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2-Door CoupeTwin Turbo Premium Unleaded I-6, 3.0 L
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The all-new BMW 4-Series recently took the place of the previous 3-Series coupe, and now, it has its high-performance M variant: the new 2015 BMW M4. So what makes the new M4 special enough to deserve the vaunted M badge? Many, many things, but foremost among them is a new, potent twin-turbocharged engine.
Stylistically, the new BMW M4 offers the same core proportions and characteristics as the 4-Series, but with the dial turned up to 11. A bump on the hood hints at the extra power underneath, while a much more aggressive and aerodynamically effective set of body work at the nose, sides, and tail give it a track-bred look. Flared fenders wrap around larger wheels and grippier tires, and there's even a carbon fiber roof option.
Inside, the M4 is a bit closer to its standard 4-Series counterpart, though the M Division touches continue throughout the cabin. M badges, upgraded sport seats, M-specific controls for the electronics, and racier-looking carbon fiber trim add to the high-performance look and feel of the M4's cockpit.
The M4 isn't just a coupe either, by the way. With a retractable hardtop that stows neatly in just 20 seconds—as well as a standard wind blocker—the M4 allows top-down enjoyment with nearly the same driving experience as the M4 Coupe. In the M4 Convertible, you can opt up to three-temperature neck warmers that might just allow you to keep the top down at lower temperatures or higher speeds.
Trunk space in the M4 Convertible is 13.0 cubic feet; but you can also fold down the rear seat, and there's both a pass-through for skis and a multi-level storage area. With the top down, trunk space remains a usable 7.8 cubic feet.
Powering the BMW M4 Convertible is a 425 horsepower 3.0-liter M TwinPower Turbo inline six engine achieving peak torque of 406 lb-ft and 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds (4.2 seconds with the optional seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission). The BMW M4 Convertible will arrive in U.S. showrooms in summer 2014 with an MSRP of $73,425 (including Destination & Handling).
Under the hood you'll find a new 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged engine. If that sounds familiar, it's because BMW used a similar engine in the previous generation of the BMW 3-Series. However, in the new M4, the entire unit has been upgraded and improved, earning a new name (S55) and hugely upgraded power ratings. BMW says the new engine turns out 425 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque at peak--but those peaks are broad, indeed. Maximum power output is available not just at the upper end of the tachometer, but from 5,500 rpm all the way to 7,300 rpm. Peak torque hits at just 1,800 rpm and remains until 5,500 rpm.
If that 7,300-rpm mark sounds high for a turbocharged engine, that's because it is, and it's not even the new S55's maximum rpm; it can hit 7,600 rpm at the limit. Despite the sky-high rev-limit, the 2015 M4's top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph.
A choice of a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed M-DCT dual-clutch transmission is available, though whichever you'll choose, the M4 is rear-drive only. Another all-new feature for the M4 is an electronically controlled Active M limited slip differential, which can vary the percentage of lockup between the rear wheels from 0 to 100 in mere milliseconds.
Maximizing the advantages of the new powertrain, BMW has done a lot of work on the M4's chassis as well. Losing weight was a primary focus in development, and the end result is a car that's about 176 pounds lighter than the previous M3 coupe. Curb weight for the 2015 M4 lists at just under 3,300 pounds, though that will vary depending on options and extras. BMW saved the weight through extended use of aluminum and carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) throughout the car's structure.
While a conventional suspension (M-tuned, naturally) is standard for the M4, an Adaptive M suspension is available. Offering dynamic adjustment to damper settings for a wider range of comfort and sportiness, the Adaptive M system can range from Comfort to Sport to Sport+ modes. The electric power steering system has the same settings, adjusting the weight and feedback accordingly.
BMW thinks the new twin-turbocharged in-line six-cylinder will manage about 25 percent better economy than the previous normally aspirated V-8, which could bring its figures up to about 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway. While that's not particularly efficient in the grander scheme, it's fair for a high-performance luxury car.
Deliveries of the 2015 M4 will begin this summer.
- Potent new twin-turbo six-cylinder engine
- Lofty RPM limit for a turbo car
- Bold styling
- Lightweight construction
- Sure to be pricey, especially when well-optioned
- Still not great gas mileage
- No more normally-aspirated V-8 wail