BMW used the high-dollar setting of Monterey Car Week to debut to the world a design concept for its hotly anticipated M4 coupe.
Although powertrain specifics won't be announced until the end of this year, this concept's exterior is very close to the production M4, which will be seen in its entirety at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show in January. It will go on sale in summer 2014, BMW said.
“The BMW Concept M4 Coupe reflects the BMW M philosophy in ideal form: It combines motor racing genes and unrestricted everyday suitability in a highly emotional overall concept," Friedrich Nitschke, president of BMW's M Division, said in a statement announcing the car.
The concept debuted Thursday night to a gathering of automotive reporters in Pebble Beach, Calif. It was also on display Friday at the Quail Motorsports Gathering in Carmel.
The M4 is the high-performance version of the new 4 Series coupe, which goes on sale in October. This generation represents a departure for BMW, which is now selling the 3 Series as a sedan or wagon only. The automaker will position the 4 Series as a slightly more premium offering, despite sharing powertrains.
This philosophy will carry over to the performance lineup of M cars, with the M3 sedan and this M4 coupe sharing a platform.
The M4 concept features several notable design and construction cues found on current M vehicles. These include quad exhaust pipes at the back of the car, a carbon fiber roof for a lower center of gravity, vented front quarter panels and a subtle bulge in the car's hood.
BMW has remained tight-lipped about just what kind of powerplant the car will have, but it's widely expected to ditch the current M3's V-8 in favor of a turbocharged V-6. Despite this switch, it probably will surpass the current model's 414 horsepower.
BMW was just one of several automakers using the Monterey Car Week to show off new concepts or production cars. Cadillac unveiled the Elmiraj concept coupe, and Lincoln announced a high-end trim level for its vehicles called Black Label.