BMW M4 2021 Review
Unlike many of the other products in BMW’s line-up with an extensive history, the BMW M4 is one that’s a bit of an oddity – the name only stretches two generations, and means little more than being the coupe form of the BMW M3 – just as the 4 Series is the coupe variant of the 3 Series. That being said, it continues an incredibly important line of performance vehicles that stretches back decades, and one that arguably represented BMW the best in every generation of products.
The BMW M4, or the M3 Coupe as it would be known in times gone, was always considered the gold standard of BMW performance models – which is why they were commonly adapted for racing in various series around the world. That being said, things have changed in the last few years – both in terms of product positioning and motorsports applications.
In terms of the former, the BMW M4 is ultimately tied to the regular 3 Series and 4 Series in terms of size, product positioning, and mechanical components. This means that as the 3 Series and 4 Series have grown in size with each generation, so to have their performance variants, and that has led to a bit of a problem as they are perhaps not as suited for the sports coupe image they once were.
If you need a reference point, just 17 years ago we saw the end of the BMW E39 5 Series – a vehicle that is regarded as one step up in size from the 3 Series and 4 Series in BMW’s product range. The 4 Series you see today is just 7 mm shorter than this 5 Series, which really shows how large the 3 Series and 4 Series have grown.
As a result, perhaps the more realistic successor to the BMW M4 would be the BMW M2 – especially in competition form as this is the variant that packs a BMW M powertrain. The sizing of the BMW M2, and its predecessor the 1M, piqued the interest of many BMW enthusiasts and proved to do incredibly well in terms of sales despite being based on an entry level BMW product.
On the motorsport end of things, BMW is only maintaining the M4 for use in the Deutch Tourenwagen Masters race series as the series is designed specifically for competition with these vehicles in mind. They are also retained for use at the GT4 level of racing, where lightly modified variants of the M4 roadcar are used, though this is a level of racing that is still finding its footing and currently functions as more of a feeder series of for newer drivers to develop their abilities.
At the GT3 level and for global endurance racing, BMW transitioned to the much larger BMW M6, and now the BMW M8 – essentially a renamed successor to the BMW M6. As a result, the BMW M4 has become somewhat lost on both ends of the spectrum, and it has to fight hard to define itself as a product that can be relatable to either BMW enthusiasts or newcomers to the genre.
BMW M4 2021 Specifications
The variant of the BMW M4 that we get locally is specifically the Competition variant, which means it comes with the more potent version of the S58 turbocharged, 3.0-litre inline-six petrol engine found in the regular BMW M4. In this trim it makes 503 hp and 650 Nm of torque – roughly 60 hp and 100 Nm more than the non-Competition variant.
The engine itself is based on the B58, which is the most current 3.0-litre turbocharged engine found in various BMW products, such as the BMW M340i xDrive. It has a slightly larger bore and shorter stroke, allowing it to rev to a much heftier 7,600 rpm over the regular engine. Performance gains are through changes in the forced induction system, being twin single-scroll turbos rather than the single twin-scroll turbo of the B58.
For the time being, the BMW M4 Competition only delivers power to the rear wheels through an eight-speed conventional automatic transmission – essentially one of the beefier variants of the ZF 8HP transmission found in most BMW products. The non-Competition models are available with the M xDrive all-wheel drive system, which will eventually also be offered for the Competition variants.
Other mechanical bits that come as standard for the M4 Competition are items like adaptive suspension tuned by M, an M sport rear differential that provides aggressive torque splits when you call upon it, various different drive modes with more performance oriented adjustments, and a ten-stage traction control function that intervenes in varying levels known as M traction control.
It is that last point that is actually incredibly interesting to note, because it is done less as an innovation and more as a response to Mercedes-AMG including similar functionality in their GTR. If you’re wondering why this is important, the Mercedes-AMG GTR is used for competition at the GT4 level and has a significant advantage in electronics and control as it retains that variable traction control system, which the previous generation M4 was lacking.
Dimensionally, the BMW M4 Competition measures in at 4,768 mm long, 1,852 mm wide, and 1,387 mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2,851 mm. As mentioned earlier, these are pretty hefty dimensions and near as makes no difference to the BMW E39 5 Series of nearly two decades ago.
