Originally, the BMW M3 was offered only as a 2-door coupe. Then came a 4-door sedan, and then a 2-door convertible. Now, the 2015 BMW M4 replaces the M3 Coupe and M3 Convertible, in accordance with the automaker's new naming conventions. Though the 2015 BMW M4 has a different name from the 2015 BMW M3, and even demonstrates distinct styling modifications, the two cars are almost identical when it comes to the performance upgrades that set them apart from the models upon which they are based.
Take one 4 Series Coupe, make subtle styling modifications, tuck serious performance hardware under the body work, and you've got the 2015 BMW M4.
Styling forward of the windshield is unique to the M4, including the oversized front air intakes, black grille, aluminum power dome hood, and the M-style fender gills with what BMW calls "air breathers." Flared front and rear wheel arches, twin-stalk aerodynamic side mirrors, and staggered-width, forged-aluminum, double-spoke 18-inch wheels provide a unique appearance from the side, while the car's rear diffuser panel and integrated lip spoiler are differentiators around back.
As was true of the M3 Coupe, the M4 Coupe is equipped with an exposed carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) roof that saves 11 pounds compared with the 4 Series Coupe and lowers the car's center of gravity. New for 2015, the M4's trunk is also constructed of CFRP, while smooth underbody panels help to reduce aerodynamic drag.
Occupants in the M4 sit on leather-wrapped M Sport front bucket seats with single-piece front seatbacks and manually adjustable seatback and bottom cushion bolsters. Exposed contrast-color stitching, an Anthracite BMW Individual headliner, and M-badged cabin trim are standard, and the driver faces an M Sport double-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel and a set of M gauges with white graphics.
BMW has announced only a few of the M4 Coupe's planned options. In addition to metallic paint colors and upgraded 19-inch forged aluminum wheels in Black or Ferric Gray finishes, M4 buyers can choose a navigation system, power-adjustable front seats, heated front seats, and a head-up display with unique details. Adaptive LED headlights and Active Driving Assistant technology are also available for the M4.
Under the Hood
According to BMW, the 2015 M4 Coupe has a new 6-cylinder engine that is more powerful and more fuel-efficient than the small V-8 engine that it replaces. Output measures 425 horsepower between 5,500 rpm and 7,300 rpm and 406 lb.-ft. of torque between 1,850 rpm and 5,500 rpm. Weight and rotational mass reduction measures include a new forged crankshaft and a CFRP propeller shaft, and BMW readies every M4 for racing by including a dry-sump lubrication system, track-spec engine cooling system, and an Active M Differential. The M4 breathes through a twin-pipe exhaust system with four polished, slanted outlets.
As was true of the M3 Coupe, a 6-speed manual gearbox is standard equipment, now designed to automatically match engine revs when the driver downshifts. A 7-speed M Double Clutch Transmission (M-DCT) is optional, providing paddle shifters, rev-matching capability, Drivelogic driving modes, and a Launch Control system that helps the M-DCT transmission deliver the quickest acceleration. According to BMW, the standard 6-speed manual accelerates the M4 Coupe to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds, while the M-DCT helps the car to achieve the same velocity in 3.9 seconds. The M-DCT also features a new Stability Clutch Control system designed to reduce understeer at the limit, according to BMW.
Lighter-weight aluminum suspension components and a CFRP strut tower brace are standard for the new M4 Coupe, along with BMW M compound brakes and M Servotronic electric steering with Comfort, Sport, and Sport+ modes. Performance upgrades include an Adaptive M suspension with Comfort, Sport, and Sport+ settings, as well as BMW M carbon ceramic brakes. Gold brake calipers identify vehicles with the latter option.
An optional M Dynamic Mode programs the M4 Coupe's traction and stability control systems to provide a greater performance envelope without completely shutting the safety features off. Additionally, BMW has confirmed that the M4 will be available with Active Driving Assistant technology, which helps to avoid low-speed impacts, and that it will offer adaptive LED headlights for the M4.
In addition to a next-generation iDrive system with an optional BMW Professional navigation system, buyers choosing the new 2015 M4 Coupe can use a new BMW M Laptimer App to track and analyze vehicle performance data. Simply pair a smartphone to the car's BMW ConnectedDrive system in order to record the M4 Coupe's performance data, including steering angle and accelerator position in addition to speed, lateral acceleration, braking distances, and more.