BMW boss says response to wild styling “extremely positive”

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Words: Matthew Hansen
23 Sep 2020

BMW has finally unveiled its new M3 and M4 duo, sporting one of the most diverse ranges in the premium performance market, and power specs capable of scaring the odd supercar.

Read more: Controversial BMW M3 and M4 debut, no manual for NZ

But what’s stolen the show has been the radical front grille — a vast departure from the twin-kidney look BMWs have long been known for. The look has caused quite the stir among both press and enthusiasts, with the jury seemingly still out on whether it translates well to a production-car canvas.

Head of BMW M, Markus Flasch, held a roundtable discussion with various members of the Australasian press prior to the car’s launch (embargoed images had been circulated in advance). Quizzed on the styling of both models, Flasch said he had only heard positive comments about the styling.

“So far the response from the media that we’ve shown the car was extremely positive,” he said

“It’s logical because we really took the design of the 4 Series to another level. We got rid of the kidney frame, we have an embossed bonnet. The rest is very much different, much more different than anything we did in the past driven from BMW.”

The large grille does provide some performance benefits, given that it’s almost entirely ‘real’ with no blanked sections. This means it will act as an excellent channel for air to flow through the engine.

“The front looks like a race car engineer has designed it and not a designer. This is how we wanted it to be,” Flasch added. “I think it’s the right move. I haven’t received [negative] comments anyway. I think it was the right move, it suits the car, it’s beneficial for cooling air intake.

“I wouldn’t change it if I could.”

Following this morning’s unveiling, an M3 Touring and M4 convertible are both on their way, as are a bevy of xDrive variants. All are expected to share the same 3.0-litre 375kW/650Nm twin-turbo inline six, capable of hitting 100km/h in 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 290km/h once the restrictor is deleted.

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