Getting Initiated with the Sideways BMW M4

BMW M4 Initiation Video - Cover Image

Article by Anthony Alaniz. Film by BMW North America.

With the introduction of the latest-generation BMW F30 3-Series for 2012, BMW diversified its offerings by spinning off the 3-Series coupe and convertible into its own moniker, the 4-Series.

Some were apprehensive as to what this would mean for the M-line of BMW cars, and what BMW was concocting.

When the BMW 4-Series bowed at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, BMW did it right by giving the car a unique look, as many have said the 3- and 4-Series were virtually identical save for two fewer doors.

First Ever BMW M4

Now that the M4 is soon to hit dealership lots, it is a great time to look at what exactly the sports car has to offer. Wearing the M badge, the M4 has a lot of history to consider if it is going to be one of the future greats of BMW performance.

For enthusiasts, the M4 shows BMW’s dedication to two-door sports cars. Some have complained that BMW has gone a little too mainstream in recent years in the hunt for sales making their current crop of non-M cars fairly pedestrian in attitude.

The M4, which has its own chassis code, is powered by a twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline-6 engine, shedding the 4.0-liter V-8 found in the previous iteration. Horsepower is at 425, while torque is rated at 406 lb-ft, which is an increase of 11 and 111 over the V-8, respectively.

The standard transmission is a six-speed manual, while an optional seven-speed dual clutch automatic is available. However, the manual does rev on downshifts automatically.

Those looking for blistering 0-60 mph times should option for the automatic, which BMW says hits 60 in just 3.9 seconds compared to 4.1 with the manual.

History of the BMW M3 Heritage

While enthusiasts may be upset at the loss of the burly V-8, they should be happy to learn the M4 cut 175 pounds over the previous M3 coupe.

BMW has been the benchmark for all other sports cars, and the BMW M4 is no different.

Many other automakers are now taking aim at the Bavarian company. The Audi RS5, Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe and forthcoming Lexus RC F are all gunning for BMW’s sports-car throne.

Whether any of those cars unseat BMW is a question that many eagerly wait to be answered.

Until then though, many are pondering how the M4 compares to previous iterations. A lot has changed in automotive design and regulation. It is difficult to meet rigid safety standards while building light, fun-to-drive sports cars. It would be an almost unfair comparison to pit an E30 M3 to the new M4.

BMW has done the best it could in providing the classic BMW experience in a modern offering. Will it ever be the same? No, it can’t be. But there is no denying the fact that BMW still continues to produce some of the best sports cars around.


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Anthony Alaniz (Anthony_Alaniz)

Born and raised in southeast Michigan. Chose to stay out of necessity. Staff writer at a small community newspaper covering city government, the schools and whatever else happens in town. J-school graduate from EMU, weekend mechanic, car enthusiast and open-road connoisseur. Open to all invites of hospitality and adult beverages.
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