The new BMW M3 and M4 are coming Down Under

BMW M3 and M4 revealed

The BMW M3 and M4 have been revealed…will be available with rear- and all-wheel drive and a Drift Analyser. No, really.

Arriving Down Under in the first part of next year, the new BMW M3 and M4 have finally been revealed. And the Internets everywhere are breaking.

Some stats. Both variants are powered by a 3.0-litre twin-turbo six-cylinder making 353kW and 550Nm of torque. A six-speed manual. You’ll get from 0-100km/h in 4.2 seconds.

BMW M3 and M4 revealed

And now for the Competition spec variants. These bump the power and torque to 375kW and 650Nm, run a clever eight-speed automatic, and will get to 100km/h in 3.9 seconds. And buyers, for the first time ever will be able to choose from either rear- or all-wheel drive – although the regular M3 and M4 will only be available in rear-drive. The arrival of the M3 and M4 Competition vehicles will see all-wheel drive become available.

Want the world to hear your M3 or M4 roar? There’ll be a model-specific exhaust system with electronically controlled flaps to provide “an emotionally rich soundtrack,” BMW said.

To keep the M3 and M4 cool, there’s the main cooling module as well as two remote radiators in the wheel arches, and in the Comp models additional oil and transmission coolers. And to keep oil flowing, BMW has borrowed from its motorsport book, fitting the oil sump with two chambers and an integrated suction channel. An additional suction stage allows the map-controlled oil pump to draw lubricant from the smaller chamber, which steps in when extra capacity is needed.

The manual gearbox is pretty clever, boasting Gear Shift Assistant, which uses engagement speed control to “ensure slip-free operation when downshifting under braking into corners”.

BMW M3 and M4 revealed

BMW said it’s fitted model specific bracing, which includes a front axle subframe with aluminium shear panel, underfloor bracing elements and a rear axle subframe with a rigid connection to the body.

Adaptive M suspension with electronically-controlled shock absorbers and M-specific “kinematics and elastokinematics for the front and rear axles are standard features of the new BMW M3 Sedan and new BMW M4 Coupe”.

BMW M3 and M4 revealed

A raft of driving modes are available but it’s M Dynamic Mode that those who plan on tracking their M3 or M4 will enjoy, with its controlled drifting functionality. This works with the on-board infotainment system, M Drive Professional which makes its debut on M3 and M4. This is designed just for track driving and includes the new M Traction Control, which allows the new integrated wheel slip limitation function of the DSC system to be adjusted (through 10 stages). Get it set in slippy drift mode and you’ll be able to use the M Drift Analyser, which records and rates driving stats posted in dynamic cornering manoeuvres, and the M Laptimer, which supplies lap times and other information generated during track sessions.

In terms of looks, the M3 and M4’s larger kidney grille looks a little silly but the rest of the thing is pure muscle, via the pumped guards and M gills. To keep the centre of gravity down low, the roof is made from carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) with aerodynamically optimised fins. BMW Laserlight is fitted as standard equipment, allowing a high-beam range of more than 500 metres.

On the inside are new-look, electrically adjustable M sport seats with M Carbon buckets available as cost options. The seats have integrated head restraints which can be dismantled for track driving. And the design of the seat allows for the easy install of multi-point racing seat belts. Cool.

Final specification and pricing for Australian cars will be announced closer to the local launch.

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Isaac Bober has been writing about cars and 4x4s for more than 20 years, has worked on some of the country's biggest motoring magazines (remember what they were?), and launched Practical Motoring. Now he's back, back again... to share dad jokes and much more.