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XCAR: 2015 BMW M4: The (re) birth of a legend

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XCAR: 2015 BMW M4: The (re) birth of a legend

7:53 /

The M3 coupé is no more, in name at least. Now the M4 has arrived and is trying to pick up where its predecessor left off as the car of choice for BMW fans. We took this latest M car out for a spin to see if it can live up to our expectations.

[MUSIC] A new dawn is here. An important automotive cell is splitting, creating 2 versions of itself. One ever so slightly different from the other. The BMW M3 has divided itself in two one with 4 doors one with two. The four door car remains the M3 a car, but many have lost it over for generations. The two door car has got a new name. The M4. [MUSIC] The M4 is as you'd expect the fast version of the 4 Series Coupe, which is the 2-door version of the 3 series Saloon, which also has a fast version, the M3. Now you see due to BMW's naming structure, the odd number cars are the estates and the saloons, the sensible ones. Whereas the even number cars are the Coupes and the Convertibles, the stylish lifestyley type cars. The M3 and M4 are pretty similar, they've got the same engine, pretty much the same dimensions, the same water 62 time, and the same 155 mile an hour top speed. There're a couple of minor differences though. The M3 obviously has a couple more doors, and it's ever so slightly heavier. But today, we're here to look at the newest member of the M family, the M4. [MUSIC] This is the first of what will be many M4s no doubt. But it has heritage. This is technically the 5th BMW-M car of it's type. The last being the 4 liter V8E92 M3. That car was the last M3 to have a naturally aspirated engine and what an engine it was. The new M cars come with 3 liter turbocharged jobbies. Two turbos here no bad thing, given how effective they can be at not only upping MPG figures, but also upping torque. The engine that sits underneath this thing's delicious, power bulge, holds 425 brake horsepower and 405-pound foot. That means with a Dual Clutch Transmission, it'll get from north of 62 in 4.1 seconds, 4.3 with a manual. Now to put that into perspective, the new M4 is faster than the old V8 M3 [UNKNOWN] by 15 seconds. And BMW says that while it's 1 maybe 2 seconds slower than the old hardcore M3 GPS with the right tires, and the right driver on the right day, they're pretty confident they can beat that too. Now that is partly down to the new engine, but also down to weight savings. It weighs 80 kilos less than the old V8 car. So they saved 1.8 kilos on a new crankshaft, 2.2 on a new crank case, 1 kilo using a magnesium oil pan. Its turbo system is only marginally heavier than the one you get in a standard 435 ride. And there's two turbos in there. There's also liberal use of carbon fiber and anilinium up front. I could go on talking about this forever, but what we need to know is that BMW has worked very, very hard to make the M4 and M3 as light as possible. [MUSIC] But the M-4 isn't simply a bugger 4 series with more go and bits lopped off. The M Division had a number of things to contend with while making the M-4. It needs to be faster than the old car, obviously, but have more power. Emit less than 200 grams per kilometer. Use less fuel and still feel like an M car. It might surprise you to hear that the only power shared with the standard car are actually the doors, that's it. The inside car has been given an enormous working over to make it better than before in every way. It'll go very, very quickly and even manage 32.1 MPG. Because, technology. [NOISE] It's also got the end differential, designed to give the most driving pleasure possible. It's also got the End Dynamic Mode, which looses the traction control just a little bit so you can really feel the car, really get it moving. But you still have the Safety Net of Traction Control. That something that M drivers all over the world have asked BMW to keep in this model and thankfully, they have. So there's all the techy bits that makes it so special. That makes this M car better than the four that preceded it. Pop this against an E30 M3 and this will get you from A to B far faster and in more comfort because that's how the advancement of technology works. But the E30 had something. An engaging enthralling nature that hooks you in. Does the M4? The party piece is the engine, and it is simply stunning. There're three modes for [INAUDIBLE] efficiency, which well, guess what that does? Sport, which revs it up a little bit. Makes it a little bit more angry. And sport plus, which, well, it kinda sends it into Full Flat Turbo Mega Nutter mode, which is simply wonderful. I've also got the optional Carbon Ceramic brakes in here. They're really good. They take a while to get used to though, because, well, they're a little bit sharp, so when you first get into it, you do feel as though you're putting on too much pressure and jarring everyone in the car a little bit too far forward and a little bit too hard. But once you get used to it, by God, they're good. Well, let's give you a little demonstration of the, how the noise sounds in here. I'll stick it down into 2nd. [NOISE] Sounds pretty meaty, right? A little flat, but pretty meaty. Here we go. [NOISE] It never quite hits that unsung moment and it's not quite loud enough in here. You want it to really appeal to every single sense. You want this to be a really sensory vehicle but, in this case, it is just the noise that lets you down. It sounds good. Great even, but it doesn't sound so good that you're gonna wanna lift the throttle and have a little bit of a play with it. It doesn't impress you so much. And that thing's the only downside of Ion. I often talk about the everything car, the car that does everything. And this is one of those. You can have everything set to nice, comfy mode, and then once you've dropped the kids off, or done what you need to do. Well you can press buttons and make it mad and have a lot of fun. Have a nice angry screamy fast car that'll make you play with it. It will move around a bit. It will really engage you, just like the M3 of old. It's been after BMW why for so long, they haven't made a super car, and the answer they gave us, pretty simple. With the end cars, they already made them. So why would they need to make a prophecy become? So the new M has a heritage and a go to match it. But, I have a question. Will the M4 ever have the same pedigree ring to it as the M3? Will there now be generations of ears that prick up when they hear its name? Now let's not be stupid here, of course it is. The M3 M4 combo are BMW's halos. The hyper-engineered mega-quick versions of cars you see pretty much every single day. And BMW knows they're gonna sell far more M4's than they will M3's, because their customers prefer fast Coupes over fast Saloons. It's just the way it is. And the M4 itself, it looks great. It makes you feel awesome and it is incredibly good to drive. Yeah it's name might be a bit silly because the bigger number car has two fewer doors than the smaller number car, but in the end, who cares? 4 is the new 3 and you're gonna want one either way. [MUSIC]

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