BMW has given its fire-breathing M4 supercar destroyer a midlife refresh and we’ve taken it out to see what it’s like
What do we have here?
There are some cars that simply don’t need an introduction. The BMW M4 is one such vehicle, whether it’s the two-door coupe or two-door convertible.
While it’s only a few years old following the renaming of BMW 3-Series coupes to 4-Series (and M3 coupe to M4, accordingly), the M4 has quickly forged its reputation as a supercar destroyer.
Therefore, this refresh to the M4 is pretty subtle. On the outside, there are now LED headlights fitted as standard, redesigned daytime running lights with new 3D LED taillights at the rear.
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On the inside, M4 emblems have been added to the front sports seats, there’s double stitching over the instrument binnacle, while chrome and electroplated detailing has been added. All pretty low key changes.
Under the bonnet, there’s a 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology delivering 425bhp and 406lb ft of torque, which will jettison the M4 (coupe) from standstill to 62mph in 4.3 seconds. It gets a six-speed manual gearbox and an optional seven-speed M Double-Clutch transmission which reduces the 0-62mph down to 4 seconds.
The updated model now gets professional navigation as standard alongside a new interface, enhanced Bluetooth and ConnectedDrive services. Add to that wireless mobile phone charging and WIFI hotspot.
According to BMW, the majority of buyers now plump for the Competition Package that brings an extra 19bhp and takes a further 0.1 second off the 0-62mph dash.
For the first time, M Performance Accessories are available on the M4 including a new exterior carbon package which includes carbon front and lower trims, rear diffuser and spoiler, while 20in light-alloy wheels in Star-spoke 666 M style, finished in black are available as an option with the Competition Pack.
The carbon interior package includes an Alcantara steering wheel with carbon fibre inlays, while the gear selector features the same carbon fibre finish.
The updated M4 now costs from £58,365 in Coupe form and £62,460 as a convertible. We’re testing the Coupe with the Competition Pack and a raft of extras including exterior carbon pack, Icon adaptive headlights, surround view, head up display, advanced parking pack, comfort access and much more, meaning our test car tips the scales at £70,045.
How does it drive?
That 3.0-litre twin turbo under the bonnet is a delight. Not only for your internal speed demon but also for the inner child who wants it to make loud noises as it goes.
It manages to pick up speed almost faster than the thought you had about accelerating and with no delay it harpoons you down the road.
Gaps in the traffic no longer than a bus stop are all of a sudden more than enough room for you to slingshot whatever’s blocking your path.
Under harsh acceleration, gear changes are ferocious as your head gets pinned to the head rest like an astronaut setting off for the stars.
There are two steering wheel-mounted paddles that are fixed to the wheel, therefore as you turn, they move with the wheel meaning mid-corner shifts are made that much easier. And my god does it change gears quickly. Think the man of steel himself - faster than a speeding bullet.
The soundtrack is one of anger, as those quad exhaust growl and howl behind you. However, take a more restrained approach to your journey and the M4 quietens down, gear shifts become smooth and suddenly this 444bhp brute becomes as docile as a 420i.
Add to that a ride that’s impressively absorbent and the M4 is a true day to day runabout, dealing nonchalantly with potholes and speed humps.
There’s a treasure trove of buttons to change the M4’s setting, including the gearbox, steering, suspension and engine with sport and sport plus engaging Lewis Hamilton mode. All are designed to either make things happen quicker, more directly or with added feeling.
After dawdling around town, your eyes will light up as the urban speed limits give way to twisting country roads. The M4 has a hint of body lean as you hit a sharper bend at speed but no more than that, cornering beautifully flat.
Its steering is responsive and direct, letting you know what’s going on beneath the front wheels and allowing you to place the front end with pinpoint accuracy.
The back end will twitch on occasion but leave the traction control in nanny mode and you’ll make the vast majority of your progress forward rather than sideways.
Get the M4 on a track though and it’s a precision tool that lets you exploit the limits of your abilities without spinning into the gravel at every turn. It’ll also help you grow as a drive as you turn up the wick and turn off the driver aids.
What's it like inside?
Little has changed inside, so the practical and comfortable interior of the standard 4-Series remains with the addition of a few strips of carbon fibre, extra buttons to press and two huge supportive and comfortable electrically adjustable sports seats complete with memory settings.
That means there are storage areas in the door, between the seats and a roomy glovebox.
You can also get comfortable. Those supportive seats adjust well and lower enough for most to have decent head room, while the steering wheel compliments with good reach and decent tilt adjustment.
A lovely touch is the BMW racing colours stitched into the seat belts.
The seat tilts forward and can electrically slide further to create more space to climb in to the back. Once in there’s loads of leg and knee room, slightly restricted foot room while the sloping roof will limit head room for taller passengers.
Round the back is a well-sized boot that’ll take a couple of suitcases. There’s underfloor storage and two levers to release and lower the split folding rear seats.
It’ll return 32.1mpg on an official combined cycle and emits 204g/km of CO2.
Company car users will face a 37% BIK tax banding.
Surprisingly, it falls in insurance group 43.
The M4 gets BMW’s three-year unlimited mileage warranty.
There’s no better car to say “it’s for every occasion” and “you can use it every day” than the BMW M4.
Take it on the track and it’s epic, fire it down a country road and it makes you grin like a love-struck fool, yet it’ll cruise and soak up the bumps the rest of the time.
What an absolute world beater.
Driver's Seat Rating:
9 out of 10
It's worth considering:
Mercedes AMG C63 S Coupe
Lexus RC F
2017 BMW M4 Competition Package 7-speed dual-clutch transmission stats: