BMW M4 Competition review


What is?

It’s a great moment. The first BMW M4 was a success. Those of us familiar with the performance car lineage found it an affront to rename the two-door M3 in line with a road through Slough. Meanwhile, those who spend big on these performance cars have bought almost twice as much as the four-door M3 to which it was so closely linked.

BMW knows its customers well and M4 buyers are what it calls ‘extroverts’. Which goes a long way toward explaining those elongated kidney grilles, which don’t exactly look overly offensive in real life, where the rest of the car’s visual aggression, especially in the optional Sao Paulo Yellow paint, backs them up. Honest.

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In meme culture they dominate the headlines, but in the world of sports sedans and coupes – of which the M3 and M4 are the epicenter – there are more compelling plot developments. Like the fact that the 3.0-litre twin-turbo six at the front now tops out at 500bhp, you can no longer have a manual in the UK, and the paddle shifters you’ve left are powered by a ZF automatic rather than a more assertive dual. clutch transmission.

Then there’s the skyrocketing price (over £75,000) and the weight (now over 1,700kg). BMW says the extra weight “has been invested in improving safety and emissions”, which sounds like a positive spin on the rival: “I actually used the lockdown to grow as a person.”

But a look at the stats for the new M4 Competition (503hp, 479lbft, 0-62mph in 3.9sec with RWD, a top speed of 180mph) and the optional £2,765 xDrive 4WD, as well as an M3 Touring, suggest which is a car that has grown. up. Many people will say that it had to be. The first M4 came when the M3 family was first turbocharged, and it wasn’t a particularly smooth transition. Those early F82 M4 cars could be bad, and the car earned a reputation as a good oldie.

The sharper edges of its handling have been toned down a bit with the arrival of a facelift (or Life Cycle Impulse in BMW parlance) and the slicker Competition version, but anyone who’s seen the rear wheels of an M4 spin during a third to fourth shift (in a straight line) they weren’t exactly lining up around the block to see how friendly it had gotten.

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Be warned, this new-gen G82’s garish grille and M Drift Analyzer mode might suggest the car has retained some of its wild side, maybe even amplified it. It’s time to try…

Our choice of the range.

BMW M4 Competition Review
M4 Competition 2-Door Step Auto

What’s the verdict?

It’s not an instant hit like the cars that came before it, but a considerably larger off-roader that awaits those willing to give it the time.

You can see the newly grown M4 in two ways, depending on whether your glass is half empty or full: on the one hand, the feverish excitement of the old car has been neutralized and this replacement doesn’t dazzle so far from the freedom of a circuit On the other hand, its arrival eliminated the need for a car as anemic as the Audi RS5 overnight, proving that it’s possible to be user-friendly and usable while having a brilliant chassis underneath.

Now that the BMW M2 adopts the size, power and swagger of previous M3 coupes, and the M5 (and its M8 cousin) have taken a big step over the £100,000 barrier, adopting a serenity akin to that of a limousine in the process. BMW seems to have increased the maturity of the M3 and M4 to fill a new gap in the product line. The fact that BMW UK sellers say buyers are in and out of M4s from 911s and Vantages suggests that it lives in a very different luxury corner of the market from the strained homologation special roots to which it belongs. your badge. Judged as such, this supreme off-roader of an M4 is a triumph.

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