2015 BMW M4 Review

Colum Wood
by Colum Wood

When BMW said the new M3 coupe would be called the M4 it didn’t just seem idiotic, but sacrilegious. Now it all makes sense.


  • Bigger, but not Heavier
  • Despite being big with a capital B, BMW showed its engineering wizardry by making sure the M4 didn’t pack on the pounds. In fact, they did the opposite.
  • At 3,530 lbs. the new M4 is actually 180 lbs. lighter than the old V8-powered model, which BMW says is the first time a new M3 has weighed less than its predecessor. Except they’re wrong… because it’s not an M3, it’s an M4.
  • To help keep the weight to a minimum almost every component was optimized to shed mass. But the two you’ll care the most about are the carbon fiber roof up top and the carbon fiber strut tower brace under the hood.
  • Does it feel lighter? Not really.
  • Perhaps on a wide race track with plenty of space it begs for the corners like a pimply teenager does for a date, but on the road it’s the straightaways that the M4 seems have the most attraction for.
  • A Truly Epic Six-Cylinder
  • That’s entirely the result of a new twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline six that makes a touch more power than the old unit at 425 hp and a LOT more torque. In fact, it’s 40 percent more torque-happy than the old V8 and it delivers that torque across an incredibly wide power band, with 406 lb-ft starting at 1850 rpm and stretching to 5500 rpm.
  • Do we miss the V8? Well, we do miss its fun high-revving nature, but this beast’s torque makes you forget about that pretty fast.
  • It’ll hit 60 mph in 4.1 seconds with this six-speed manual, or order the seven-speed DCT, (which we’re sure most will), and that number drops to just 3.9 seconds. That’s almost half the original M3’s 0-60 time!
  • It’s also 25 percent more fuel efficient than the last M3… not that you care.
  • So what does it feel like?
  • Well, not like an M3.
  • We expected BMW to try and make this engine feel like a naturally aspirated unit. They didn’t. And frankly, it doesn’t seem like they even tried. Rather, they’re embracing the turbocharged era we live in.
  • Sure it revs out extremely high for turbo engine, all the way to 7,600 rpm, and there’s essentially zero turbo lag, but it’s also not linear. Nope, instead it feels like this inline six just gives you everything all at once – especially in M mode!
  • Press either of the two customizable M buttons on the steering wheel and the car’s character changes dramatically. The exhaust volume gets turned way up and the throttle is incredibly touchy.
  • It sounds raw like you just ripped the mufflers off. And you can really hear those turbos working. The sound and the huge bursts of thrust will have you hammering the throttle over and over.
  • And when you do, you’ll instantly feel the rear end start to squirm. Sure 406 lb-ft is an impressive number, but the M4 feels even more powerful than that. In fact, it’s so shockingly fast, you’ll be afraid to put your foot down in a corner.
  • We can almost guarantee the next gen M4 will have all-wheel drive… because if this thing gets any more potent, it’ll need it.
  • New School Tech, Old School Stick
  • And on the topic of future M cars, our tester featured something next-gen models probably won’t… a real stick shift.
  • It has good feel, but it’s nothing amazing, with a last minute notchiness to each gear shift. In essence it feels like every other BMW manual transmission as far back as we can remember.
  • One unique trait it does have, however, is rev matching on the downshifts, like the Porsche 911 or, originally, the Nissan 370Z. The throttle-blipping feature doesn’t work in M mode though… which is odd.
  • A Sports Car With Road Manners
  • When you’re not in M mode, the M4 feels more like a grand tourer on the road and it’s got the equipment to match inside. It actually feels luxurious, and not in the usually Spartan BMW way.
  • Because it’s a proper coupe and not a sports car, you don’t sit down as low and that means it’s easy to see out of. The adjustable seats are plenty form fitting if you want them to be and the ultra thick steering wheel feels so good you’ll never want to let it go.
  • Some additional features worth pointing out include the heads-up display that even shows what the current speed limit is along with a a beautiful color projection of the tachometer while you’re in M mode. There’s also a new button on the center console that lets you select one of three levels of steering responsiveness.
  • BMW M4 Review: The Verdict
  • So the new M4 really isn’t an M3. It’s less of a playful car that you want to flick around a twisty road and more of an awesomely powerful super coupe.
  • Thanks to the huge difference between the regular drive modes and M mode, it doesn’t urge you to drive it hard unless you want it to. So it’s not always “on”, but when it is, it’s intense.
  • Make no mistake, we love this car, but we


  • Outrageous power
  • Menacing looks
  • More luxury
  • Rev-matching manual


  • Missing that playful feeling
Colum Wood
Colum Wood

With AutoGuide from its launch, Colum previously acted as Editor-in-Chief of Modified Luxury & Exotics magazine where he became a certifiable car snob driving supercars like the Koenigsegg CCX and racing down the autobahn in anything over 500 hp. He has won numerous automotive journalism awards including the Best Video Journalism Award in 2014 and 2015 from the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC). Colum founded Geared Content Studios, VerticalScope's in-house branded content division and works to find ways to integrate brands organically into content.

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4 of 8 comments
  • Mark S Mark S on Sep 16, 2014

    Thankful that BMW is still sending us the stick shifts (are you listening Audi!). Sad to see NA go, but the power and torque, the weight saving in this later M4, M3 is amazing. E36 in good condition would be my choice of M3, they have way more power than I need and just about affordable.

  • Johnson Johnson on Sep 24, 2014

    Eco turbo 3.0 liter m3 isn't a true M3. It has the exact same engine dimensions (bore and stroke included) than the lowest 3 series 335i with a different turbo tune, big deal. It has 100.00 % Artificially Synthesized in-cabin fake engine sound (basically a computer generated sound based on RPM played through speakers like a Sega or Nintendo). It's a cheat of a m3 produced more cheaply for bigger profits. You have to go back to previous gen M3 to see the real thing: V8 NATURALLY ASPIRATED.