The latest generation of BMW’s are gorgeous. They’ve well and truly taken the fight to Audi with their latest 3 Series and 5 Series, which are both aggressively styled with plush, top quality and modern interiors.
Although Audi has the more fuel efficient engines, BMW has the badge appeal and their M Division creates some of the best performance cars in the world. Better, we reckon, than what Audi can muster with their RS cars.
The big M Division news this year is the BMW M4. The M4 will replace the M3 Coupe indefinitely, with the M3 only being available as a sedan from here on forth. BMW have never made an M4 before and this will sit in-between the M3 and M5. Power will come from a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre inline-6 engine which will feed 424 bhp and in excess of 360 lb /ft of torque to the rear wheels. This will make the M4 good for a 0 – 62 mph time of around 4.1 seconds which is brisk by anybody’s standards.
The engine revs to in excess of 7,500 rpm and maximum torque will be available from just 2,000 rpm. It is 22 pounds lighter than the V8 found in the outgoing M3, and interestingly, it doesn’t use twin-scroll technology; instead, it has variable valve timing and lift and direct fuel injection so that the turbochargers work together seamlessly.
Power will be transmitted through either a 6-speed manual gearbox or BMW’s excellent DCT automatic which is also expected to offer launch control. The M4 will further benefit from a limited-slip differential for grip and the car has been heavily developed so that the power is as easy to extract as possible on British roads. Although BMW M customers always, always go for a car based on its engine, the engineers have worked hard to develop the chassis to perfection; the M4 will feature a unique front and rear set up with a five-link system.
So, whilst getting the tail out will be easy with the traction control turned off, during everyday driving there won’t be a huge risk of accidental power slides.
Of course, true to M cars, the new M4 has the looks to back up its outright pace; a fat, aggressive front bumper and grill, wide wheel arches, double twin exhausts and 19-inch alloy wheels sat on tasty Michelin Pilot Super Sport 255/35ZR19 tires at the front and 275/35ZR19s at the rear ensure that even to the untrained eye, the M4 means business.
Competitors to the M4 include the 4-wheel drive Audi RS5 with 450 bhp and a 0 – 60 time of 4.6 seconds, the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe with 457 bhp and a 0 – 60 time of 4.4 seconds, and to a lesser extent, reasonably priced cars like the Vauxhall Insignia at Bristol Street Motors, a car which offers good overall performance where the savings made can be put towards an older, yet just as solid M Division car.
All in all, the M4 is certainly set to become one of the M car greats. It has a 50/50 weight distribution, an efficient engine for the power offered (the M4 coupe will be certified with a combined fuel economy of over 27.5 mpg), and drop dead gorgeous looks. BMW, if you’re listening, please be so kind as to send us one over to blast around a track.