SA’s favourite performance car breaks the bank.

BMW’s M3 and more recently the M4 have been the most coveted of all BMW’s M models over the last 3 decades. More often than not the Bavarian manufacturer has got the combination of performance, driveability and style spot on, making it the segment benchmark. For this generation (G80/82) BMW has gone to town on the styling front with its M specific grille causing aggressive polarisation. Whether you like it or not, it seems like it’s here to stay and looks likely to slowly find its way onto upcoming M products in the coming years.

The M3 and M4 were simultaneously revealed back in September 2020, with local models said to be available from March 2021. The local lineup is initially limited to the Competition models, which produce more power (375 kW/650 Nm compared with 353 kW and 550 Nm) and are exclusively fitted with an 8-speed dual-clutch gearbox. The South African allocation will initially be rear-wheel-drive only. Later on, BMW will bring in the xDrive version which is equipped with all-wheel-drive and a selectable rear-wheel-drive mode. Expect these towards the end of 2021.

There’s no need to worry about losing control, however, as BMW has fitted the new M3 and M4 with an M Dynamic mode that gives the driver access to 10 stages of traction control, similar to something you would see in a GT racing car where a driver progressively adds or removes traction control depending on the grip levels. As has become custom on M models, shortcut buttons on the steering wheel (M1 and M2) allow the driver to pre-programme their favourite settings so they can be quickly accessed without having to struggle through the iDrive menus.

The official spec on the new M models hasn’t been publicised yet, but we’re hoping that SA buyers will have access to the optional M Race Track Package, which is said to reduce vehicle weight by around 25 kg thanks to features including M Carbon ceramic brakes, special M light-alloy wheels and M Carbon bucket seats.

Price in South Africa (January 2021)

BMW M3  R1 860 000

BMW M4  R1 940 000