Monday 9 December 2019

MAD IT

BMW M4

When your seven-year-old daughter tells you that she just got a 'headache' from listening to an engine fire up, then it must be loud.

I seem to have had a run of motors over the last few weeks that would wake the dead. First up was the Jaguar F-Type, followed by BMW M235i, then the i8 and, finally, BMW's all-new M4.

I had the pleasure of testing out this beast earlier in the year, when I attended the UK launch in Austria when I was blown away by it in the Alps.

We have already explained the new numbers game in BMW on numerous occasions, and the fact that the M4 effectively replaces the M3 coupe as the two-door version from the famous German Motor Sport department.

I am still very sad to see the famous 'M3 coupe' name disappear forever.

However, one thing that hasn't disappeared though, is BMW's passion for building some of the best sports cars in the world.

The BMW M3, which is now in its fifth generation,and the M4 coupe has undergone a lot more than just a name change.

Both models are treated to a superb new engine that has the BMW engineers drooling at the mouth.

The immense 4.0-litre V8 engine, which took pride of place in the outgoing model, has been replaced by a smaller 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine with M TwinPower turbo technology.

The good news is that this smaller engine is faster, yet more economical than the older model, with fuel consumption and emissions lowered by nearly 25 per cent.

Combined figures from the company suggest that it can cruise around town sipping just 8.3l/100km, while emissions are now 194g/km, €1,200-a-year road tax.

Although the peak power is only up slightly from 420bhp to 431bhp compared to the old model, the peak torque, which is the best part for me, is up roughly 40 per cent to an astonishing 550Nm.

This means that the standard sprint time from 0-100kph takes just 4.3 seconds with manual transmission, or just 4.1 seconds with my favourite - the optional M double clutch transmission.

It not only meaner, it's leaner too, with a weight loss of over 80kgs, due to the use of light-weight materials, and both models now feature a carbon-fibre reinforced roof.

I took it along to the Irish Drift Championships in Mondello Park during my week-long test drive, and left with my head held high after I was given the nod of approval from every boy racer in the country.

I didn't get to try out the M3 on Irish roads this time around, but I did have a spin in it earlier this year.

And, I have to admit, although the M3 may not look quite as good as the M4, I actually preferred it.

The great thing about both the M3 and M4 it is that you can drive it around town practically as a normal everyday car when you don't have everything flicked over to sport mode.

But with the touch of a couple of buttons, you can unleash the beast that hides beneath it.

The bad news is that if you want to get your hands on either the M3 or M4 coupe, you will have to hand over a six-figure sum as both cars are just north of €100k.

However, if you do fancy a bit of M magic, we can let you in to a little secret - the M235i we tested a few weeks ago, is the hidden gem in the range.

Robbie Farrell

Irish Independent

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