What Car? says...
In the movies, sequels are rarely better than the original – but with the latest BMW M4, we’re hoping the opposite will turn out to be true.
The first-generation M4 didn’t feel particularly polished to begin with, and its spiky handling balance made it rather intimidating to drive near the limit. Indeed, it took a number of revisions, including the creation of a sharper Competition model and the limited-run, track-focused CS before it delivered the performance and handling it had originally promised.
So BMW stretched the phrase ‘good things come to those who wait’ to its limit with the first version, but what about the new generation M4? Has the German car-maker nailed it straight out of the gate, or is it a work in progress like before? Well, the signs are positive. It's based on the BMW 4 Series, and that's one of the most polished sports coupés currently on sale (and our current Coupé of the Year).
Rather than forcing you to wait for an M4 Competition to arrive, this time BMW is giving you that as the default spec. That means you get 503bhp (the base model, not offered in the UK, has 473bhp), from a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre, six-cylinder petrol engine that’s also found under the bonnet of the ludicrously quick X3 M SUV, with power routed to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
That deep well of power is managed by a 10-stage traction control system. An adaptive four-wheel drive system – like the one you get on the BMW M5 super-saloon – is in the pipeline, promising extra traction for assured handling on wet and greasy roads. You also get adaptive suspension, M performance brakes (carbon ceramics brakes are an option) and an electronic limited-slip differential to make sure the M4 corners just as well as it goes.
It’s a tantalising spec list, for sure, but it needs to be if the M4 is to compete with what can justifiably be described as weapons-grade rivals, in the form of the Alfa Romeo Quadrifoglio, Audi RS5 and Mercedes-AMG C63 S.
Is it up to the challenge? Let’s find out. And don’t forget, even if you’re not in the market for a 180mph performance coupé, we can save you a good few quid on your next new car if you use our New Car Buying service.
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