BMW PARK LANE
Cabin well insulated
Impressive road grip & performance
Great Visibility perfect every day car
Steering feel too rough
Acceleration not responsive
Traction, Traction, Traction problems
The beautiful M4 which many of you might remember as the m3 has been reimagined to create a more every day vehicle with the power incomparable to any predecessor. With 0-60 times in the low four-second range, the M4 has lost nothing of its mad-hatter nature in the rebranding, but the way it delivers that performance is rather different. As we noticed with many vehicles recently the old V8 engine has been replaced by an inline six-cylinder like older M3s but this time it has been turbocharged to give it that little more boost a V6 needed.
In fact we would even come to say that it's the turbo's that define the m4 by delivering huge slugs of torque from low down in the engine’s operating speeds, for effortless performance making it the complete opposite of the outgoing car I personally see in London everyday that needed to be revved to within an inch of its life to get the best from it. Unfortunately development and technology has its disadvantages in my opinion as for example what the M4 can't match is the old model’s glorious V8 scream or more like roar, which has been replaced with a six-cylinder howl that sounds a little too manufactured for its own good. Anyhow this was resolved through the introduction of the competition pack and the cs models which with their upgraded and performance exhausts bring back character to the m4's sound.
The M4 is highly adjustable so the suspension, steering and severity of the stability control systems can be tweaked to suit and, if you option the seven-speed DCT gearbox, you also get launch control – for perfect getaways every time. We found the steering to be responsive but with acceleration we would have liked to see better response times. Anyhow it comes back and observing the main issue we found with the M4 on both the standard base model and the competition pack.... TRACTION !!! The M4 just seems to be unable to grip the road regardless of road condition and when accelerating the power and the potential can be felt but then nothing happens as the car is screaming in the attempt to grab at something on the tarmac.
Anyhow with the M4 I had many people ask me if I had this substantial amount of money to spend on a super-car why would I get an M4 and perhaps this is one of its greatest strength – it’s everyday usability. Interior space is just as good as a regular 4 Series, so there’s space for four people, a boot big enough to take their luggage. On this note storage compartments within the m4 are severely lacking and the ones currently there are so small an iphone charger could not fit.
Equipment and details are similarly impressive for what is the performance flagship of the 4 Series range – go faster add-ons include 19-inch alloy wheels, an M body kit, a carbon-plastic roof and an Active M Differential that’s responsible for making the M4 so scalpel-like in corners.
From behind the steering wheel, there’s not a whole different to an ordinary 4 Series apart from a few details – you get fantastically supportive and infinitely adjustable sports seats with Msport labels that light up, on the competition pack model you get even sportier seats, and maybe with the cs you get seats with an engine of their own hahaha! Anyway ... you get special M Sport door sills and dials lift the cabin ambience beyond the regular coupe. The two tone color stitching within the cabin definitely helps remind yourself you are in an m performance vehicle including all the extra cool gadgets and buttons on the dashboard and center console controlling the exhaust and, suspension and steering as well as driving modes.
The rest is as standard 4 series are but that’s not a complaint. It means you’ll find a well-laid out, solidly-built cabin, a dashboard that is slightly angled towards the driver and a big infotainment screen. The only criticism that could possibly be leveled at it is that it doesn’t feel purposely designed to be a sports car from the outset– merely a very nice normal car.
The M4 gets BMW’s high-end Professional Multimedia system, which comes with a large and detailed 8.8-inch screen that includes a concierge service, Emergency Call and BMW Online Services. It’s also one of the easiest in the class to use, thanks to the company’s iDrive system, which means the intuitively-laid-out menus can be navigated easily on the move via a large control knob that’s located between the two front seats. Apple car play as usual is terrible like in every single automotive brand we have tested and works with a complete mind of it's own making me eventually just switch it off mid ride on every journey. Serious revision needed for the future but BMW have done their part and if phone is connected with Bluetooth as usual it all works like magic !
The BMW has enough room on-board for four people, as well as a decent boot, but if you want something a bit more practical, then the BMW M3 could be the answer giving you 4 doors and a larger trunk to accommodate more items. The M3 also acts as a great family car with the addition of being a super-car like the rs6 but with half the size.
When compared to more extreme rivals such as the Porsche Cayman or Lotus Evora the M4 is more spacious with decent room for four people. However, the sloping roofline eats away at headroom and, as a result, the M3 saloon is the better bet for scaring passengers. Real pitty they have not created an m4 gran coupe version, anyway if you purchase this vehicle for yourself and know you will have the occasional back passenger then it is a fantastic car to have and no one will complain. Back passengers love the back seats in the m4 and with the exciting drive they generally don't even notice the small headroom. Back seats are very wide too making it perfect for long trips too especially for children.
The slimming-down has come courtesy of the use of aluminium for the bonnet and suspension, and carbon fibre reinforced plastic for the drive shaft and roof – the latter formerly limited to only the occasional special edition here and there.
One thing that can’t be denied is the immense performance that M Division’s new engine offers. Replacing the old 4.0-litre V8 is a twin-turbo, 3.0-litre inline six. Producing 431hp (and huge heaps of torque) it fires the M4 from 0-60mph in only 4.1 seconds, on its way to a limited top speed of 155mph. Throttle response is phenomenal for a turbo car, while the torquey nature of the engine – maximum pulling power is available from just 1,500rpm – makes it incredibly flexible.
While the performance is hard to argue with, the way that it delivers it is certainly up for debate. The turbo engine lacks character when compared to previous M3 units – the engine note is artificially enhanced and the torquey delivery can be a poison chalice on wet, slippery roads.
Whether you go for the manual gearbox or the dual clutch seven-speed automatic, you’ll get a smooth-shifting transmission which is a joy to use. The dual clutch will be the most popular, but it adds 40kg to the weight and lightens your pockets to the tune of €3,013.
Performance & Economy
Watch our Mondello
We had an incredible chance to bring this stunning machine on the track, the place where it belongs. It gave us the one off chance to see what it can really do and how it compares to city driving.