There’s definitely more competitors for the BMW M3 and M4 than ever before. When the M3 was at the top of its game and popularity, with the E46 model, the only real competitor was the Audi RS4. Even Mercedes-Benz’s C55 AMG wasn’t actually up to the task of competing with BMW and it’s incredible M3. However, nowadays there are many competitors from many different car manufactures. Did you ever think you’d see the day when Cadillac and Lexus had genuine BMW M3 competitors?
It’s a strange time in the automotive world. The BMW M3/M4 isn’t alone at the top of the hill anymore and there are so many excellent cars to choose from. But which is the biggest competitor to the M4, the car that gives it the biggest run for its money? Well, lets take a look.
There’s the Lexus RC F, which we just recently talked about. The RC F has a 467 hp naturally-aspirated V8, it’s much more powerful than the M4. But it’s also a lot heavier and has much less torque, so it’s actually slower. And all of that extra weight makes it worse in the corners. The RC F isn’t a the best car to attempt a takedown of the king. But it’s Lexus’s real first attempt at it, so it will only get better.
The Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupe is a pretty remarkable car. It’s twin-turbocharged 4.0 liter V8 develops 503 hp and is very, very fast. It’s just a touch faster than the M4, despite having much more power, though. That’s because it is much heavier and it sort of roasts its tires to bits. The C63 AMG S is a very good car with very competent handling. However, it isn’t the pure sports car that the M4 is and is more of a straight line bruiser that likes to slide about, turning its rear tires to smoke. It’s also significantly more expensive than the M4, as its price tag edges scarily close to six-figures with options. So it’s very, very good, but isn’t as good of a genuine sports car as the BMW M4. Not that it’s worse, just different.
We just recently spoke about the Shelby GT350, which offers a very interesting take on the segment. As opposed to the M4’s very Germanic precision, the Shelby GT350 is a 567 hp tire-shredding monster. For less money, the GT350 offers a lot more power, similar road performance and by some accounts a better track experience. It’s a very intriguing package, but it’s very different than the M4. I’m not so sure it’s a direct competitor, but it is an interesting alternative.
However, the car that seems to be the BMW M4’s biggest competitor does come from America — The Cadillac ATS-V Coupe. The ATS-V is extremely similar to the M4. Both cars are within an inch or two of each other in length, height, width and wheelbase. They both have twin-turbocharged six-cylinder engines and extremely similar performance. The M4’s better low-down torque allows it to be a touch faster and its engine sounds better as well. However, many people find that the ATS-V is actually the sharper handling car. They’re both so similar, it’s really hard to tell and it most likely comes down to preference at that point.
But if there’s a single car that competes with the BMW M4 better than anything else, it’s the Cadillac ATS-V.