2014 Best Driver’s Car: BMW M4 on 5th place, BMW i8 in 8th

BMW M4 | September 25th, 2014 by 3
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Motor Trend published their results of their 2014 Best Driver’s Car and BMW has two cars on the list. The new BMW M4 Coupe ended …

Motor Trend published their results of their 2014 Best Driver’s Car and BMW has two cars on the list. The new BMW M4 Coupe ended up on the 5th place while the new i8 placed 8th. First spot was awarded to the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, followed by the Alfa Romeo 4C and Porsche 911 Turbo S.

Here is what Motor Trend had to say about the new BMW M4 Coupe:

“The M4 is the best-driving M Division product in years, easily eclipsing even the pretty dang great M6 Gran Coupe. This becomes especially true when it’s time to make the snot yellow coupe’s rear end dance. “Love how this car rotates mid-turn,” says Kiino. “Get on the gas, and the rear end just shoots you around — minimal understeer, no drama.”

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BMW did an admirable job of allowing the chassis to slip just enough before the rear tires regain their purchase. Totally sweet, and more so on the track than on the street. Randy Pobst explains, “I have renewed respect for the capability of this latest M coupe, and it is a giant step forward from the peaky and pushy E92 M3. The shocks in Sport Plus are track-firm and effective, and the fat, flexible, and generous torque curve makes for delicious, all-natural managed oversteer as it powers out of corners. That’s a driver’s car right there. Usable power-oversteer. 

And they even made it rumble a little.” Why didn’t the M4 finish even higher, then? The steering’s a little odd, for one. “I couldn’t get used to the adjustable steering,” says Nate Martinez. “I found it to be too much on either end of the spectrum — too light or too heavy.” As much as we all dig the adaptive suspension compared to stock, on imperfect, non-track surfaces, the M4 is still squirmy. “While it’s not nearly as wild over the bumps,” says Scott Evans, “the M4 still moves around more than I’d like. Needs to be a little more buttoned-down.” True, true. The quibbles are small, however. The BMW M4 is one hell of a great driver’s car. Trouble is, this year’s field is especially gifted.”

And why did the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 take the first spot?


If you’d asked us five years ago whether the then-all-new Chevrolet Camaro would be invited to Best Driver’s Car, we would have scoffed. Had you suggested that a Camaro would win Best Driver’s Car, we’d have all had a good belly laugh at the very notion.

Who’s laughing now?

The transformation of the fifth-generation Camaro from “musclecar that handles pretty well” to Best Driver’s Car winner is astounding. Few other cars we can think of have made such an advance in a single generation. Says Lieberman, “Perhaps the Corvair, but even by 1965 it wasn’t anywhere near this good.” Nowhere is this more evident than in driver confidence. Many a judge remarked on the ease and speed with which they became comfortable pushing the car hard on our closed canyon road. Mortara was especially smitten: “This was the only car here I could drive as hard down 198 as I could up it.” We also were impressed with how incredibly high the car’s limits are and how much fun we could have behind the wheel without coming anywhere near them. With the computers engaged or sidelined, the Z/28’s world-class handling highlights the hard work Al Oppenheiser’s Camaro team did to the chassis and suspension on the meanest track of them all, the Nüburgring Nordschleife.

You don’t have to kill the nannies to appreciate the ground-up approach to this car. You can feel it in the steering, which is light and razor-sharp but still provides meaningful feedback from the massive front tires and weights up appropriately as g-loads increase. You can feel it in the arrow-straight power curve that builds and builds and builds as the screaming, free-revving, naturally aspirated 7.0-liter V-8 races to redline faster than any pushrod engine has a right to. You can feel it in the monstrous, fadeless carbon-ceramic brakes that always returned a firm pedal and usable feel. You can feel it in the light, crisp shifter that easily outclassed any other manual present with short, precise throws. You can feel it in the Recaro seats, which hold you firmly in place but are still comfortable at the end of a 400-mile drive.

The full results can be found here.