BMW M4 Competition Test (2021)

What is that?

The second generation M4. Or the sixth edition if you were to count in the number of psychedelic coupe variants BMW has been marketing since 1986 (we also make the E30 coupe for comfort). Kind of mandatory number albeit with necessary repercussions.

The M model, especially if it hails from the legendary E30, which is always a little trickier. Consequently, the area for errors is very limited, a margin that BMW has attempted to keep as small as possible by:

  • The 3-liter, straight-six engine produces 480 hp and at least 550 Nm. If you go for competition, it will be 610 hp and 650 Nm
  • To choose between a six-speed manual gearbox and an eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission
  • Leave the choice between rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive
  • Stiffer frame, revised damping, more precise steering and more precise brake control
  • Lots of carbon, always getting CFRP roof as standard. For all other carbon fiber bricks, you must go to the options menu

The competition:

In the beginning, this is it Mercedes-AMG C 63 (S) In Audi RS 4/RS 5. Although we may have to wait a bit before igniting the fuse, given that they are busy putting the finishing touches to their successors in both Stuttgart and Munich.

And then of course there is Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio And the Lexus IS 500 F. At least as fast and possibly more exclusive (due to the lack of current), they definitely deserve their share of the spotlight. Despite the warning that neither Italians nor Japanese are delivered as a coupe, while for Lexus, you will also have to make a call to the Belgian importer. Officially, this ISIS has not been introduced in our country.

Test condition:

As has been the case with nearly everything that has been pushed under the stern in recent months, the M4 can also prove itself on our domestic runway. The fact that he had to do this regularly during the rains in March meant that it wasn’t always possible to get the most out of it.

Test Vehicle Specifications:

Color: Frozen Portimao Blau (Pictured: Sao Paulo yellow)

Options: The M Race Track package gets you back € 15,945.

Tires: 275/35 R19 front, 285/30 R20 rear. Rubber-bonded Michelin Pilot Sport 4S. Half-spots that suddenly explain why we are not always able to fully suffocate in this changing weather.

Fun fact

finally. We all insisted so loudly that they could no longer be deaf in Munich. So one will follow in the foreseeable future M3 touring. With which you will also be able to connect practical comfort with BMW hypersonic speeds.

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Oh no, still with that terrible mouthful! Why hasn’t BMW done anything about it now?

We would not dare say “nothing” right away. The dual vents became horizontal again for the first time since E3. BMW also puts the M4 a bit wider on its wheels compared to the regular 4-Series. Plus 2.4 inches in length and an additional 4 inches wide to be exact. Expansions are necessary to keep the larger rubber (everywhere) and wider track up front inside the wheel arches.

In combination with the more pronounced hood, these aesthetic modifications make the giant radiator grille fit a little better into the image. Although of course we still leave it to you until you really like it.

In any case, it is more efficient. After all, all of those holes – with extra recesses behind the wheel arches in the front – direct more air toward the cooling elements that should keep 3 liters by 6 inches at the right temperature. The climate control lessons BMW learned from developing the new M4 GT3, a carrying car that was on test seats at the same time as the M3 / M4.

If we are to believe the Germans, this experience ensures that this M4 competition will not lose its splendor if you clean the track with it for a long time.

Are you saying BMW primarily trained the M4 on the track?

of course no. Of course this was an important part of the preparation, especially for this competition, although they now also know in Munich that there is still some general asphalt to cover between the lane and this track. A road system the M4 should feel just as good – read: Comfortable – in action.

Indeed, with the standard adaptive dampers at their most comfortable position, we can only stress that this trajectory doesn’t have to be a punishment. Even as a contest, there is still enough suspension travel to adequately absorb most bumps. This of course remains so Racing machine For the public road, there is no need to expect miracles.

Fun ride, by the way, you owe more to the chassis modifications rather than those struts that are controlled electromagnetically. Once again with the experience gained from the GT3, BMW has strategically strengthened its CLAR platform to handle even greater acceleration forces.

