Enter the M4.
Here is a car we’ve all known for years, but under a different name. Here is a car we’ve loved and admired, driven hard and pushed to the limits. Here is a car that’s put smiles on our faces and kept us coming back for more.
But now we hate it.
Wait, perhaps hate is too strong a word -- we dislike what it’s become because it’s no longer what we’ve always known. I say “we” but in truth, I’m as content as could be with the new M4, and quite honestly think you all need to get your heads out of your bums and drive the damn thing before you go on and on about how you hate its name or hate what its done to the history and prestige of the M3 or about how big and heavy it feels.
Just. Drive. It.
Does it drive like an M car?
Speaking of driving; this is a seemingly silly question, but yes the 2015 BMW M4 drives just as you’d imagine and hope a BMW M car to drive. It’s dynamic, thrilling, and quick as Honey Boo Boo on a rogue Twinkie.
The now M TwinPower turbocharged inline-6 engine is gloriously ready to play at the drop of a clutch and gear, and the sounds! Oh the sounds! Forget music, just roll down the windows, enjoy the breeze and take in that turbo spool symphony perfectly harmonized with the exhaust bark our the rear. That’s music.
Make sure you order your M4 with the 6-speed manual transmission. While BMW’s M DCT is quite good, the manual just adds another level of cool and control to your time behind the wheel. My main gripe with the manual? They’ve gone and snuck in the auto rev-matching gimmick for downshifts. Tsk, tsk. I’ll do that myself, thanks.
Otherwise, the transmission is smooth as butter, pedals are perfectly placed for flawless heel-toe-ing and upon acceleration, the higher the revs climb and the more throttle pressure you administer, the more eager the M4 becomes: the shift lever slots into gears seamlessly as speed rises (and it will rise, quickly with 425 horses pushing and 406 torques pulling).
Have a little fun and switch traction control off, engage the “M” button to tighten up steering, liven up the throttle, engage the suspension for better handling, and open up the exhaust valves. Trust me, the RWD and tail-happy BMW M4 will put a smile on your face.
But, it’s just a two-door M3
You’re right. It is. They share exactly the same engine specs and chassis. Both are RWD. Both have the turbo six-pot. Both are available with a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. Both are offered in colours like Yas Marina Blue and Austin Yellow.
Confused as to why you dislike it now?
It is a two-door M3. BMW decided to call it an M4. Call it diluting the brand or “selling out” to drag in more customers with a “new” model. It is what it is. And what it is, is an M3 with two doors.
BMW has a history of doing the M car right (let’s try and forget the X6M, shall we?), and when you do something right that creates a lot of pressure to keep that “right” alive. This new M car is right, despite what some might think. BMW has kept the M-ness alive in the M4 in all the right ways, despite it being a slighter bigger, heavier car than the previous M3 coupe.
Oh, but the way it looks.
The BMW M4 coupe’s lines are gorgeous. To save weight wherever possible, BMW fitted the M4 with a carbon-fibre roof, trunk and driveshaft. The exposed carbon fibre on the roof is pure sex, and the subtle yet oh-so telling duck-tail-like trunk lid spoiler is mint.
Stare into the menacing angel-eye LED headlights, and let your breath catch as you trail your eyes over the bulging hood atop a menacing front fascia (complete with BMW’s signature kidney grille).
Sure, it looks wide and like a big fat pig when parked next to older generations, but I hate to break it to you: If it’s not the MX-5 or smart car, it’s getting bigger. All vehicles on the road today are fattening up, so let’s just accept it for now, shall we?
Is it a functional coupe?
It is indeed. The BMW M4 is actually roomy up front and in the rear. My son was more than happy in his car seat in the rear (for a multitude of reasons). Standard BMW fare resides in the centre stack and the gauge cluster. Although, the sumptuous M-stitched steering wheel and self-illuminating M signature in the backrest of each front seat are the crowning touches, here.
What if I just can’t stand the thought of buying an M4?
If you really, really can’t bring yourself to buy into the malarkey that is the M4, then you’ve got some pretty stellar options, regardless. With a starting price of just over $75k, the BMW M4 requires some serious pocket change to own. With all the right accessories, that price can easily hover near the $90k mark. With those dollar signs added with performance numbers, you’re looking at competition from Audi’s RS5 and for much less, the new Dodge Challenger.
Would I still choose the M4? You betcha.