Its been tough giving back a lot of the media cars I’ve driven since starting TVG, but no car has been harder to return than the BMW M4. The first time I saw the Yas Marina Blue was at the M3/M4 launch at BMW Sydney where a Black M4 and a Blue M3 were the centre of attention. Initially the Yas Marina Blue didn’t interest me so much, I found it a strange choice on the subtler, more sensible M3 Sedan. The Black M4 looked sensational – the M4 looks sensational full stop, but in Yas Marina Blue, just out of this world. I thought the 428i was hot but it looks like plane Jane next to the M4.
Truthfully, the last time I was this obsessed with something I was seventeen and she had blonde hair and she was as beautiful as the M4 (and just as brutal). Thankfully the M4 didn’t lead me down a path of emotional distress but an endless road of passionate infatuation.
Let me start by saying that the M4 is not cheap, just shy of $200k is a lot of money to spend on a car and there’s a lot of great competition in $150-200k sports car market, most notably the Jaguar F-Type and Porsche Cayman. What the M4 has that the others don’t is an untouchable level of practicality. Now you might argue people don’t buy such cars on practicality but the M4 has a usable 4 seats – for four grown adults, and I find that very appealing. The coupe is unexpectedly roomy and was, dare I say it, even comfortable sitting in the back. What really won me over was the simplicity of carrying my surfboard. With one seat down, your board slides in with ample space for luggage and three people.
Setting aside practicality, the M4 has a sensational engine lurking under the iconic raised bonnet. Dropping the M4 from a V8 to a Twin Turbo V6 was always going to create some speculation but the result is really very good. Power has increased compared to the old engine and fuel consumption has decreased significantly. The 3.0-litre twin turbocharged inline six produces a hefty 425hp peaking at 7,300 RPM and the sound is visceral once your foot hits the floor.
The throttle response is exceptional considering the engine has two turbos, which makes the car feel Usain Bolt quick. Taking second gear to red creates a thunderous orchestra of abrasive barks as the turbos work their magic to rocket you out of a corner and into the next. The braking is superb, the gear changes are seamless and the chassis is beautifully balanced, it feels light and agile and the front end knows exactly where it’s going at all times. I can only imagine how exciting it would be to drive on a track.
For seven days I cycled through the abundance of steering, suspension and exhaust combinations dialling in my favourite setup for every situation Sydney roads could throw at it. Alongside the 3 levels of steering, suspension and exhaust there’s also an M Power just to add some extra confusion to the mix. There’s a lot to process, perhaps too much, but it doesn’t take long to find your favourite combination almost always involving the exhaust set to SPORT PLUS.
When you dial the exhaust back and change the settings to COMFORT, the M4 is exactly that – something you could drive every single day. Lashings of Carbon line the interior and the M Seats, once bolstered back, are accommodating enough for an entire day of driving. I loved the White leather interior and the M logo in seats which lights up at night when you unlock the car.
I think BMW have done a phenomenal job on this new M4. Not only is it the best looking car (in my opinion) in it’s class, it’s one of the quickest on the track, and perhaps the most practical. It’s hard to convey just how impressed I was with this car, or how much enjoyment it gave me for that week. All I know is, I’m smitten.