2021 BMW M4 evaluation: Right down to clown

First impressions matter, so, let us take a look at the nostril just a little later.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Do not throw the infant out with the bathwater. Sure, the 2021 BMW M4 carries some distinctive styling notes that generate buzz on either side of the aisle. However by laser-focusing on one thing so trivial, you would possibly gloss over an essential level: The M4 is de facto, actually, actually good. Higher than BMW’s bread-and-butter sports activities coupe has been in years, the truth is, it doesn’t matter what they name it.

LikePunchy inline-6 powerBrilliant handlingExcellent handbook transmission

Do not LikeTire noiseWeird optionally available bucket seatsAcquired-taste styling

Driving is the purpose

The 2021 BMW M4 is an absolute hoot to drive, full cease. It is an aperitif that washes away the mediocre style left in my mouth by its predecessor, which featured a irritating experience high quality and an engine be aware that would not have cleared the primary spherical of American Idol. That is all been ironed over and changed with a automotive that solely ever left me desirous to drive it extra.

Underneath 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 via a six-speed handbook transmission. Whereas there’s just a little little bit of acoustic electro-trickery piped via the audio system, the straight-six sounds nice, particularly at larger revs. And there will be loads of alternative to absorb that noise, as a result of with peak torque arriving (and staying put) between 2,650 and 6,130 rpm, it is easy to turn out to be hooked on plunging my proper foot into the firewall. The M4 simply goes and goes and goes, and it will maintain going nicely past the higher bounds of the pace restrict, indicators passing by in a blur. Have to cease? Drop $8,150 on BMW’s carbon ceramic brakes and you will get predictable, robust stops on the common.

BMW has considered one of, if not the very best handbook transmission available on the market contained in the M4. This slick six-speed evokes the emotions of the Bimmer manuals of yore, its barely rubbery motion between well-placed gates feeling not a lot totally different than it did approach again when within the E46 M3. The clutch has a well-defined pickup level, making footwork a breeze, and its normal rev-matching system generates pitch-perfect downshifts in case you’re not the king of heel-toe.

Like different fashionable BMWs, the 2021 M4 has a litany of car settings that may be adjusted individually or bundled collectively by the use of the 2 shiny purple M buttons atop the steering wheel. Hit the Setup button on the middle console and the display screen fills with customizable choices, letting me tailor the throttle, steering, suspension and braking. The usual mode for every remains to be loads participating, 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 might suggest leaving Sport Plus for the observe or solely essentially the most excellent items of asphalt. Drop $900 on the M Drive Skilled improve, and you might be given a number of traction management modes that may allow you to get just a little drifty earlier than reining issues in.

For as sharp because the M4 is when the going will get twisty, it is impressively compliant in every day use. Southeast Michigan’s roads are… not preferrred for sports activities automobiles, for example, but the M4 isn’t shaken out of kinds. Bumps are dispatched with only a little bit of jostling to the cabin, and even the harsher divots by no means end in a suspension thunk. With the M4 in its softest settings, it is a completely sufficient 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 vast Michelin Pilot 4S summer time tires.

Is it environment friendly? Probably not. The EPA slaps the 2021 M4 with a score of 16 mpg metropolis and 23 mpg freeway. In my expertise, metropolis mileage is about there, however staying out of the increase and preserving 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.

BMW’s inside design language is not my favourite in the meanwhile, however every part is sufficiently sensibly laid out, and construct high quality is top-notch.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow
Shut up concerning the solar! Shut up concerning the solar!

Most conversations concerning the newest iteration of M4 will at all times return to at least one factor: That cursed nostril. Frankly, I do not thoughts all of it that a lot. Possibly that has to do with the way it appears to be like on my Portimao Blue tester, the darkish grille devoid of chrome feeling approach much less flashy than on different four Collection variants. Possibly 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. Possibly I simply do not care that a lot. Is it my most popular design? Goodness, no. However is it some affront earlier than man and God? Hardly.

The remainder of the M4, in and out, appears to be like fairly stable. Its lengthy, low silhouette is mainly a miniaturized Eight Collection at this level, with a lot of the aggressive bits reserved for the entrance and rear bumpers. The tailpipes could look proportional to the remainder of the physique in photos, however in actual life, I can guarantee you that they appear like cannons hanging out of a galleon.


Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Inside, the final structure is just about bone normal four Collection, with an inoffensive dashboard structure that, in M4 guise, is wrapped in some critically easy leather-based. For $950, you’ll be able to shellack about half the surfaces with carbon fiber, however I really feel like that development 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. Whereas it would not be my first selection, I respect the flexibility to rock some expressive colours that are not derivatives of the standard blacks, whites and tans.

After which there’s the seats themselves. These $3,800 M carbon bucket seats are immensely supportive, with excessive bolstering for torsos and thighs. That mentioned, they’re going to be a troublesome promote for people who aren’t skinny minis, since they’re tight. There’s additionally the way of the massive protrusion towards the entrance of the seat cushion; I am positive there’s some cause for that in motorsport, however in every day use, it feels unnatural and largely simply annoying.

These optionally available bucket seats are supportive as heck, however that little bump on the underside will get bizarre after some time.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow
iDrive nonetheless good, perhaps not nice

BMW’s iDrive hasn’t undergone any main revisions lately, 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 screen that does an ideal job of delivering all the best data with minimal distraction. Do not need to use the touchscreen? No worries, buddy, as a result of there is a dial on the middle console. USB charging comes by the use of a USB-A port by the cup holders and a USB-C port underneath the armrest. Wi-fi Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and embedded navigation are all normal. The M4 additionally has a digital gauge show that’s mainly the identical one you get on almost each different BMW nowadays, and it is fantastic.

In contrast to many different devoted efficiency automobiles, BMW nonetheless equips the M4 with loads of lively and passive normal security options. Regardless of the spec, your M4 will roll off the manufacturing facility line with parking sensors, forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning and automated excessive beams. Not one of the methods are very intrusive, and the settings menu lets me dial them again just a little additional if wanted, so more often than not I can not even inform they’re there. Better of all, you needn’t shell out extra simoleons for any of it; it is all normal from the get-go.

iDrive is okay, as long as you by no means trouble to fiddle with gesture management.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow
Right down to brass tacks

It ought to come as no shock that the 2021 BMW M4 is dear, however man, this costly? The beginning value 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 notably spendy, you’ll be able to drop $2,500 on the M Driver’s Package deal that does nothing however bump the pace limiter and provide a one-day class at an area BMW Efficiency Heart. In case your eyes have glossed over on the sight of all these addons, I will do the ultimate math for you: This BMW prices $93,795. Lord have mercy. And this is not even the freaking Competitors variant! 

But, on the similar time, the BMW M4 possesses a lot character for a efficiency coupe that it is laborious to even take a look at the rest. Opponents just like the Mercedes-AMG C63 and Audi RS5 are just a little lengthy within the tooth and due for replacements, whereas the Alfa Romeo Giulia QV is barely obtainable as a sedan, and it is just a little harsh for every day use. That places the M4 in fairly the candy spot, providing unimaginable efficiency with out forgetting that day-to-day life should not be a punishment. You may get used to the entrance finish, I promise.

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