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2018 BMW M4 Overview
The elegant 2-door BMW M4 is the standard by which other high-performance luxury coupes are measured. Brisk acceleration, sharp cornering, and hard braking all characterize the M4, making it the ideal driver’s car. For 2018, the only change is a reorganization of the option packages into a tier system, where the higher-tier packages become available only once the lower tiers have been selected.
The M4 dates back to the 2014 model year when BMW split the 3 Series 2-door coupe and convertible into a new 4 Series, in an effort to distinguish the 2-door models from the 4-door 3 Series lineup. The M4 replaced the M3 coupe and convertible and has evolved into a model in its own right, with an abundance of dramatic style and grace.
The M4 sets itself apart from the rest of the 4 Series lineup with a wider track, flared fenders, a unique power-dome hood, and revised front and rear fascias with lightweight carbon fiber-reinforced plastic and more aggressive bodywork. The lower front fascia provides added downforce and features openings that feed the radiator and intercooler. Out back, a quad exhaust system emits a wonderfully mechanical howl.
The M4 comes in only one trim but two body styles—coupe or convertible. The M4 convertible features a retractable power hardtop and carbon fiber-reinforced plastic body panels, which help keep weight to a minimum. BMW claims the top opens in about 20 seconds and at speeds up to 11 mph. For the sake of comparison, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet’s top opens in the same amount of time but at speeds up to 25 mph. 18-inch forged light alloy wheels come standard and are 9 inches wide at the front and 10 inches at the rear. Also included are M Compound ventilated disc brakes marked by distinctive blue brake calipers.
The performance nature of the M4 is further emphasized inside the cabin. It displays sharp lines and an almost mechanical aesthetic, which is underscored by the carbon-fiber inlays. The available bright red seats and accents strike a racy tone and contrast with the comparatively sedate interior. Standard features include LED headlights, leather upholstery, 10-way power front seats, push-button start, ambient interior lighting, automatic climate control, and a premium Harman Kardon Surround Sound system with 12 speakers and a 515-watt amplifier.
On the technology front, the M4 is equipped with BMW’s iDrive infotainment system. A controller in the center console provides access to the radio, navigation, phone, and more. Additionally, the top of the controller is touch-sensitive, allowing you to “draw” letters in order to enter an address or search for a contact.
But the beating heart of the M4 is a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder engine that offers an impressive 425 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels through either a 6-speed manual transmission or an available 7-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT) with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The EPA estimates fuel-economy figures of 17 mpg city, 26 highway, and 20 combined with the manual transmission and 17, 24, and 19 with the automatic.
BMW claims the M4 Coupe can hit 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, while the Convertible will do the run in 4.2 seconds. But the M4 offers far more than just speed in a straight line—it delivers thrilling cornering ability thanks to a taut suspension and direct steering. The M4 features electronically controlled dampers and an active M differential that allow for various levels of wheel slip, depending on the driver’s skill level. An available Competition package boosts the engine output by 19 hp and adds an adaptive M suspension and fetching 20-inch wheels. BMW also offers the M Driver’s package, which includes a day of on-track driver training and raises the top speed from 155 to 174 mph.
Standard safety features for the M4 include a full array of front- and side-impact airbags, active knee protection, a reversing camera, and a LATCH child-seat anchoring system. An available Executive package adds a 360-degree camera, adaptive high beams, park-distance warning, and a head-up display. Other optional equipment includes blind-spot monitoring and forward-collision avoidance with pedestrian detection.
The 2018 M4 Coupe starts at an MSRP of $67,700 and the Convertible at $76,200, although as expected, options and packages can add tens of thousands to the price.
From open-wheel racecars to specialty off-road vehicles, George Kennedy has driven it all. A career automotive journalist, George has been a contributor, editor, and/or producer at some of the most respected publications and outlets, including Consumer Reports, the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, Autoblog.com, Hemmings Classic Wheels, BoldRide.com, the Providence Journal, and WheelsTV.
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