Ride & Drive: The 2015 BMW M4
BMW’s all-new high-performance M4 sports coupe has arrived.
As the companion to BMW’s M3 sedan, the four-passenger, rear-wheel drive M4 coupe is an engineering masterpiece, as it takes motorsports technology from the track to the highway.
Utilizing lightweight materials such as carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic and aluminum, the new M4 features significant weight savings.
There is also a brand new 3.0-liter twin turbo I-6 engine that replaces the previous generation V-8. The new I-6 generates more power and torque, producing 425 horsepower and 406 lbs.-ft. torque — a 40 percent increase in power, while also improving fuel economy by 25 percent.
Mated to either a six-speed manual transmission or the 7-speed M double clutch transmission, the M4 is capable of achieving a 0-60 mph time of 4.1 seconds when equipped with the manual and 3.9 seconds when equipped with the optional 7-speed transmission.
With a base price starting at $65,125, the M4 isn’t for the faint of heart. While well suited for daily driving on the highway, a racetrack is the best way to exercise the M4’s capabilities. And yes, you really can drive it from the dealership to the track and be extremely competitive.
Even the cooling system is designed for track specifications to ensure the optimum temperature balance for the engine, turbochargers and transmission is maintained at all times. In fact, every engineering and design element has a purpose, such as the large air intakes and air curtains at the front end, exposed carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic and aluminum body components and the diffuser at the rear ends, which all serve functional roles in aerodynamics, cooling and weight savings.
Every element of the M4 is designed for maximum performance.
One of the unique features is the electromechanical steering system that adjusts the level of steering assistance according to the car’s speed. The driver has three available settings — Comfort, Sport and Sport+ — to customize the level of steering assistance to suit both the driving situation and their personal tastes.
One of the many M4 option packages is an Adaptive M suspension, which also allows the driver to select between Comfort, Sport and Sport+ modes, choosing between a more comfortable damper setting for urban driving, a stiffer setup for dynamic driving on country roads, and a third option for use on the track.
While the M4 high-performance coupe has exceptional capabilities on the road, it is also very nicely equipped, providing for a very comfortable ride during the daily commute.
For those in the market for a track-ready performance sports car, the M4 is a must for a test drive.
Neal White has been covering the automotive industry for more than 20 years, and is affiliated with the Texas Auto Writers Association. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @wni_nwhite.
THE NUTS AND BOLTS
2015 BMW M4
4-seat high-performance coupe
3.0L twin turbo I-6
(425 hp/406 torque)
7-speed M double clutch automatic
EPA: 17 mpg city, 26 mpg highway
FUEL: Premium unleaded
Dynamic stability control including brake fade compensation
LENGTH: 184.5 inches
WHEELBASE: 110.7 inches
WIDTH: 73.6 inches
HEIGHT: 54.4 inches
WEIGHT: 3,530-3,585 pounds
FUEL TANK: 15.8 gallons
CARGO: 11 cubic feet
TOP SPEED: 155 mph