Don’t throw the infant out with the bathwater. Yes, the 2021 BMW M4 carries some distinctive styling notes that generate buzz on each side of the aisle. But by laser-focusing on one thing so trivial, you would possibly gloss over an necessary level: The M4 is admittedly, actually, actually good. Better than BMW‘s bread-and-butter sports activities coupe has been in years, in truth, it doesn’t matter what they name it.
- Punchy inline-6 energy
- Brilliant dealing with
- Excellent guide transmission
- Tire noise
- Weird elective bucket seats
- Acquired-taste styling
Driving is the purpose
The 2021 BMW M4 is an absolute hoot to drive, full cease. It’s an aperitif that washes away the mediocre style left in my mouth by its predecessor, which featured a irritating journey high quality and an engine be aware that would not have cleared the primary spherical of American Idol. That’s all been ironed over and changed with a automotive that solely ever left me wanting to drive it extra.
Under the hood, the bottom M4’s 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 delivers 473 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque, routed to the rear wheels by a six-speed guide transmission. While there’s a bit of little bit of acoustic electro-trickery piped by the audio system, the straight-six sounds nice, particularly at increased revs. And there will be loads of alternative to soak up that noise, as a result of with peak torque arriving (and staying put) between 2,650 and 6,130 rpm, it is easy to grow to be addicted to plunging my proper foot into the firewall. The M4 simply goes and goes and goes, and it will hold going nicely past the higher bounds of the pace restrict, indicators passing by in a blur. Need to cease? Drop $8,150 on BMW’s carbon ceramic brakes and you will get predictable, robust stops on the common.
BMW has one among, if not the perfect guide transmission in the marketplace contained in the M4. This slick six-speed evokes the sentiments of the Bimmer manuals of yore, its barely rubbery motion between well-placed gates feeling not a lot totally different than it did method again when within the E46 M3. The clutch has a well-defined pickup level, making footwork a breeze, and its customary rev-matching system generates pitch-perfect downshifts in case you’re not the king of heel-toe.
Like different trendy BMWs, the 2021 M4 has a litany of car settings that may be adjusted individually or bundled collectively by means of the 2 brilliant crimson M buttons atop the steering wheel. Hit the Setup button on the middle console and the display fills with customizable choices, letting me tailor the throttle, steering, suspension and braking. The customary mode for every continues to be loads partaking, however in case you’re a sucker for tight throttle or brake response, the choices can be found. Throwing every part into Sport eliminates no matter smidge of physique roll ever existed within the first place, though I’d suggest leaving Sport Plus for the observe or solely probably the most excellent items of asphalt. Drop $900 on the M Drive Professional improve, and you’re given a number of traction management modes that may allow you to get a bit of drifty earlier than reining issues in.
For as sharp because the M4 is when the going will get twisty, it is impressively compliant in day by day use. Southeast Michigan’s roads are… not splendid for sports activities vehicles, as an instance, but the M4 is rarely shaken out of types. Bumps are dispatched with only a little bit of jostling to the cabin, and even the harsher divots by no means lead to a suspension thunk. With the M4 in its softest settings, it is a completely satisfactory car for commuting, errands and all of the little daily-life stuff in-between — as long as you do not thoughts the noise from its extensive Michelin Pilot 4S summer season tires.
Is it environment friendly? Not actually. The EPA slaps the 2021 M4 with a ranking of 16 mpg metropolis and 23 mpg freeway. In my expertise, metropolis mileage is about there, however staying out of the enhance and protecting the general pace applicable (since there’s solely six ahead gears) can push the freeway financial system nearer to 25 or 26, if not a smidge above that.
Shut up in regards to the solar! Shut up in regards to the solar!
Most conversations in regards to the newest iteration of M4 will all the time return to one factor: That cursed nostril. Frankly, I do not thoughts all of it that a lot. Maybe that has to do with the way it seems to be on my Portimao Blue tester, the darkish grille devoid of chrome feeling method much less flashy than on different 4 Series variants. Maybe it is as a result of, when you see the bumper bar crossing the divide, your eyes can visually separate the grilles into higher and decrease elements. Maybe I simply do not care that a lot. Is it my most well-liked design? Goodness, no. But is it some affront earlier than man and God? Hardly.
