Most of the car world is quite sad to see the BMW M3 coupe, arguably the company's most noteworthy model, cease to exist after almost thirty years since it first saw light in the form of the E30 M3. For all this time, it was the poster child for BMW's M division and was a dream machine for kids and middle-aged men everywhere. The M3 sedan will continue on for 2014 so all is not lost, but from now on BMW seems to be adopting the pattern of giving its sedans odd-numbered names only and its coupes even-numbered names only. Enter the 4-Series and, more importantly, the M4 concept that debuted at the whirlwind of automotive activity that took place in August of 2013 in and around Monterey, California. The car world has been cautiously awaiting the new supercoupe for some time now, so is it worthy of filling in for the iconic M3?
The M4 show car was immediately swarmed by journalists, drawing lots of attention finished in an eye-catching color, called "Aurum Dust", that actually looks a lot like a popular old M3 color called Phoenix yellow. The show car was indeed a concept, but BMW's M cars rarely change much before they go into production. In this case, it's a good thing. From front to back, the bodywork is much more aggressive than the standard 4-Series, and it really looks to be pretty much picking up where the M3 Coupe left off, especially with that unmistakable domed hood. Wide wheel arches, big wheels wrapped with low profile tires, ample "M" badges, and a well-executed double bubble roof are other styling cues that make the already somewhat underwhelming 428i look even more pedestrian by comparison. Power for the new M car will likely come from a 3.0 liter twin-turbo straight-six, and while horsepower probably won't change much from the M3's old 4.0 liter V-8, it will make over 100 more lb/ft of torque, almost 400 total. And with a reduced weight of less than 3,300 pounds, the M4 is looking to be a worthy replacement.
If the above wasn't enough, then driving enthusiasts can rejoice even further at the fact that a six-speed manual, another remnant of the M3, is an option alongside the now obligatory dual-clutch paddles. The limited-slip differential is also said to be slated to come over from the M3. The best way to look at this new M4, then, however it comes out, is not as a new car in and of itself but as a new and improved M3 that just happens to go by a different name. Thankfully, it's not about BMW changing its vision or direction or anything, it's just a naming thing. BMW felt that the 3-Series coupe had garnered such an identity for itself that it necessitated a new model range. It might be a little hard to move on from the beloved M3 coupe, but we'll get used to it.