What Is It?
2015 BMW M4
What's New About This Model?
The 2015 BMW M4 is an all-new, rear-wheel-drive, high-performance luxury coupe. It's the successor to the previous-generation M3 coupe sold from 2008-'13, and like that car, it will eventually have a convertible companion. In place of its predecessor's V8 engine, the M4 will use a more potent twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine. It's also longer, wider and lighter than the old coupe, which should open up more legroom in the cabin while preserving the engaging handling characteristics for which BMW's M cars have long been known.
When Does It Go on Sale?
BMW officials say they expect the 2015 M4 coupe to arrive at U.S. dealerships in June 2014.
How Much Does It Cost?
No official pricing has been released yet, but we expect the M4 coupe will be priced somewhat above the previous M3 coupe, which was priced around $60,000 during the 2013 model year.
How Many Body Styles and Trim Levels Are There?
The M4 will initially be offered only as a coupe, but a convertible body style with a retractable-hardtop roof will follow it. Both versions will seat four.
Look for BMW to offer the M4 coupe in a single, well-equipped trim level. Standard equipment will include a carbon-fiber roof panel, 18-inch forged-alloy wheels and summer performance tires, leather-upholstered sport seats (with adjustable side bolsters), dual-zone automatic climate control and BMW's iDrive electronics interface.
What Kind of Engines and Transmissions Does It Have?
· Twin-turbocharged, direct-injected, 3.0-liter, inline six-cylinder: 425 horsepower, 406 pound-feet of torque
· Six-speed manual transmission standard; seven-speed automated manual transmission optional (includes shift paddles and launch control feature)
· Claimed 0-60-mph acceleration: 4.1 seconds (six-speed manual), 3.9 seconds (seven-speed automated manual)
· Standard rear-wheel drive; rear limited-slip differential
What Unique Features Does It Offer?
The latest version of BMW's iDrive control interface includes various smartphone integration features and mobile WiFi capability. The 2015 M4 coupe gets an enhanced version of iDrive with a lap-timer app aimed at owners interested in taking their car to a track day. Using your connected smartphone, the app can log the car's speed, longitudinal and lateral acceleration, engine rpm, steering angle, accelerator-pedal position, gear selection (on cars with the automated manual transmission) and fuel consumption, and then provide graphic displays on your phone for further analysis. In addition, the app can store up to two recordings on the same track for a corner-by-corner comparison.
Along with its carbon-fiber roof panel and aluminum-intensive suspension, the M4 uses a carbon-fiber driveshaft to get power to its rear wheels, an unusual detail on a car in this price range. BMW says the carbon shaft is 40 percent lighter than the one on the previous M3 coupe.
Key options on the 2015 BMW M4 coupe include driver-adjustable adaptive suspension damping (adaptive shock absorbers) and an M-specific version of BMW's head-up display with a gear display, engine rev counter and shift indicator.
What Models Will It Compete Against?
Audi RS 5: It's hard to beat the RS 5 coupe's understated styling or the sound of its 450-hp V8 engine, but you might find fault with its overly firm ride and artificial steering feel. And with a base price around $70,000, it'll likely cost you a bit more as well.
Cadillac CTS-V Coupe: Although the CTS-V coupe is a significantly larger car, the current generation is easily a match for the M4 in the acceleration department, thanks to a supercharged V8. Its angular body won't appeal to everyone, though, and due to its hefty weight, it's not as maneuverable on roads with tight turns.
Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG coupe: Here's the archenemy for the 2015 BMW M4 coupe. For years now, the C63 has relied on brute strength to win the day, as its 6.2-liter V8 gave it a significant acceleration advantage over the previous M3 coupe. The new M4 should finally close that gap, though, and we expect it to be the better-handling car as well.
Should You Wait for It?
If you specifically want a BMW M4 coupe, this car is worth the wait (that is, unless you're able to track down a leftover 2013 M3 coupe). However, if you're not set on owning a BMW, the 2014 RS 5 and C63 AMG are compelling alternatives and, with their powerful V8 engines, they're just as quick.