BMW vehicles with an “M” in their name carry a pedigree few other automakers can match, although several try.
Within a brand that advertises itself as building the ultimate driving machines, the M versions are the crème de la crème.
The M4 is no exception. Given its trim size, the new-for-2015 M4 Coupe is one of the Bavarian builder’s most sporting offerings.
In the search for enhanced performance (and fuel economy), weight-saving was a major goal for the M4, dictating expanded use of carbon fiber and aluminum.
Ditching the previous generation’s V-8, the new M turns to an archetypically BMW inline six-cylinder, a 3.0-liter, DOHC gem sporting twin turbos. There’s seamless power aplenty – 425 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque – enough to slingshot the coupe to 60 mph in a manufacturer-claimed 3.9 seconds. That, my friends, is wicked quick.
Our tester featured the optional ($2,900) seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission with lightning-quick shifts (and rev-matched downshifts), a paragon of precision.
The car’s control through curves is flat-out phenomenal; grip is seemingly endless, while the electronic steering, although a bit numb, is impeccably precise.
The cabin is graced with a brace of sport buckets specifically tailored to hold occupants in place during high-speed bursts, yet prove comfortable enough for long-distance touring.
The interior is typical BMW, meaning lovingly crafted out of top-flight leather, plastics and metals. The rear seats are a tight fit for full-size folks, but more than suitable for a couple of kids.
Like all high-end European vehicles, the cost of options can quickly ratchet up the price. Most eye-popping on our test vehicle was the carbon ceramic brakes – for a staggering $8,150! Although powerful enough to decelerate a landing 747, they seemed a tad touchy at the top of the pedal’s travel.
All told, options added over $18,000 to the bottom line.
With its ultra-aggressive styling, and our tester’s optional, retina-searing Austin Yellow paint, the M4 definitely turns heads. But lovers of German hot rods have never been a shy sort anyway.