2015 BMW M3 & 2015 BMW M4 - Return Of The King (Part 3)

8/12/2014 9:04:53 PM

It’s not all perfect though. Firstly, you’re going to become very well acquainted with the traction control light because you’re going to be seeing an awful lot of it. And I’m not talking about emergency starts and full throttle second gear corner exits, I’m talking about large throttle applications in third and fourth gear. In a straight line, in the dry, on well-surfaced roads. It happened to me time and time again and while it doesn’t spoil the driving experience, it means that every time you want to put your foot down, you’re always aware of the fact that you’re likely to get a twitch and a stutter.

2015 BMW M4 - Head / Tail Lamps

2015 BMW M4 - Head / Tail Lamps

It has a raw edge to the sound it makes, an intense growling that really knocks you for six

Secondly are those carbon ceramic brakes, which are a $ 10,717.28 option fitted to all the test cars. This was the first time I’d had the opportunity to really give them a workout and I was initially impressed by the near-instantaneous bite and serious stopping power they served up but less pleased with the lack of feel through the stiff pedal. Then, after a hammering on a seriously demanding and very long downhill section of Alpine road, they began to wilt and the brake pedal started to go long, requiring me to press harder and harder to slow down sufficiently for the hairpins. Once they’d cooled down they were fine and it was a particularly extreme test, but I can’t help but feel that perhaps that $ 10,288.59 might be put to better use elsewhere.

2015 BMW M4 Exhaust

2015 BMW M4 Exhaust

Aside from those two very minor points, though, there really isn’t anything to dislike about either the M3 or M4. They tick all the boxes you would expect them to and deliver exactly the sort of driving experience, the thrills and sheer joy that you demand from any M car, and especially an M3 or M4. The hardest part, I suppose, is choosing between the two. Performance and economy are identical for both as are the generous and genuinely impressive spec levels. There’s barely anything in it price-wise too, the M3 coming in $ 788.79 cheaper than its M4 counterpart. The M4 is undoubtedly the more aggressive car, its wider body giving it some serious road presence and a real sense of menace; the M3 is a bit more understated and subtle, but the narrower body means the flared arches it needs to accommodate the wide track it shares with the M4 seem all the more flamboyant and impressive. As for the actual driving experience, honestly, unless you were able to drive both cars back-to-back on the same stretch of road in the same conditions, you’re not going to be able to feel any difference.

2015 BMW M3 Rear Angle

2015 BMW M3 Rear Angle

If you do opt for the Saloon you’re going to be in a rather more exclusive club because whereas BMW expects to sell 5000 M4 Coupés in the UK during the seven-year life cycle that both cars will share, just 700 M3 Saloon sales are predicted. Whichever you choose, you can be confident that you’ve bought one of the finest M cars BMW has yet produced. As for me, I’ll take the M3. No, the M4. No, the M3. No… both…?


Engine: 3.0-litre straight-six twin-turbocharged S55B30

·         Transmission: Six-speed manual, optional seven-speed M DCT

·         Weight (din): M3 1520kg; M4 1497kg (+40kg)

·         Max power: 431hp@5500-7300rpm

·         Max torque: 406lb ft@1850-5500rpm

·         0-62MPH: 4.3 secs (4.1)

·         Top speed: 155mph (limited)

·         Emissions (CO²): 32.1 (34)

·         Fuel economy (MPG): 204g/km (194)

·         Price (otr): M3 $ 96,352.65; M4 $ 97,141.44



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