The Top Gear crew recently had their first drives in the new BMW M4 and M3. With the move from naturally aspirated V8 to a TwinPower twin turbo charged inline-six and M specific electric power steering, will these new M cars meet and exceed expectations? Let see what Top Gear had to say in some excerpts from their review.
Oh and by the way, all comments apply equally to both M3 saloon and M4 coupe – BMW has engineered them to drive as identically as possible.
This could be one of the best turbo engines ever. Stick it in Sport Plus mode and it has anti-lag. You know, like a rally car.
It's not quite naturally aspirated, but it's damn close.
I thought the M3 felt a fraction more wayward and lost traction at the back a bit more easily. But it doesn't really matter because both are a hoot to drive. Let's not get into actual steering feel as that seems to be a thing of the past now everyone is using some kind of electrical assistance on the racks. The M3 - as long as you avoid either Comfort mode (too much assistance) or Sport Plus (too little) – does a pretty good job in Sport of being accurate, well weighted and giving you confidence in the front end. Which, to be fair, sticks like glue.
Most of the time it's just beautifully balanced, and at the track plays happily in the zone between pushing a bit wide at the front and stepping out a little at the back. It's all very manageable – and you don't even have to turn the traction off.
I have one or two issues with the ride quality, which felt rather sudden over sharp expansion joints and broken tarmac, but that's offset by the car's relaxed nature when you're ambling around.
The brakes (carbon ceramic) are so nice to use on the road – lovely bite and progression, masses of power. Oddly, at the track they weren't quite so stellar – the ABS chipped in a bit earlier than necessary and the pedal got a bit long even though the brakes didn't fade.
In the end:
It's not as fiery now, not as raw and frantic. Some of the naturally aspirated M3's purity and hardness has undoubtedly been lost. But things are going this way, and the trade off is 30mpg, cheaper tax and passengers that won't moan about the racket. I think BMW has judged it about right. The chassis is peachy, the engine wonderfully potent – it's a winning combination.
They gave it a 9 out of 10, I'd say that's pretty good. Hopefully we get to drive it soon.
Read the full M3/M4 first drive review from TopGear here!