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2017 BMW M4 Overview
When BMW launched the current-generation M3 back in 2015, it was available only as a sedan. The coupe that had been a trademark of the M3 model since its introduction in the mid-1980s was nowhere to be seen. Why? Because BMW had made the decision to revise its naming structure to make sedans odd-numbered and coupes even-numbered. So the beloved M3 coupe became the M4 coupe. The name change doesn’t mean BMW's M division has lost its touch--the M4 is still considered by many to be the luxury sports car to beat.
Compared to older M3 coupes, the M4 is a very polarizing model in terms of looks. The front comes with a new hood with a power dome, wider fenders to make way for fat performance tires, and a new bumper with larger air vents. Other design traits include flared rear wheel arches, a unique trunk lid to improve aerodynamics, and wheels ranging in size from 18 to 20 inches. It should be noted a number of body panels are made from aluminum or carbon fiber to help cut weight.
If you want to stand out with your M4, you can also get it as a convertible. With the hard top up, there isn’t any difference in appearance. But fold down the roof and the difference becomes clear. The roof itself splits into 3 parts and retracts into the trunk, a process that takes only about 20 seconds. The end result is a sports car with an open view of the sky.
Step inside the M4 and you’ll note that it’s built for the driver. There are a number of new parts that are exclusive to the M4, such as an M steering wheel, an M instrument cluster, and a set of sport seats. The dash is slightly angled towards the driver and provides excellent ergonomics. BMW is also introducing iDrive 5.0 to the M4 for 2017. This latest version of BMW’s infotainment system brings improvements in terms of the interface and performance. All 2017 M4s will also feature the Executive Package as standard equipment. The Executive Package includes a backup camera, rear parking sensors, a heads-up display, wireless charging for your smartphone, wireless hotspot capability, and a heated steering wheel.
Since it's a coupe, you might think the M4 isn’t good for carrying passengers in the back. But you'd be wrong: An average-size adult can sit in the M4’s back seat with no problem. Trunk space measures out to 15.7 cubic feet in the coupe and 15.8 cubic feet in the convertible when the top is up.
Like the M3, the M4 packs a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder engine with 425 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. Power can be boosted to 449 hp if you opt for the Competition package. This package also adds a revised steering ratio, new settings for the stability control and driving modes, and a modified Active M differential. You can pick either a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT). The M4 can hit 60 mph in 4.1 seconds with the manual or 3.9 seconds with the DCT. Add about 0.3 seconds to either time to get the M4 convertible’s run to 60. Top speed has been raised to 174 mph, thanks to M Driver’s Package becoming standard for 2017; an added benefit of the M Driver’s Package is the opportunity to take part in a high-performance driving course at BMW’s Performance Driving school in South Carolina.
The M4 coupe's fuel economy checks in at 17 mpg city/26 highway/20 combined for the manual and 17/24/19 for the DCT. Despite weighing about 500 pounds more, the convertible matches the coupe’s fuel-economy figures.
One key change that will make a number of people happy is BMW making the adaptive suspension standard on the 2017 M4. This addition solves one of the M4's biggest problems--the harsh ride of its standard suspension setup.
On the safety front, all M4s come with traction and stability control, a full suite of airbags, and BMW Assist. Assist provides automatic notification of emergency services in the event of a crash, stolen-vehicle recovery, remote locking/unlocking, and roadside assistance. Optional safety equipment includes front parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, frontal-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and carbon-ceramic brakes.
The 2017 BMW M4 begins at $67,195 for the coupe and $75,695 for the convertible. Prices include a $995 destination charge.
Ask William Maley how he started as an automotive writer and he would say he just fell into it. Based in Michigan, William has driven vehicles of all sizes and shapes. His work has appeared on Autobytel, CARFAX, Cheers & Gears, and U.S. News Best Cars.
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