• The M4 Concept previews BMW's M3 successor
  • Styling is similar to the 4 Series, with M touches
  • Interior and powertrain details currently unknown

BMW showed off an all-new concept car during this year's Pebble Beach automotive events. The handsome BMW M4 Concept previews the direction the brand will take when it launches a sporty M version of its all-new 4 series.

On the outside, the M4 Concept is highly recognizable as an M car to BMW fans. It boasts an enlarged front bumper, characteristic fender grilles and painted brake calipers behind large alloy wheels. But it also shares many traits with the new 4 Series, including its overall shape and most major lines.

BMW didn't show the interior of the M4 Concept, choosing instead to display the model with its windows finished in black. But it's safe to say that the M4 Concept's cabin will be much like the upcoming 4 Series, except with high-performance M additions. Think colored stitching, Alcantara accents and carbon fiber touches.

More importantly, BMW didn't announce the M4 Concept's powertrain. That detail normally isn't necessary for a concept car, but since the M4 Concept so clearly previews an upcoming production-ready M4, many BMW fans are eagerly awaiting engine specs. Unfortunately, they'll have to wait a little longer -- possibly until next month's Frankfurt Auto Show -- to learn more.

BMW fans also will have to wait a little longer to see the finalized M4's exterior styling, as this model is "just" a concept. But we think the upcoming M4 will closely mirror the M4 Concept -- typical with BMW concept cars. The finalized M4 is expected to launch next year or early in 2015.

So why is the M4 Concept such a big deal? Because it's the successor to BMW's iconic M3, which has enticed enthusiasts since its arrival in the late 1980s. Many shoppers have eagerly awaited the M4's debut ever since BMW previewed its 4 Series Concept late last year.

If you're one of those shoppers, the wait for more information continues. We'll continue to provide more news about the M4 -- and other BMW models -- as soon as we learn it.

What it means to you: The BMW M4 Concept is very close to the production-ready M4 Coupe.

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Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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