Review: 2015 BMW M4 with M Performance options
I have to admit that I wasn’t on-board when BMW decided to to make the M3 coupe the M4 coupe. For the regular two-door 3 Series models, I kind of got the logic of creating more distinction between the two-door coupe, which has, since the E46 generation, been longer, lower, and more elegant than its practical four-door counterpart. The latest models are more distinctive than ever, with the 4 Series not only being significantly lower and wider than the previous 3 Series coupe, but is also longer in overall length and wheelbase than the new 3 Series sedan. So, calling the new coupes 428i and 435i made sense.
But the big story is that, despite sharing much of its technical content, the M4 feels distinctly different to drive than the M3. Its little three-spoke wheel has the same three selectable assistance curves, but it turns in even more aggressively, and the front tires seem to bit even harder than they do in the four-door. The car’s front-end grip seems limitless; you go around the same corner time after time, thinking that at some point it’ll start to wash away, but you simply can’t go fast enough on the street to find out where. Despite the longer wheelbase – which should suggest a calmer, more gentle experience – the rear axle is also a lot livelier; roll into the throttle in second, and you’ll feel a distinct twitch, followed by traction-control intervention, that you wouldn’t in the sedan. The M4’s ride quality is also distinctly more brittle than the M3’s; neither of the cars I drove had the optional electronic damper control, and while I didn’t feel like the four-door needed it, I’d recommend it on the two-door to calm things down on less-than-smooth pavement.