This is the BMW 435i, fitted with BMW M Performance upgrades that take it one step closer to the look of the new M4, which will debut as a near-production concept at next month’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California.
Both the M4 Coupe and M3 saloon will then be shown at the Detroit Motor Show next January, alongside the convertible version of the new 4 Series, and the new BMW 2 Series Coupe. The M4 and M3 are due to go on sale in the UK in Summer 2014.
Although the 435i’s chassis has been upgraded by BMW, Klaus Froehlich, Senior Vice President Brand and Product Strategies BMW Group told us that the M4 uses 80 per cent different parts, including a bespoke version of BMW’s new modular engine, a seven-speed twin-clutch gearbox and completely overhauled suspension. The new M4 will also feature carbon-fibre bodywork to cut weight.
Froehlich added that, although the 4 Series has been developed with BMW’s xDrive four-wheel drive system as standard, a four-wheel drive M4 won’t be offered because it would be too heavy.
He also said that he’s more excited about the arrival of the M235i – the upcoming coupe version of the current 1 Series. He told us that an M2 is “unlikely” for now, but the M235i will spring some surprises.
“I have just signed off the M235i’s M Sport performance kit, which will include a proper limited slip differential. I’m just working out whether to make this an option on all models.
The M235i is as close a spiritual successor to the 2002ti that we’ve had. My initial benchmark was that it will be faster than the BMW 1M Coupe around the Nurburgring, which it is.
The 4 Series body is stiffer than the 3 Series’, and the 2 Series is the same over the 1 Series. The handling of the 1M was too snappy, but the 2 Series has a longer wheelbase and the proportions are better. However, we did take the 18-inch wheels and special Michelin tyres from the 1M for the M235i, as they offer better performance than the 19-inch versions.”