BMW M4 Review
Basking in Austrian sunshine and a rather healthy 25 degrees, there may be no better place to put the all new BMW M4 through its paces than mountain roads, glacier passes and never ending farmland sprawling through the valleys. The uncertainty of, is it a bike, a car or even a cow round the next corner can’t fail to keep you on your toes, but how did the M4 Coupe get on.
In previous incarnations, we are of course talking about the M3 Coupe, but with BMW’s new model naming system, things are all change as the BMW M4 Coupe makes its true debut. Splitting the M3 and M4 apart from visually is near impossible, they are twins, just not identical. But the M4 does carry a 15KG weight saving. A little like Arnie and Danny Devito then.
Standing back and admiring the view, the M4 is typically BMW and typically M. It’s brash, bold and very much the bully of the playground. The quad exhausts, flared arches and bulging bonnet that have won over so many fans are still here, so if you are looking for under-stated style then you have come to the wrong place.
However, it is this bravado and pure masculinity that has won over so many people the world over. The M sub-brand if you will, is adorned by most and is I am sure THE most famous of all performance marques. And many would argue rightly so.
Opening the door and falling into the cockpit, it’s very much new BMW. The seat engrosses you, holding you so tight that you may never get out. That comfort and driving position is however a big plus, with plenty of room up front for even the largest of men. Although a 4 seat Coupe, you wouldn’t want to be in the back if you are big or for any huge amount of time. There is space, but as always, just never enough.
The 10 inch screen takes centre stage yet again, of course still with no touchscreen and at a slightly submerged angle, it never feels quite natural enough. The rest however is near faultless. Technology galore, including a new software tie-in with GoPro which (apart from currently being only available on the iPhone 5S because of mirroring) is incredibly cool. Ultimately transmitting camera angles and GoPro settings to the screen of your car. Perfect for track days or when you want to do something that little bit different.
Pressing the stop / start button and it’s a go, but that initial loud growl and the first rush actually subside quite quickly. And although not a major one, my main issue with the M4 (and M3) is that in low revs the sound just wasn’t very special. There is a murmur, but little more until you start pressing the foot to the floor. Whilst some may argue this makes it more refined and sensible. You choose Sport and Sport Plus for a reason. To be heard, to be noticed, to be M.
The new M3 and M4 are a full half a second quicker to 62mph than previous incarnations, and when you start pushing through that 400 horses, and with an increase of near 40% in torque, it just keeps going and going. Literally. With a number of personalisation options for Steering, Suspension and Throttle response, finding the settings to suit you may not take as long as you think. But there is a large gap between comfort and sport, and the M4 can struggle at times to sense how you wish to drive when you are using the automatic DSG gearbox.
Rear-wheel drive is still here, and of course will be for very much ever (though we may see Front or AWD on the new M1). It’s superb fun, sticking to road and feeling very solid. It’s more of a middle weight than a nimble feather, and if you want to start getting it a little out of shape, you very much can by altering the iDrive and Traction settings. If you really want to give the car some stick over mountain passes, it isn’t best suited to the novice or faint hearted. Skill is still required, which is a good thing if you ask us. Too many cars nowadays are nearly driving themselves, and you can sometimes find yourself wishing to be a little more on the edge.
BMW M4 Review Verdict
Thankfully the M4 is very much M and real M. None of this performance and sport nonsense. It’s very much an improvement over the out-going model with figures tumbling or rising to benefit the driver and their pocket. The M4, very much like the new M3, is an enthusiast’s car, it ticks all the right boxes and will please BMW lovers the world over. Has it done enough to entice new owners to the fold? In performance and on the road, a resounding yes, but the continued bold looks and boyish charm may be a step too far for some.