So there’s a lot of buzz recently involving BMW, particularly since the Munich-based brand has been making some radical changes with the way they work. The biggest one on the table is obviously the fact that the BMW 3-Series will cease to exist to make way for its “spiritual replacement,” the BMW 4-Series. But more importantly, fans of the Roundel and auto enthusiasts alike are throwing up a big “W-T-F” flag, because the disappearance of the 3-Series Coupe means the disappearance of the M3 coupe to make way for the M4 Coupe.
And to try and help clear the air, Top Gear magazine in the United Kingdom sat down with the BMW’s current product manager for small to medium cars, Matt Collins.
“I think a lot of purists look at the M3 all the way back to the E30, so there’s obviously a challenge there for people to accept it,” Collins told Top Gear UK at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. “If you look at the way the M brand has evolved over the years, there are a lot of things that people have had to get used to, for example, going from naturally aspirated to turbocharged engines. I think the essence of what M stands for – high performance motoring – will always be there, even if the individual components change.”
Though despite the skepticism, Collins promised that BMW M is paying very close attention to make the new M4 Coupe “as good as it can possibly be.”
“We really want to focus on lightweight engineering. Plus we’ve got the technology in our ‘i’ cars – carbon fibre, reinforced plastic and so forth – so that’s where we’re really looking to position it. Slightly more lightweight. I wouldn’t say ‘racer’, but more of a dynamic focus,” Collins elaborated.
Collins didn’t exactly specify exactly what will happen with the M4’s engine, but rumors and speculation seriously point to the use of a force-fed inline-six utilizing turbochargers. And when asked the question of an M3 CSL successor, Collins said there are no plans as of yet.
“There are no plans at the moment to build a lightweight CSL version of the M4, but there weren’t any plans to do the last generation CSL either. We have to see what the customers think, and if there’s potential for an even more lightweight version, we’ll do it.”
Furthermore, Collins said that BMW’s current focus is to first concentrate their efforts on the M4.
“But I think we’re really focusing on making this car as light as we can. We’re not going to go halfway house with the ‘real’ car, because we’d like to get it as low as possible in the first place. The proper car will showcase a real reduction in weight.”
But either way, BMW is completely aware of what’s riding on their shoulders, and yes it is quite a bit of pressure. We don’t doubt that BMW will make the M4 the best it can be. Though we’re still watching very carefully.
Do you approve of BMW’s recent actions with the 3-Series/4-Series and M3/M4 lineup? Let us know in the comment section below.
– By: Chris Chin
Source: Top Gear UK