BMW says it's more comfortable than it looks.
The nice thing about BMW's new oversized grilles on the 2021 M3 and M4 models is that you don't have to look at them from inside the car if you don't like them. However, the interior is part of the driving experience, and the standard seats on the M3 and M4 look as comfortable as ever. One concern, though, is that the optional M Carbon bucket seats look like they might have the comfort level of actual race-spec carbon bucket seats. As part of BMW's series of short videos explaining their way through the new performance coupe and sedan models, BMW's M-car interior designer, Mickael Poirier-Jouan, details how the interiors of these machines were designed for the race track.
It starts with the M Carbon Bucket Seats, which we've previously only seen in vivid triple-tone colors, but which will be available in more demure configurations. These are two-piece units that are fully electrically adjustable, and Mickael describes them as having an upright "Cobra" design sculpted to support the back and shoulders. But while the carbon fiber construction and aggressive bucket design already suggest these are track-suitable, BMW has gone one step further, making the headrest padding removable for wearing a helmet on track days. The cutouts remind you that the seats are lightweight, but the seats also allow the installation of multi-point harnesses. They weigh an impressive 21 lbs less than the standard seats, even though they are electrically adjustable.
The video looks at other interior details, including the gear-shift paddles for those who opt for the eight-speed automatic in place of the six-speed manual. A common complaint on the current M cars is that the paddles are too small. Not only are the new M Steptronic option carbon paddles longer and thinner, but they also feature red-accented knurled material on the back for extra grip. Poirier-Jouan also goes in-depth about the M Steptronic gear shifter, describing it as an "expressive sculpture" that "translate[s] the M spirit."
The M3 and M4 don't officially go on sale until March, and the even hotter Competition models will follow after that. The M3 starts at $69,900, while the M4 starts at $71,800. The M Carbon Bucket Seats are a $3,800 option.