The brand new BMW M3 and M4 are coming! For a taster of things to come, I have an opportunity for a pre-drive in the G80 M3 with a manual gearbox to give a great first look as to what it will offer. Despite being heavily camouflaged and hiding the new front grilles, there's plenty of chance at the Sachsenring to enjoy the drive and get a feel.
Now entering into the 6th generation of the hugely popular M3, the new G80 model is very much targeting a variety of different experiences thanks to 3 variants to be available. Starting with the regular rear-wheel-drive M3 with a 480hp inline-6 derived from the X3 M and combined with a manual gearbox, before the two M3 Competition models featuring the 8spd M Steptronic auto and up to 510hp, available as both a RWD and M xDrive AWD configuration. All variants are likewise mirrored in the M4 bodystyles too.
What this means though is that the purist driving experience is there from the beginning; 3 pedals and the power to the rear wheels, the very setup we can experience during a first pre-drive in the prototype cars at the Sachsenring. While largely hidden from sight, and particularly with the new front grilles obscured from view, we're going to have to wait for a full reveal but there's no denying the power and driving performance in a back to back comparison with the DCT M4 with Competition Package of the previous generation.
Inside, the new M3 and M4 receive numerous updates that you might expect from the BMW M family including the new placement of the M1 and M2 hotkeys, plus the central console area to house the additional controls for Sport and Track modes, plus the Setup display allowing the control of various dynamic elements including the adjustable braking configuration.
Out on track it's a hot pursuit as we head in a lead-follow for a very quick first opportunity to get a feel for what this car will offer. There's no denying the speed, a significant step up in just about every direction from the earlier M4, but hard to fully gauge the car from a few short laps. There will be more to find out in due course about the car, and I look forward to sharing it with you.
Thanks for watching, Tim