GRILLE WARFARE
evo India|November 2020
BMW’s new M3 and M4 are here, with up to 503bhp, and four-wheel-drive now an option. And then there’s that front end. You have been warned…
STUART GALLAGHER

THIRTY-FIVE YEARS, SIX GENERATIONS, AN unrivalled motorsport pedigree and an expectation to be the best sports saloon in the market. No one said it was ever going to be easy for the new G80series M3 and its M4 coupe brother, and as if to confirm that BMW M is pulling out all the stops, there is a great deal to take in with its latest pair.

It starts with the usual fare that includes two trim levels for each car (standard and Competition) and two gearboxes (a manual and an auto, more on both later), and these choices are now joined by two different drivetrains too (two- and four-wheel drive). But it’s the looks that will inevitably generate the comments – and no doubt protests from some who will say they’ll never buy an M3 again.

The styling of the new cars doesn’t display the homologation attention to detail of the original E30 M3, nor the taught, tightly surfaced approach of the E46, but there’s still plenty to occupy your eye – not least a front grille that will keep the meme generators busier than Lewis Hamilton’s trophy cabinet maker. Combined with a front number plate position that does as much to draw your attention to the vast openings as it does to try to distract you from them, and joined by large outlets in the bonnet’s leading edge above, in a bold colour it’s a standout feature. Perhaps a more subtle hue will tone down the impact, but either way, it’s going to be a conversation starter.

For the rest of the design it’s pure 2020 BMW M, which means more defined openings and exaggerated surfaces for the front, more pronounced sculpting along the flanks, and wider rear arches for the M3 compared to those of a conventional 3 Series. There’s also a carbon fibre roof as standard for both body styles, rear diffusers, and smaller-diameter wheels for the front axles (18- or 19-inch) compared to the rear (19- or 20-inch).

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