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BMW Talks to Top Gear about M4

Matt Collins, product manager for BMW's small to medium cars spoke with Top Gear at the Goodwood Festival of speed about BMW’s upcoming M4. Here are the highlights:

"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,"

"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." referring to the M5 and M6, of course. "I think the essence of what M stands for - high performance motoring - will always be there, even if the individual components change."

"The philosophy will be around delivering performance through improved used of materials - lightweight alloys, lots of carbon fibre etc - rather than simply trying to make the engine more powerful to move the same kind of car, or scaling it back too far so that it loses its M3 roots.”

"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."

"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.

"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."

"We think the M3 is the benchmark car; it's the iconic car, and it's the one that really defines the segment. Obviously, we look at the competition and we want to make sure we're as good as we can possibly be, but when developing this M4, it's certainly not a case of ‘this is the target'. It's about making what we think is the best car in the segment even better. It's not a competitor-focused development.

"Obviously you've seen the spy shots on the Internet, they're running around Munich”

Matt confirms that as per usual at BMW the M4 will not be seen until a year and a half after the 4 series officially goes on sale
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