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BMW M4 Tested

The BMW M4 isn’t a car reserved to the enthusiasts anymore. Nowadays, this M basically has to please everybody. In case you haven’t noticed, you can’t talk BMW without mentioning M Sport these days. Even the 2-Series Active Tourer, the first FWD BMW in history, can be gifted with an M Sport pack, so there’s quite a lot of pressure on the actual M cars.
BMW M4 acceleration 1 photo
The M4 doesn’t seem to be bothered though. Perhaps that’s because, together with the M3, the car promises to bring back the good old sporting spirit of the brand. Nonetheless, the two Ms aim to do that by... ditching the naturally-aspirated V8 of their predecessors in favor of a twin-turbo straight six. Feeling confused? You shouldn’t be, since the M4 is an absolute blast.

We spent a day with an Austin Yellow example of the coupe, which was fully loaded with goodies such as the M DCT dual-clutch seven-speed gearbox or the M Ceramic Brakes. We sampled the car in the Austrian mountains, along with the highway and the urban sides of the drive.

In case you’re wondering how the M4 manages to be so close, yet so far from a 4 Series in terms of design, you should know one thing: with the exception of the doors, each and every body panel is bespoke.

And while the coupe shape should give the M4 the visual edge, the M3 has a charm that convinces many to nominate it as the styling winner here. There’s a guilty pleasure about a sedan with such bold rear fenders...

To answer a boiling hot question, the turbo lag was kept at bay. In fact, the twin-turbocharged straight six enlarges the abilities of the E92 M3’s V8, since it delivers its punch over a wider rev band. Sure, the soundtrack isn’t the same, but it’s not bad.

At 425 hp (431 PS), the power gain is barely mentionable, but there’s 40 percent more torque under your right foot. 406 lb-ft or 550 Nm between 1,850 and 5,500 rpm, to be more precise.

Out on the road


Don’t expect a jacked-up 4 Series, because you won’t find that here. Instead, the M4 is a proper sportscar.

And if the heart of an E30 M3 was its chassis and the core of an E36 M3 was its engine, the F82 M4 has “balance” written all over it - the power and the handling go in perfect harmony.

Up from 3,000 rpm the S55 engine is just violent and from 5,000 rpm it goes berserk. Only about 20 percent of the customers are expected to change gears themselves, so the dual-clutch automatic is rather important. The shifts are ultra-quick, but the kickback reaction shows more delay than we would’ve expected.

The handling is a trip to RWD heaven


With the BMW M5 and M6, we kept complaining about the lack of xDrive as an option. That’s not the case here. Sure, it would be nice to have optional AWD on the M4, but only so we could enjoy the car’s devilish nature during the winter. Otherwise, the rear-wheel driven pleasures are immense.

The chassis is extremely well sorted out, as the M4 knowns no understeer. Even when using the MDM half-off mode of the DSC stability control in the rain, the car was stable and cooperative at frightening speeds.

Part of this agility is owed to the fact that this is the first M car that manages to be lighter than its predecessor. But we’ll get into the CFRP (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer) story behind this in our BMW M4 review. That and we’ll talk about the Smokey Burnout.

 

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