lexus decided against a 2-coupé strategy, as utilized by BMW and Mercedes, the RC is mix mash between the compact IS and the mid-sized GS — with a little bit of Lexus IS C tossed in for good measure.
In theory, the new coupé was also to serve as the basis for an all-new convertible. Unfortunately, the dealer network revolted and demanded another change in course, redirecting efforts into a 3-row crossover. As a result, the all-new RC is sold alongside the aging Lexus IS C convertible, a situation that’s unlikely to change for the foreseeable future. Fortunately for enthusiasts, Lexus developed their M4-fighter at the same time as the more pedestrian RC 350, otherwise the very-blue 467-horsepower RC F you see above may have met the same fate as the moribund convertible.
New BMW M boss Frank van Meel says buyers may still have a choice between two transmissions, just between two types of automatics.
Talking to Autocar, van Meel said: “From a technical standpoint, the future doesn’t look bright for manual gearboxes.”
So goes another nail into the coffin.
From the same division that birthed the Lexus IS-F and LFA comes the RC-F Coupe, which will turn up next week during the 2014 Detroit Auto Show to punch both BMW and Mercedes-AMG in the face.
Most of the details regarding the new BMW M3 and M4 are pretty well-known already, but a new round of official images has been leaked ahead of the cars’ North American PR releases. Supposedly, this will be the lightest M3 in three generations, with an all-time high horsepower and (particularly) torque rating courtesy of twin turbos and a completely revised in-line six engine. Gallery after the jump.
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