The remainder of the M4, inside and outside, seems to be fairly strong. Its lengthy, low silhouette is mainly a miniaturized 8 Series at this level, with a lot of the aggressive bits reserved for the entrance and rear bumpers. The tailpipes might look proportional to the remainder of the physique in footage, however in actual life, I can guarantee you that they appear to be cannons hanging out of a galleon.
Inside, the overall format is just about bone customary 4 Series, with an inoffensive dashboard format that, in M4 guise, is wrapped in some critically clean leather-based. For $950, you possibly can shellack about half the surfaces with carbon fiber, however I really feel like that pattern is fairly performed out already. What is not overdone, although, is the completely batshit blue-and-yellow shade mixture taking part in out throughout the seats and door panels. While it would not be my first alternative, I respect the power to rock some expressive colours that are not derivatives of the standard blacks, whites and tans.
And then there’s the seats themselves. These $3,800 M carbon bucket seats are immensely supportive, with excessive bolstering for torsos and thighs. That stated, they will be a troublesome promote for folk who aren’t skinny minis, since they’re tight. There’s additionally the style of the massive protrusion towards the entrance of the seat cushion; I’m certain there’s some cause for that in motorsport, however in day by day use, it feels unnatural and largely simply annoying.
iDrive nonetheless good, perhaps not nice
BMW’s iDrive hasn’t undergone any main revisions not too long ago, so what’s right here within the 2021 M4 is identical ol’ little bit of telematics that we Roadshow editors have been utilizing for the final couple years. I would not take it over Mercedes’ MBUX, however in a vacuum it is greater than enough, with loads of responsiveness and a house display that does an awesome job of delivering all the correct data with minimal distraction. Don’t need to use the touchscreen? No worries, buddy, as a result of there is a dial on the middle console. USB charging comes by means of a USB-A port by the cup holders and a USB-C port below the armrest. Wireless, and embedded navigation are all customary. The M4 additionally has a digital gauge show that’s mainly the identical one you get on practically each different BMW lately, and it is positive.
Unlike many different devoted efficiency vehicles, BMW nonetheless equips the M4 with loads of lively and passive customary security options. No matter the spec, your M4 will roll off the manufacturing unit line with parking sensors, forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning and automated excessive beams. None of the methods are very intrusive, and the settings menu lets me dial them again a bit of additional if wanted, so more often than not I can not even inform they’re there. Best of all, you do not want to shell out further simoleons for any of it; it is all customary from the get-go.
Down to brass tacks
It ought to come as no shock that the 2021 BMW M4 is dear, however man, this costly? The beginning worth of $72,795 (together with $995 for vacation spot) is innocuous sufficient, however my tester gloms on the choices. The paint is $550, the wild inside is one other $2,550, the wheels are $1,300 and the bucket seats ask for an additional $3,800. The upgraded brakes yeet one other $8,150 out of your pockets, and in case you’re feeling significantly spendy, you possibly can drop $2,500 on the M Driver’s Package that does nothing however bump the pace limiter and provide a one-day class at an area BMW Performance Center. In case your eyes have glossed over on the sight of all these addons, I’ll do the ultimate math for you: This BMW prices $93,795. Lord have mercy. And this is not even the freaking Competition variant!
Yet, on the similar time, the BMW M4 possesses a lot character for a efficiency coupe that it is arduous to even have a look at the rest. Competitors just like the Mercedes-AMG C63 and Audi RS5 are a bit of lengthy within the tooth and due for replacements, whereas the Alfa Romeo Giulia QV is simply accessible as a sedan, and it is a bit of harsh for day by day use. That places the M4 in fairly the candy spot, providing unbelievable efficiency with out forgetting that day-to-day life should not be a punishment. You’ll get used to the entrance finish, I promise.