BMW has kicked off the teaser campaign for the next-generation 4 Series by sharing preliminary details and a few images of the M440i, but what we have here is the natural step above the M Performance model. We’re obviously talking about the fully fledged M model, caught by Auto Addiction on YouTube working out at the Nürburgring gym where the test driver was pushing the M4 quite hard.
Just look at the emergency brake lights flashing before the car goes into a corner to realise the high-performance coupe codenamed G82 was being thrashed around. It’s all in a day’s work for a professional test driver, arguably one of the best jobs in the world if you’re passionate about all things on four wheels. The M4 Coupe might not be as nimble as the smaller M2 Coupe, but it does appear to have impressively sharp handling even in prototype form.
Gallery: BMW M4 new spy photos
The sound you’re hearing comes from a turbocharged inline-six engine already installed in the X3 M and X4 M crossovers where the 3.0-litre produces 503 bhp in Competition form. Expect the same kind of power in the hottest flavour of the M4, but while the speedy SAV models come exclusively with xDrive and an automatic transmission, the coupe will also offer a six-speed manual and rear-wheel drive.
BMW has already announced it won’t offer the three-pedal setup with AWD, but we’re glad there will be multiple configurations to choose from, especially the stick shift. The aforementioned M4 Competition is expected to come exclusively with the 8-speed automatic and xDrive, with the manual RWD variant likely to serve as the base 473-bhp model featuring a more attainable price tag. It should be the same story with the M3 Saloon since we’re dealing with largely the same car – giant grille included.
The regular 4 Series Coupe together with the M440i will be unveiled in June, but the M4 will come at a later date as the icing on the cake. Perhaps a bit surprising, but an M4 Convertible is also on the agenda according to spy shots, and there might even be an M4 Gran Coupe further down the line.
While models such as the M2, M3, M4, and M5 are considered as the pillars of the M range, BMW has gone to great lengths to diversify its performance portfolio with the M-badged SUVs. Another one could be en route as a recent report alleges an X8 M is coming with roughly 750 horsepower from a hybrid V8.
That output might sound a bit unrealistic, but let’s keep in mind that Markus Flasch, CEO of BMW M, said a few days ago there’s virtually no ceiling when it comes to the horsepower count. The company already squeezes 617 bhp from its twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8, so with electric assistance, we can easily imagine an M-badged hybrid model with well over 700.