That New Kid On The Block | BMW M4 Coupe

BY Azfar Hashim

The day is finally here: BMW’s highly regarded two-door M3 has now (a) been renamed M4 Coupe and (b) also turbo'd. Good or bad? Read on…

Photos by Azfar Hashim

Some opined that its M3 sedan sibling is the better one to drive, on top of the extra practicality it offers.

I just don't think so. Because all things aside, the M4 Coupe is one bloody sexaaaay thing. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who thought so, looking at the number of hard stares it received everywhere it went (even the parking wardens when I was a law-abiding citizen with the car). More so in this shade of metallic Austin Yellow - it ideally brings out all the lines and creases of the car, every detail your naked eyes could see. The front bumper, oh my, is highly detailed I’m sure it took far more effort to design it than, say… pfft… the MCE.

That rear bumper which houses the four exhaust pipes? Woaaah Nelly. It brought a tear to my eye, which says a lot considering I was an Arts graduate about 193 years ago.

The set of black 19-inch wheels further compliment the entire exterior, with the staggered offset giving the car a REALLY mean stance when viewed directly from the front or rear. I was driving the M4 behind a friend in his souped-up Japanese ol’ skool coupe, and even he ‘fessed up it commands respect out on the road.

Then again with 425 bhp and a staggering 550 Nm available on tap, this car does deserve some respect without even having to ask. In the previous M3 Coupe with the 4.0-litre V8, you do need to give the accelerator some good work out before the power really comes in; in the case of the M4 Coupe and its twin turbo’d six-cylinder powerplant, the power kicks in rather instantly and you get punched in the guts hard before finally realising you are unsafely way off the legal speed limit.

In a brilliant manner, it is addictive seeing how out-of-this-world fast it (a) rockets from one traffic light to the other and (b) tango past cars after cars on the expressway. The bestest part of all? The engine’s willingness to rev all the way to its 7,000 rpm redline. Even the 7-speed DCT ‘box is one of the finest seen from M; in Sport, it switches up quicker than you could say ‘errmahhgawdd errmahhgawdd ermahhgawdd’. To be more satisfied however, I highly recommend you utilise the paddle-shifters.

If, like me, you’re the sort who must feel the road when driving a monster, I am glad to report that you could configure your ideal set-up. As seen in the picture above, my favourite mode is - you’ve guessed it - ‘M Drive 2’; suspension, throttle response and even steering is set to the most extreme (which means hard suspension, sharp throttle response and super-quick steering) Sport Plus. I did tried driving with the DSC off (it was only partially switched off as the car doesn’t trust my driving capability, or lack thereof); I prayed for forgiveness from the powers above far more times during those instances than I ever did in a month. The rear would swing out in protest; but remarkably though, it’s equally easy to straighten things out… As though it was telling me, “Haa… Gotcha there, fool.”

Juvenile delinquency aside, the M4 Coupe is a massively able handler in Sport mode. Despite the electric steering, feedback from the helm is positive and doesn’t feel artificial at all. Point it into a sharp 90-degree turn, and the entire car flows through with a good amount of body roll. Throw it at a series of fast, sweeping bends and it easily glides through without even having to take the racing line. So impressive, it feels remarkably improved over the M3 in this aspect.

Interior wise, the M4 does look a tad different than a regular 4 Series Coupe’s. You get glossy carbon-fibre bits on the dashboard and centre console, leathered and finely stitched seats and door panels and a pair of body-hugging chairs upfront. Every control buttons are clear and precise too, and easily reached by the driver.

But that steering wheel however, feels a tad big for my personal liking. Something along the line of Volkswagen’s Golf R, those flat-bottomed ones, would be much, much more appropriate. It’s as though BMW forgot that (a) most enthusiasts love their steering wheel slightly smaller than usual and (b) some drivers get offended when their bellies are inches away from being touched by a steering wheel. This is a serious matter, by the way.

As a whole, the BMW M4 Coupe is one heck of a firecracker. It delivers fun by the bucket loads, besides just being a style mobile for the daily commute. If you’re living in depression, buy one. If you’re single and in dire need of a life partner, buy one. If you grasp the concept of YOLO, buy one.

In essence, just buy one if you want a more exciting life.

Then change that bloody steering wheel.