A BMW fan and owner, Massimo Ungaro, had recently the unique opportunity to get behind the wheel of the new 2021 BMW M4 Competition (G82). Press drives are just a few weeks away so a lot more reviews and videos will be live in March. In the mean time, here is what Massimo had to say about the new M4:
The BMW Driving Experience Center in, Dielsdorf ZH Switzerland, already offers test drives for the new G82 M4 Competition, ahead of the scheduled market launch this Spring. So I took the chance and booked a test drive. They take your requested time and offer you two hour slot exclusively reserved for you. Arriving at the BMW Driving Experience they first introduce you to the car and tell you all the little technical details about the car. After a coffee and a short briefing about the process you are ready to start.
The M4 offers, same as the M5 and M8, two M Buttons on the steering wheel which instantly activate your configured settings for the engine, steering, damper. And also for the brakes. M1 was set on full Comfort and M2 on full Sport. So starting with the M1 in full Comfort to get an impression on how the car will handle for a normal cruising and daily driving settings. Later, on some twisty roads, of course, the M2 Button will be used to understand how the car performs and show its true nature.
I won’t talk about the looks of this car, this is subjective and has been discussed more than enough. I can only say go and see the car in real life.
To give you a better overview, I will break down my review in different categories:
The interior follows the design of the regular BMW 4 Series with differences, of course. There is plenty of carbon fiber inside and the gear knob and shift paddles on the steering are unique to the M3/M4. The knob is small and very handy to use, the paddles in carbon fiber are quiet and on the back they have some rubber for a good grip and feeling when changing the gear.
But what really is different from the 4 Series are the Carbon Bucket Seats. I was skeptical at first if I would really fit in them and if they would be comfortable as I do have some more kilos on my hip.
But I was positively surprised! You can also adjust the side bolster and widen the seat so fitting inside was no issue for me. During the drive, the seats always felt comfortable, not hard but of course not as soft as a normal M Sport seat.
They only thing that could be bothersome is the carbon trim in the middle of the seat. You do touch it with your leg when braking as you move your feet. For me it wasn’t annoying at all, but I felt it during the drive. It doesn’t hurt or pinch or anything like that. The only “annoying” thing is the handles on the side of the seat as you have to watch out when hopping in and out. The leather could wear out if you slide and touch it all the time when getting in and out.
The exhaust sound is decent and quite good, especially when thinking of the regulations we have in Europe. Our Note: The U.S.-spec cars should sound better since they lack the OPF.
The exhaust is pleasant in the “quiet mode” and sounds aggressive in Sport mode. Also pop and bangs are always good to hear when going off the throttle. Worth mentioning is the button to switch off the artificial sound in the cabin. A thing I really like as I don’t want the engine sound to be reinforced by the speaker. Good for BMW for offering this feature!
Power Delivery and Gearbox
The power delivery through all RPM was very good in Comfort mode. Not too aggressive, but I didn’t feel any lag when flooring the throttle. The response is very quick but in a smooth way. Going into Sport mode and the real fun begins. The G82 M4 is very responsive and aggressive, but never in a way where you might think you lose control of the car. I felt the M4’s power basically across the entire RPM range. There is a bit of turbo lag in the low rev, but not as noticeable as in the past.
Downshifting is a blast. With very short delays, it will catapult you right away, so very good job from BMW in calibrating the 8-speed ZF gearbox for this car. Also shifting gears in manual mode, the gears click in almost instantly. Didn’t feel any big differences compared to a DCT. This gearbox is phenomenal!
Chassis, Suspension and Steering
The chassis was stiffened by a lot to give the car as much stiffness as possible when hitting corners. And you feel it. When turning into corners, the G82 M4 stays stiff. The suspension and steering can be adjusted through different settings. In the Comfort mode the steering is very smooth but still quite direct, so I always felt where the car was pointing.
In Sport mode, the steering gets a lot stiffer and more direct. You really feel in control as the car is exactly doing what you tell it to do.
The suspension in comfort soaks up road bumps pretty well. Of course, this is a performance suspension so it is not as smooth as in a normal 3 Series. In the end, it still feels very comfortable. In Sport mode, the suspension gets very stiff and you instantly feel the difference. The car sticks to the road and the feedback given to you as a driver is awesome. You always feel what is going on under the car and that gave me a lot of confidence in the car.
I never had the impression of losing control as the feedback was phenomenal and the setup of suspension, chassis, differential works very well together and gives you the ability to push the car as hard as you can. The limit here was myself and the speed limits, not the car.
This car is fitted with the ceramic brakes and they perform, of course, very good. A thing that I absolutely loved about the brakes is the brake-by-wire system. You can actually choose the response sensitivity of the brakes which is just nuts ! You can adapt it to your personal preference, something I totally loved about that system. Stunning work from BMW here!
Overall, this new 2021 BMW M4 Competition is awesome and a joy to drive, regardless if you’re just cruising around or driving it hard. I smiled, from the second I got in the car until the evening when I felt asleep. This car is pure joy and does really deserve the Motorsport badge on it!
[The images in this post are either our own images from a press preview in Monticello or the press images from BMW]