BMW M4 2021 Exterior
Between the BMW 4 Series and this BMW M4 Competition variant, there are a few items that set it apart. The front grille is identically large between the two – unlike the difference between the BMW 3 Series and BMW M3 Competition, though here it is finished in a high gloss black with framless, horizontal double grille slats. BMW Individual high gloss Shadow Line is also present, as is a carbon fibre roof, and tailpipe finishes in black chrome. The lower extremities of the car from bumper to bumper are finished in gloss black, and there are 19 inch M forged wheels at the front and 20 inch M forged wheels at the rear.
BMW M4 2021 Interior
The interior of the BMW M4 Competition is pretty similar to that of a regular 4 Series, albeit with some changes in trim material and the like. The headliner is Anthracite, the seats are M Sport units with illuminated model inscription, and the steering wheel is also M specific and trimmed in leather. The seats themselves are finished in Merino leather, while inserts on the dashboard and doors are aluminium or black high gloss with M4 inscriptions.
BMW M4 2021 Safety Features
Safety is comprehensive with the BMW M4, but perhaps not in a way you may expect. The standard features like electronic stability and traction control are present, as are a whole host of airbags and other safety items. Unfortunately, the truly advanced safety systems are limited to the Innovation Package that tacks on an extra RM 76,000 on the sticker price. This leads to a slightly misrepresentative pricing scheme for the BMW M4 in this sole Competition variant, as buyers won’t have these features available unless they pick this not-insignificantly priced option.
The Inn ovation Package includes the entire Driving Assistant package, which is items like Lane Departure Warning, Lane Change Warning, front collision warning with brake intervention, crossing traffic warning rear, and rear collision prevention.
BMW M4 2021 Strengths & Weakness
AS a product, we’ve explained why the BMW M4 is a little confused and not quite the same as the car it replaces, or representative as the lineage it comes from. It’s a little too large to be a nimble, aggressive weapon on a track in the way the BMW M2 Competition can be, but it’s also not so large that it could be a comfortable long distance cruiser like a BMW M5 or M8. It truly is in a middle ground and that can be regarded as a weakness.
Or it could be a strength. The alternative view is that the BMW M4 Competition is perfect for those who find the M2 Competition a little too cramped to be practical in their day to day life, but don’t quite want something as large as the M5 or M8 for their day to day lives. The performance and handling characteristics go without saying – that’s always expected and delivered upon with BMW products, so all that’s left is deciding if the BMW M4 is the ride sized M vehicle for you.
BMW M4 2021 Price
The singular variant of the BMW M4 on offer in Malaysia is, as mentioned before, the Competition variant. As a result, the BMW M4 Competition Coupe goes for a hefty RM 659,357.03 – roughly RM 20,000 more than its four-door sibling. This is without the optional extended warranty and service package, which brings the price up to RM 685,597.03. These prices are inclusive of current sales tax exemptions in place by the government.
BMW M4 2021 Features
Three-zone automatic climate control, keyless entry and start, and ambient lighting come as standard with the BMW M4. Selecting the rather hefty Innovation Package gets you a whole lot more, such as a Head-Up Display, BMW Laserlight headlights, a glass roof (perhaps a downgrade over the carbon roof), a Harman Kardon surround sound system, and carbon fibre interior trim from BMW Individual.
BMW M4 2021 Fuel Consumption
The manufacturer quoted fuel consumption figure for the BMW M4 Competition is a hefty 9.6 litres per 100 kilometres, or 10.41 kilometres per litre. This isn’t altogether unusual for a performance car, but it’s important to remember that this figure is achieved with more sensible driving in mind. Make full use of that over 500 hp and you will find the M4 Competition drinks fuel at a significantly higher rate – more power always means more fuel consumed.
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- Body Type: Coupe
- Transmission: Automatic
- Engine Capacity: 2979 cc
- Fuel Type: petrol
- Seat Capacity: 4
- Price: RM 684,800
20 Oct 2017
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User Review of BMW M4
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Bmw m4 review