2021 BMW M4

Coming March 2021

2021 BMW M4
Estimated Price: Starting at $72,795

  • Incrementally better acceleration
  • All-wheel drive available for the first time on the M4
  • New performance and track analysis features
  • Comically hideous grille
  • Kicks off the second M4 generation
Contact your local dealers about upcoming availability and pricing details.
2021 BMW M4 Review
Drive It Fast. Maybe Nobody Will Notice the Grille
What is the M4?

The BMW M4 is the coupe variant of the M3 sedan, which has enjoyed a storied history among driving enthusiasts for decades. After taking a hiatus while the 4 Series underwent a full redesign, the 2021 BMW M4 is at last unveiled — though some might prefer certain parts remained under covers.

If you can't say anything nice about the M4's grille, well, you're in good company. The M4 adopts the engorged twin-kidney grille from the 4 Series, instead of 3 Series' more palatable nose. Buyers with an eye for style might pass right by, and that's too bad because this newest M4 promises serious performance improvements versus the last model.

What's under the M4's hood?

The new M4 gets the same powerplant as the redesigned M3: a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline six-cylinder that produces 473 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque. If a 48-horsepower increase over the previous M4 isn't spicy enough for you, step up to the Competition model with 503 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. It's a healthy increase in output for a relatively modest $2,900 price bump.

We're happy to report a six-speed manual transmission will be available alongside a sport-tuned eight-speed automatic transmission, though the Competition model will be automatic-only. The manual comes with a rev-matching feature for perfect downshifts, though it can be disabled for a truly driver-controlled experience. While most people will opt for the automatic, the manual saves 50 pounds, giving it a slightly better front-to-rear weight distribution than the auto.

All M4s (and M3s, for that matter) have been rear-wheel-drive, and the newest version is no different. However, for the first time you'll be able to spec BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive system on Competition models. As with other all-wheel-drive M vehicles, the M4 Competition has a rear-drive mode for gifted drivers with a substantial tire budget.

BMW estimates the standard M4 will reach 60 mph in 4.1 seconds with the automatic transmission; we expect the manual to trail slightly. Meanwhile, the Competition should reach the same threshold in 3.8 seconds on its way to a 155-mph top speed. Too slow for the back straight at Road Atlanta? Add the optional M Driver's package to reach 180 mph.

With all the heat generated from the engine, the M4 receives extra cooling systems compared to the standard 4 Series, and the Competition variant adds a transmission cooler. Since cornering is a staple of the M4's skill set, a dual-sump oil system ensures the engine won't grenade itself in turns with sustained high lateral force.

How's the M4's interior?

As expected, the M4 sports an interior similar to the one in the 4 Series that it's based on. Differentiators include slick red ignition and driving mode buttons, optional carbon-fiber trim elements, and new M Sport seats with more aggressive side bolstering. Hardcore enthusiasts might want to opt for the carbon-fiber bucket seats with cutouts for multipoint racing belts.

How's the M4's tech?

Powering the M4's infotainment system is BMW's latest iDrive 7.0 interface. In our experiences with the current 3 Series — which also features iDrive 7.0 — we've found it to be one of the most intuitive systems on the market. It helps reduce driver distraction thanks to an advanced voice recognition system, as well as its support for inputs via touchscreen or dial controller. Wireless versions of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, as are a navigation system and M-specific performance applications.

For those who plan on taking their new M4 to the track, the new M Drive Professional option includes a built-in lap timer. In addition to seeing your times on the fly, you can further analyze your performance with the BMW M Laptimer app on compatible iPhones. If style points for driving are your thing, the M Drift Analyzer records the duration, distance and angle of a drift. It's like a video game, just with real-world consequences.

M Drive Professional also gives you the ability to fine-tune the M4's traction and stability control systems. There are 10 levels of traction control intervention, so you can dial in a level that meets your skill. It sounds similar to the knob found in the Mercedes-AMG GT R, which we absolutely love. A brake mode selector is new and lets you pick a firm and responsive setting for the track or a softer pedal for everyday driving.

EdmundsEdmunds says

With a more powerful engine, enhanced performance systems and improved cabin tech, the 2021 BMW M4 has everything needed to be a worthy successor to the previous model. As vain as it sounds, however, that giant buck-toothed grille may be a deal-breaker for some.

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