Even new colours couldn’t mask the new BMW M3 of its jarring kidney grille

The new BMW 4 Series was revealed a couple of months back, and while we’re still grappling with how the front end looks, BMW has revealed the new M4 and M3 and as hard as it is to say, that front grille is still a glaring eyesore.

It may have 480 hp and 550 Nm for a 0 to 100 km/h time of 4.2 seconds from a 3.0-litre turbocharged straight-six engine but it’s really hard to be completely engrossed with the kidney grille and be overwhelmed by it above all else.

Interestingly, it’s actually slower than the F80 M3. The previous generation made 431 hp and 550 Nm but could do the same 0 to 100 km/h run in 4.1 seconds, 0.1 seconds faster with the optional 7-speed M DCT gearbox offered then.

With the majority of netizens still harping on what could’ve been for the grille, it’s hard to imagine how BMW would convince its customers that this is the way to go. At least you can brag that the new engine in the M3 is the same one used in the M4 GT3 race car.

The mighty power plant is paired to either a 6-speed manual or 8-speed M Steptronic automatic transmission, to power the rear wheels. Alternatively, customers can also specify the new M3 to come with the M xDrive all-wheels drive system. Under the wheel arches are 18-inch wheels in the front and 19-inch wheels while tucked behind them is an M Adaptive Suspension kit.

As for the other bits of the exterior, the kidney grille clearly needs no introduction at this point. The roof, however, is made of carbon fibre reinforced plastic, but if for some reason, you prefer having more weight on your car, there is a steel roof option at no cost.

The new M3 is available with three new colours – Sao Paulo Yellow, Toronto Red and Isle of Man Green. The latter seems to hide the grilles quite well; maybe something future M3 owners can look into.

Inside, the M3 can be specified with M Carbon bucket seats which are lighter, compatible with multi-point racing harness and removable head restraints for track driving. Helpful; as I’d imagine M3 drivers, if any, to be driving really fast all the time, to avoid their cars being spotted, for obvious reasons.

The new M3 is also offered with a M Race Track Package – mainly for weight reduction efforts. The package includes M Carbon ceramic brakes, M light alloy wheels and M Carbon bucket seats.

With the new M3, BMW is also offering the M Drive Professional Package to include the new M Traction Control, M Drift Analyser and M Lap Timer. The M Traction Control allows new integrated wheel slip limitation function of the Dynamic Stability Control, adjustable up to 10 different stages.

The M Drift Analyser on the other hand records and rates driving stats posted from dynamic cornering. With the M Drive Professional that’s standard on the M3 and M4 Competition models, an addition Track Mode is added.

The new M3 will be built in Germany at the BMW Plant Munich and is due for deliveries in Q1 of 2021.