This added stiffness means the springs and dampers don’t need to be pulled too hard.

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Speaking of driving: Have we now read correctly that the M4 will also come with xDrive?

Yeah. We do not regret that. Our competition only delivered cavalry to the rear wheels, the 20-inch Michelin Pilot Sports had a hard time keeping the horses in check on the wet asphalt.

The donkey that wag is closely related to this, so dare to nibble on confidence. This should be solved with an additional multi-coupling.

Because we won’t receive final confirmation of that until summer. Only then will BMW launch the M4 xDrive engine.

Do we also have to wait until then to be able to choose between different gearboxes?

No, you can choose between the six-speed manual gearbox or the eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission from the start. That is if you don’t choose to compete. This (even) sporty version is always fitted with an automatic transmission.

There too, we don’t see why that would be a bad thing. With Drivelogic’s conventional control, you can adjust the speed of gear changes, so that the M4 shifts almost faster than light.

BMW also offers large spatulas behind the wheel that are attached to the wheel – and thus not the shaft – so that you can turn it on or off at all times. In short, the machine is not only faster and more efficient than a manual gearbox, but it also provides the same enjoyment.

Because the argument that you have to raise in prison yourself if you want to be able to put this BMW in an appropriate way makes no sense in this. As a contest, you are entitled to M Drive Professional and the accompanying M Traction Control system from the start. Additionally, the electronics regulate the wheel spin in ten positions, and it probably wouldn’t be surprising if the rear wheels encountered little or no resistance in the lower stages.

So you can easily add back, which is a somewhat inviting exercise in Munich. With M Drift Analyzer (also part of M Drive Professional) slip is not only monitored but rated as well. Believe us, you will not be satisfied with the points you earn.

What about under the hood of the M4?

BMW is driving there further on the chosen road, looking back between the front wheels at a 3-liter six-cylinder engine in line. The fact that its internal code has changed from S55 to S58 indicates that the block has not just been carried over from its predecessor.

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With 480 hp and 550 Nm for the standard M4 model, the six-seat car actually got a lot of power (only the GTS version of the previous M4 was better), although that was apparently not enough. So BMW tickled this competition with a power of 510 hp and 650 Nm.

If you are interested in exactly how BMW managed to do this we can only recommend you to get the AutoWereld 425. There we do the detailed story. For this, we’ll just say that a lot of the details ultimately lead to a better whole.

Moreover, the more powerful performance not only makes itself perceptible (from 0 to 100 km / h in 3.9 seconds), but is also heard. With electronically controlled exhaust panels, you can make the M4 hum and bass as much as you like.

Happily, once the drone is operational it is brought to the background (in road preparation anyway). Even if the valves were presented manually – to the button on the center console – they would remain open.

Assuming the M4 inside reconnects to Series 4?

Right. Aside from a few specific accents, you’re looking at a familiar board shelf, with well-known screen layouts and the usual electronics in equal measure. With the accompanying advantages and disadvantages.

The latter also applies to M Carbon bucket seats. Because it looks beautiful and collects 9.6 kilograms of total weight, it is not easy by any means. However, it is for the slightly wider building in this community (as we have / want to prepare ourselves in this). Shells – just like standard armchairs – can be heated and electrically adjusted, so they maintain that comfort.

Speaking of weight gain, order the sports seats as part of the M Race Track Package – $ 15,945 option! Then the weight increases to 25 kilos. Exactly what the machine should admit is the weight in the manual gearbox. Now, with a weight up to 1,800 kilograms, this probably doesn’t make much difference.

AutoWereld rule?

BMW in particular has expanded the boundaries of its M4. This competition is not only faster and tighter, but also more comfortable and luxurious than its predecessor.

Consequently, the coupe scores better than before across the board, making it a bit more homogeneous than the M. Perhaps especially if you order it as well as an xDrive, although we’re still watching it closely.

Winton Frazier

 "Amateur web lover. Incurable travel nerd. Beer evangelist. Thinker. Internet expert. Explorer. Gamer."

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