An M4, you say? That’s right, BMW has renamed what would previously have been known as an M3 coupe, to bring the latest sporting two-door in line with the “odd numbers for saloons, even for coupes” logic of the rest of the range. It’s a rival to models such as the Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe, Porsche 911 and Jaguar F-Type.
With 0-60 times in the low four-second range, the M4 has lost nothing of its mad-hatter nature in the rebranding, but the way it delivers that performance is rather different. The old V8 engine has gone, replaced by an inline six-cylinder like older M3s… albeit turbocharged this time.
And it’s the turbos that define the M4 – they deliver huge slugs of torque from low down in the engine’s operating speeds, for effortless performance – the complete opposite of the outgoing car that needed to be revved to within an inch of its life to get the best from it.
What the new car can’t match is the old model’s glorious V8 scream, which has been replaced with a six-cylinder howl that sounds a little too manufactured for its own good.
The news is better elsewhere. The M4 is highly adjustable so the suspension, steering and severity of the stability control systems can be tweaked to suit and, if you option the seven-speed DCT gearbox, you also get launch control – for perfect getaways every time.
As practical as any other 4 Series, but with the power to turn the earth on its axis
From its rivals, the Mercedes is the one that offers the sternest test, it can’t match the BMW’s cornering poise, but if smoky burnouts are your thing (and why wouldn’t they be) then the C63 AMG is the car for you.
It’s away from the track that, perhaps, the M4 shows its greatest strength – it’s everyday usability. Interior space is just as good as a regular 4 Series, so there’s space for four people, a boot big enough to take their luggage and plenty of useful cubbies scattered around the interior.
Equipment levels are similarly impressive for what is the performance flagship of the 4 Series range – go faster add-ons include 19-inch alloy wheels, an M body kit, a carbon-plastic roof and an Active M Differential that’s responsible for making the M4 so scalpel-like in corners.
For a more in-depth look at the M4, read the interior, practicality, driving and specifications sections of our review over the following pages. And, to see what sort of offers are available on the BMW M4, visit our deals page.