What is the BMW M4’s biggest competitor

BMW M4 | January 24th, 2016 by 25
Violet Blue BMW M4 1 750x500

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.

2015 lexus rc f review 19 750x500

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.

Bild Vergleich BMW M4 F82 Coupe Mercedes C63 AMG S 2015 05 750x562

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.

25 responses to “What is the BMW M4’s biggest competitor”

  1. Kaisuke971 says:

    The C63 is its natural competitor. Maybe ATS-V as well but we don’t get it in Europe anyways. The RC F does not have the same approach though, so while they are segment competitors, for performances, it’s not quite that. The GT350 not at all to me.

    I’ll say that the Merc is its real rival, and maybe more the Giulia QV than the C63 for the M3

    • i thought the ATS-V was available in Europe. Might just be the UK. But it’s just so similar in everything it does, it was designed to compete with the M3/M4 specifically so that was why I chose that.

      • Kaisuke971 says:

        Well apparently it should be but it doesn’t really look like it’s coming here in France, plus it is going to be sold in the UK but there is no RHD configuration.

  2. Matt Stokes says:

    Audi RS5 is the obvious other one.

    • I was going to pick the RS5, but it’s a little old and debuted competing with the E92 M3. I felt that it’s a bit too dated to be the biggest competitor. We’ll see when the new one comes out next year.

    • Kaisuke971 says:

      The RS5 was slower than the E92, let alone M4.

    • Matt Stokes says:

      I think the option of AWD is still a good USP for the Audi – many people still like the idea of having AWD on their high performance cars, and there aren’t that many choices. It is dated, but thanks to the glacial pace of Audi’s design evolution it still looks fairly current.

      ATS-V is for sale over here in the UK, but I’d imagine the take rate on a LHD only car isn’t going to be that high, and rightly or wrongly the perception of US build quality isn’t great. I’d guess it’s only fans of Americana that would be interested. The Ford is for sale here either, though you can get a proper Shelby conversion done by Shelby, but it’s very expensive.

      • Rightly, the ATS-V’s interior and build quality are subpar compared to the M3 and it will likely be mostly Americans or American car fans that buy it. But image and perception aside, it is one helluva sports car and genuinely competes with the M4. It has a similar engine, it’s similar in size and weight and it drives and feels similar. If you get a chance to drive one over there, give it a shot. Its interior is crap and it’s boring looking, but It can drive.

  3. Nicholas Snyder says:

    Nico you should compare the bmw m4 and the Cadillac cts-v in a track battle. Sense the m4 seemed to be faster than the ats-v and why not take it to the next level

  4. John says:

    C63 is sooo pretty…

  5. TheBingoBalls says:

    Biggest competitors are obviously the C63 and RS5. It doesn’t matter if the ATS-V has got rave reviews, the M3/M4 will always be compared to what Mercedes and Audi is offering and that just comes down to the amount of people buying German offerings.

    • Ben says:

      Exactly. Just look at the DTM (German Touring Car Championship). There are only 3 manufacturers competing: Audi, BMW and Mercedes with their RS5, M4 and C63.
      BTW, it is odd that they all use V8s (due to competition rules).

  6. maxnix says:

    Not certain what the point of the story is, except to state someones speculative opinions.

    Omission of the Giulia is puzzling, but it is not in this market yet.

  7. FGEN says:

    Porsche 911 ?

  8. Reino-five-five-oh says:

    The sheer fact that Cadillac is holding a candle to the M4–means we are living in very exciting automotive times.
    I am really looking forward to see how Lexus evolves their version.

  9. JR says:

    It’s definitely between the M4 and GT350R. I will be buying one of these in the next six months, and I have been going back and forth on each.. I am strongly leaning towards to GT350R.

  10. Justin P says:

    The 2016 Camaro SS is the M4’s biggest competitor! It’s much faster and costs less, really makes BMW look stupid.

    Mine was optioned out to $52,000 but the base SS starts at $39,000 or so and does 0-60 in 3.9-4.0 seconds FLAT. Add a simple cold air intake and that makes it even faster.

    I’ve read multiple reviews of the 2016 Camaro beating the M4 in quarter mile and on the track in acceleration and handling.

    So the biggest competitor in the same class would definitely be the new Camaro SS.

    I would have expected better from BMW. There’s no reason they should be selling a car for $90k that is SLOWER than a car that costs $39-$52k.

    • U R Stupid says:

      LOL no. “Multiple reviews” how about actual stats? M4 does it under 4 seconds, the M4 is a Luxury Sport unlike the Plastic Sport camaro. You’re getting nothing but an engine on wheels. I had the option to get a 2014-2015 SS for 42,000 (On sale) and didn’t do it lol instead i got a 435i GC M-Sport. Next year will be the M4:)

      Competitor meaning the same class, the Camaro is a muscle car not a Luxury sport. A GTR (150k) can smoke million dollar cars………………………………..

      • Justin says:

        Actually YOU should look up ACTUAL stats before you comment… The 2016 2SS is just as “luxurious” as an M4 is. It has magnetic ride control, heads up display, ambiet lighting, color led screen for gauges (bmw doesnt have that) and touch screen, heated steering wheel, heated and air conditioned seats, ALL the “luxury” features that you need and are saying the M4 has over the Camaro…

        “Lixury” features aside… The Camaro SS actually is a track car… Watch any reviews ir read car and drivers review or any credible source comparing the Camaro to the M4… The Camaro beats it on the track every time and 0-60 & 1/4 mile.

        The new 2016 Camaro 2SS with MRC is MADE for the track… It even has track mode… Read or watch any credible review of the new 6th gen camaro on the track.

        The 2016 Camaro is a completely different car than the 2015. The 2015 sucks i agree… Its slow and heavy and plasticy. The 2016 is covered in leather everywhere (on the 2SS) and feels luxurious on the inside. It has a much faster more powerful engine and it’s lighter and has magnetic ride control.

        My point, both nice cars, but the NEW 2016+ Camaro SS (not a 2015) is faster than the M4 and just as luxurious, in my opinion the Camaro has a nicer interior. Google it to see. Looks nothing like the 2015….

    • U R Stupid says:

      SS isn’t even a track car, please sell your computer.

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