2021 BMW M3, M4 will get AWD but not at first, report says

Both sports cars will be RWD-only to start, with AWD coming a little later.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
2 min read
BMW M4 leaked photo
Enlarge Image
BMW M4 leaked photo

If you want a manual, you'll need to stick with RWD.


We're closing in on the reveal of the next-generation BMW M3 and M4. The German automaker has already revealed both the sports cars ' pedestrian counterparts, which means we'll likely get our first look at the new M3 and M4 in the near future. Until then, we'll have to continue sorting through the rumor mill.

The latest comes from BMW Blog, whose sources claim both the four-door M3 and two-door M4 will not arrive with all-wheel drive to start. Instead, they'll first enter production with power heading exclusively to the rear wheels. AWD for the two cars is a big deal; the M3 and rather young M4 nameplate have always been RWD-only.

AWD has started to soak into more of BMW's performance cars , however. The M5 notably came as the first M car to sport four-wheel traction, though the xDrive AWD system can send all most of the engine's power to the rear wheels only.

2020 BMW M4 M Heritage edition proudly presents its colors

See all photos

The enthusiast site's sources also shared a few other unconfirmed details, though they all sound reasonable. According to the report, only the RWD M3 and M4 will offer a manual transmission, while AWD models that come later will be automatic-only. As for power, we're looking at 480 horsepower. The figure is entirely believable noting both cars will rock the same twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-six engine found in the X3 M and X4 M. The SUVs make 473 hp, but their M Competition specs boost the figure to 503 hp.

Falling in line with comments BMW made in the past, at least one M3 and M4 variant will make over 500 hp. That one should be the M3 and M4 Competition, which according to the latest rumor, will be AWD-only and come with 510 hp. As for design, expect BMW's M division to soup both cars up with the typical bits, and yes, the ' giant kidney grille will come to the M4, too. The M3 should look a little more tame.

BMW declined to comment on either car and the rumors, but we don't have many more months left to wait until we see the sports cars in the metal.

Watch this: 2018 BMW M4: 5 things you need to know