First drive 2015 BMW M4 Coupe: The cover is as good as the book



The old saying goes “you can’t judge a book by its cover”. While that may be true in some instances, there are times when indeed one can “judge a book by its cover”. Take for example some movies. We can look at a movie poster or the trailer and be lured into see something that turns out to be awful. This can be applied to some cars as well. There have been cars, they shall go unmentioned here, that look fast or sporty and turn out to be like a snail crossing ice.

The BMW M4 does not fit into that category.

It is already well established that BMW builds fine car, great luxury sedans and the like. As we learned recently, they also have a somewhat more sinister side; a side that can make a motoring enthusiast take up and take notice. And it starts with the look. This “book” looks fast, somewhat mean, with a profile that grabs ones attention and seems to say, “let’s go tear up some road”.

That feeling carries over inside as well. The interior is all business and we couldn’t wait to take to the road. Our tester for the week was the 2015 M4 which is new for 2015. It has lighter construction including such things as a carbon fiber driveshaft , an aluminum front subframe. There are also more advanced driver aids and a new powerplant.  Gone is the V-8, replaced by a twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC inline-6 that delivers 425-hp and 406 lb-ft of torque.  You can get the engine mated to a paddle-shifted seven-speed automatic or, like we had, a six-speed manual, something becoming rarer and rarer in the automotive world today.

Performance? That can be summed up in one word, explosive.  0-60 in under 4 seconds and a suspension that holds the road like Velcro. You won’t miss the growl of a V-8 either. The exhaust is tuned to make the M4 snarl like a beast unleashed.  The manual may seem taxing in daily commuter use, but those rare times when an empty curvy road beckons will make you forget all about that.  With the Adaptive M suspension there seems nothing the M4 can’t handle with confidence. The extensive testing and set-up work carried out at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife circuit by BMW in the development of the M4 is evident.

As for the “cover” of this book, even sitting still heads are turned. Our tester was adorned in Sakhir Orange metallic paint with a black carbon fiber interior. From the powerfully formed front apron, smooth underbody to the integrated spoiler lip at the rear there are highly distinctive aero features like an Air Curtain and M gills with an integrated Air Breather rearwards of the front wheels to minimize turbulence in the front wheel arches.  The distinctive broad crouched design is not only aerodynamically sound, but looks great as well.

Our week with the tester included a week at Daytona International Speedway for the season opening NASCAR Daytona 500 and there was not a day when a small crowd of fans, crewmembers and even a racer or two didn’t gather around for a look.

With a bevy of features from the Driver assist, and executive package and a near phenomenal Harman Kardon sound system, the M4 is pure motoring nirvana.  Sure, like other BMWs all this motoring paradise doesn’t come cheap, the MSRP four our tester topped out at $80,325.  That is a small price to pay for a car that will leave you wanting to take the long way to your destination and make you hope for a wide-open curvy strip of pavement along the way.

This “book” is indeed as good as its cover. Anyone who loves to drive needs to take time to read a copy, because the 2015 BMW M4 is definitely at the top of our bestseller list.

The 2015 BMW M4 Coupe
MSRP: $64,200
MSRP (as tested): $80,325
Engine:  3.0 twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC inline-6, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection, 425 hp @ 7300 rpm and 406 lb-ft torque @ 1850 rpm
Transmission (as tested): 6-speed manual
Fuel mileage (EPA, CTY/HWY): 17/26 mpg
Fuel mileage (as tested, mixed conditions): 19 mpg

Exterior Measurements
Width 6 Ft. 1.6 In. (73.6 In.)
Height 4 Ft. 6.4 In. (54.4 In.)
Length 15 Ft. 3.9 In. (183.9 In.)
Ground Clearance 0 Ft. 4.8 In. (4.8 In.)
Wheel Base 9 Ft. 2.7 In. (110.7 In.)
Interior Measurements
Front Head Room 39.8 In.
Front Leg Room 42.2 In.
Front Shoulder Room 57.7 In.
Rear Head Room 36.1 In.
Rear Leg Room 33.7 In.
Rear Shoulder Room 55.1 In.
Curb Weight 3530 Lbs.
Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place 11.0 Cu.Ft.
Maximum Cargo Capacity 11.0 Cu.Ft.

Basic Miles/km 50,000
Basic Years 4
Corrosion Miles/km Unlimited
Corrosion Years 12
Drivetrain Miles/km 50,000
Drivetrain Years 4
Maintenance Miles/km 50,000
Maintenance Years 4
Roadside Assistance Miles/km Unlimited
Roadside Assistance Years 4

Greg Engle