BMW M3 is arguably the hero car in the German marque’s lineup. Okay, so there are other M models and even the i8 hybrid supercar, but there’s something special about a smallish four-door sedan that can take on, and beat, much more expensive machines on a day-to-day basis.
Once upon a time the BMW M4 two-door coupe would have been called the M3 coupe, but the revised naming system from Bavaria gives the sporty-bodied models even-numbered designations.
But enough with the semantics, let’s take a look at the special BMW M4 variant that we’ve testing all week – the M4 Pure two-door coupe. The Pure puts an even-sharper focus on the driver by combining the Competition package with a competitive price of $139,900.
The M4 Pure’s specification includes ConnectedDrive Freedom (with Concierge Services), Driving Assistant, carbon-fibre interior trims, carbon structure cloth/leather upholstery, LED headlights and a nine-speaker HiFi Loudspeaker System. So it’s no stripped down special.
The front shares the same shape as the standard models in the M4 range. No bad thing as its already pretty aggressive in appearance. And don’t forget this is a lower cost variant (these things are relevant) so there was no money spent on revised styling.
The BMW M4 coupe has a sleek rear end that works beautifully, we particularly like the way the spoiler is integrated into the boot lid.
The sculpted bonnet has a serious power bulge that gives it a purposeful look. The optional 20-inch black alloys fitted to our test car worked well visually with the brilliant white paint.
Double stitching highlights the leather instrument panel on the standard M4 as well as the M4 Competition models.
Due to customer complaints the steering wheel stalks now stay in place when engaged, instead of going back to their original central positions.
The roof of the BMW M4 is made from lightweight carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) to reduce the centre of gravity.
ENGINE / TRANSMISSION
Power of 331 kW allied with 550 Nm of torque from the 3.0-litre twin turbo straight-six engine means the M4 Competition coupe gets to 100km/h in 4.0 seconds when fitted with the standard seven-speed M double-clutch automatic.
An upgraded six-speed manual is available on special order. However, such is the efficiency of the latest dual-clutch autos that the manual takes an addition 0.3 seconds to get to 100 km/h. Hmm… but we do enjoy doing our own gearshifts and would probably opt for the manual if buying an M4.
Incorporating the latest BMW Navigation system Professional, iDrive6 offers a clear and customisable 8.8-inch colour display interface with an app-style ‘tile’ layout that can be arranged by touchscreen.
The now-tamed BMW iDrive rotary controller on the centre console and Natural voice control can also be used to control the systems.
The dynamic ability of a car like this BMW sports coupe, such as enhanced braking systems and dynamic stability control makes for excellent primary safety – that is, not having a crash in the first place.
However, should everything still go wrong the impressive BMW Connected Drive electronic system includes Intelligent Emergency Call which transmits vehicle crash information to a BMW call centre from where emergency services are alerted if required. Similarly, TeleServices transmits breakdown information if you get really stuck.
The front sports seats are firm, but reasonably comfortable – and we do love their very sporty styling.
Access to the rear seats through the front doors isn’t too difficult. There are only two seats back there, with a small stowage bin between them. Legroom is limited and the seats are better suited to children than grownups. Headroom in the back is surprisingly good.
And don’t forget that if you do need better rear-seat access and a little more space you can buy an M3 instead of an M4.
Acceleration is almost instantaneous, with the twin turbos combining to all-but eliminate turbo lag. At low revs and speeds you do feel the lag, but once the engine is on full boost it’s a sheer delight to sit behind, offering fast response and all the right sounds. Though even more volume would be appreciated…
The steering (now with electro-mechanical assistance), suspension and engine each have a choice of three settings which really add to the driving enjoyment.
The suspension and steering talk to you through the steering wheel and the seat of your pants. If you haven’t got a smile on your face when you’re on your favourite driving road on an early morning blast it’s a sign you’re not trying hard enough.
However, the ride through these optional big wheels and low-profile tyres may be considered rather firm by some passengers. Try for yourself and you might find you’re better off with the standard 19s rather than the optional 20-inch units.
Fuel consumption is listed as 8.3 litres per hundred kilometres. Our use was typically higher than that, at 11 to 13 litres per hundred around town and when being fanged on our favourite hilly road circuit. These are pretty reasonable figures and illustrate the efficiency of the straight-six.
Easy motorway cruising brought fuel usage down below seven litres per hundred kilometres, very impressive for a 450 horsepower engine.
CONDITION BASED SERVICING
Rather than the car being serviced at either a set distance or time, BMW maps the use of each vehicle individually using sensors and advanced algorithms monitor. It then calculates the conditions in which a vehicle is used. This includes distance, time elapsed since its last service, fuel consumption and how a vehicle is driven.
Based on the information captured, maintenance requirements are determined, identifying whether an annual vehicle inspection or oil service is due.
Stunning looks, great handling and a brilliant engine are allied with a significantly lower price than the standard M4 coupe means the new BMW M4 Pure coupe deserves a place high on your shopping list.
AT A GLANCE
M4 Pure coupe: $139,900
M4 Competition coupe: $156,900
M4 CS coupe: $189,900
M4 GTS coupe: $294,425
M4 Competition convertible: $168,200
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local BMW for drive-away prices.
SPECIFICATIONS (BMW M4 Pure 3.0-litre turbo-petrol two-door coupe
Capacity: 2.979 litres
Configuration: Six cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 317 kW @ 5500 rpm
Maximum Torque: 550 Nm @ 1850 rpm
Fuel Type: Premium undleaded
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 8.3 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 194 G/KM
DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4671 mm
Wheelbase: 2812 mm
Width: 1870 mm
Height: 1883 mm
Turning Circle: 12.2 metres
Kerb Mass: 1537 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 70 litres
Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Ventilated disc
Three years / unlimited kilometres