BMW answers the call for more PERFORMANCE

Auto & Audio April 07, 2019 10:03

By Kingsley Wijayasinha
The Nation Weekend

7,668 Viewed

Special M4 models released to satisfy well-heeled enthusiasts wanting a more muscular ride

THE BMW M4 might seem like a mighty sports car for many people, but there are those who want even more performance out of this performance coupe. That’s why BMW is offering a range of special M4 models apart from the standard model, such as the M4 with Competition Package and the M4 CS. 

At the top of the food chain is the race-ready M4 GTS, which is a limited-edition model with only 700 units made.

BMW Thailand offers the M4 (Bt8.399 million), M4 Competition Package (Bt8.759 million) as well as the M4 CS (Bt11.399 million).

I was lucky enough to book an M4 CS for a driving impression, and had a great time with the blue sports coupe for a week.

The muscular wheel arches give it a powerful character. There are 19-inch light alloy M wheels up front and 20-inch rims at the rear wearing low-profile Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres.

The M4 CS is aimed at buyers who are into motorsport or club sport, but also want a road-legal sports car. While the standard M4’s twin-turbo straight-six engine pumps out 431hp and 550Nm, the 3.0-litre engine has been tweaked for the M4 CS to deliver up to 460hp and 600Nm.

There’s a slight growl when you fire up the engine, but the M4 CS doesn’t idle with much aggression like you’d expect from the four tailpipes at the rear. You’d have to start revving the engine in order to get any respectable sound effect.

Nevertheless, acceleration from 0-100km/h drops from 4.1 seconds in the standard M4 to 3.9 seconds in the M4 CS, while the top speed is also raised, from 250km/h to 280km/h (electronically limited).

Power goes through a seven-speed M DCT double clutch gearbox, which features a separate oil cooler. The shift is generally smooth when driving in automatic mode at low speeds, while for sporty driving, the gear lever or steering wheel shift paddles can be used for sequential shifting.

I drove the M4 CS for several days and found out it’s not a difficult car to drive at all, although due to the low ground clearance, you’d likely scratch the underbody and the carbon fibre front spoiler tip pretty often (like I did).

The “comfort” mode takes off a small amount of shock from the dampers, but it’s still rock solid so never expect to get a high level of comfort in the M4 CS. The car comes with the Adaptive M suspension that has been tuned to perform well on both the road and race track - the aluminium suspension keeps unsprung masses low and that benefits driving dynamics.

Performance is also enhanced by the DSC system that comes with the M Dynamic Mode which allows drifting, and the Active M Differential. Apart from the three driving modes, the driver is also able to adjust the steering and suspension settings.

Stopping power come from M compound brakes that make squeak a little at low-speed use (a normal character), but are guaranteed to be fade-resistant when you hit it hard, with four-piston calipers up front and two-piston calipers at the rear. The brake and steering feel is tuned more towards a racing car – this is something you’ll notice at once.

Unfortunately the steering wheel is just the normal not-so-good-looking 3 Series steering that is wrapped with suede. I didn’t like it just from the way it looks as well as the bulkiness. I was also surprised that the brake and accelerator pedals were also the same as the standard 3 Series. Thankfully the rest of the interior gets better treatment.

The door panel trim is made from natural fibre (which feels cheap but surely lightweight) and has a pull loop that is pretty inconvenient to use (since it’s located too much up front). The car is low so getting in and out requires a little acrobatics. The M sports seats are like deep buckets that keep you well in place when things get rough, and there are amenities like air-conditioning as well as infotainment system, and even navigation system.

It’s a real joy that BMW is offering the M4 CS for the Thai market, although the retail pricing may not be too inspiring. Nevertheless for those who have the means and wants that track-focused performance in an everyday car, this is it.

BMW M4 CS specs

Engine: 6-cylinder 24-valve twin turbo

Displacement: 2.979cc

Bore and stroke: 84.0x89.6mm

Compression ratio: 10.2

Max power: 460hp/6,250rpm

Max torque: 600/4,000-5,380rpm

Transmission: 7-speed double clutch

Ratios: 4.806/2.593/1.701/1.277/1.000/0.844/0.671

Final drive ratio: 3.462

0-100km/h: 3.9 secs

Top speed: 280km/h

Average fuel economy: 12.3km/l