The ultimate 4 Series is the M4 Competition.
We expect BMW to deliver performance options and this German automaker doesn’t disappoint. Indeed, under its heralded “M” moniker, BMW lives out its “The Ultimate Driving Machine” slogan with abandon. Select sedans, coupes, convertibles, and utility attest to this marque’s capabilities, delivering a level of unbridled excitement that enthusiasts demand.
We had the pleasure of driving a 2022 BMW M4 Competition xDrive Coupe, a delightful example of Bavarian engineering.
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2022 BMW M4 Competition Review
BMW offers the 2022 M4 in three configurations: M4 Coupe ($71,800), M4 Competition Coupe ($74,700), and M4 Competition xDrive Coupe ($78,800), plus a $995 destination charge.
A twin-turbocharged inline-six-cylinder engine powers this model with standard rear-wheel drive or available all-wheel drive (xDrive). An automatic transmission is standard with the Competition as BMW no longer offers a manual gearbox choice stateside. Notably, at least with the M4 Coupe, that choice remains.
It is no mystery that BMW’s front fascias are larger and brasher than ever. On the M series line, the appearance seems even more pronounced with the twin-kidney grille consuming a significant amount of real estate. Also, deep cutouts on either side of the lower grille and tear-drop frontal lights give this model a menacing persona.
The remainder of the M4 Competition’s body is subtle in comparison as if BMW wanted to get the beefy look out of the way first. The expected character lines and body sculpting are present as are breather ports just behind the front wheels.
It is all sport coupe along the sides with a pulled-up beltline and falling roofline adding to the mystique. From the rear, the trunk lip spoiler, boomerang taillamps, and diffuser combine to serve as the exclamation point on this vehicle.
Besides the previously mentioned embellishments, BMW equips the M4 Competition with LED daytime running lights, LED headlights, and LED taillamps. Non-metallic paint is standard as is Shadowline exterior trim.
Further, the roof is composed of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic. Also, it is staggered M bi-color wheels for this model. Nineteen inches up front and 20 inches in the rear and wrapped in performance tires.
It may be a coupe, but the M4 offers fantastic room for two and manageable room for two more. Certainly, you cannot say that about every model in this segment. Then again, we don’t recommend riding in the back unless it is an absolute necessity.
The BMW 3,4 Series does not typically wow with its interior design. Instead, the focus is on clean lines, upscale materials, and functionality. Even so, there are embellishments to be had, including the $3,800 M Carbon Fiber Bucket thrones found in our test model.
They’re very hard, however, and include thick and pointy bolsters with seat grips. Expect the occasional wedgy if you do not slip inside carefully!
BMW equips the M4 Competition with a leather-wrapped M steering wheel, climate-controlled front-power seats, full power accessories, and zoned climate control. Moreover, the four-way power lumbar support for the front bucket seats is a difference-maker.
If you have back issues, the standard seats may be the ideal choice.
Key Safety Features
BMW bundles several driver-assist safety features as standard equipment. These include front collision warning, active blind-spot detection, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and speed limit information. Further, this coupe comes with automatic high beams along with front and rear park distance control.
Separately, shoppers may opt for a Driving Assistance Professional Package ($1,700). This bundle includes active driving assistance pro and extended traffic jam assistant for limited access highways. With the latter, the system features elements of semi-autonomous driving that aids in steering at speeds up to 40 mph.
We love our tech features and BMW does not disappoint us in the M4 Competition. To begin, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon audio system comes standard. Other included features are Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone compatibility. Further, BMW-connected services, Bluetooth, two USB ports, navigation, and a head-up display are included.
The eye-pleaser is the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and the 10.25-inch central information display. The system is managed by voice and the iDrive Controller.
What’s amazing is that such systems are already filtering down to mainstream models. Yet, it is a pleasing arrangement with the M4 Competition, a fitting complement to an outstanding performance coupe.
There are not scads of competitors in the segment, but there are a few of note. The Cadillac CT4 V-Series Blackwing is a prime example. Also consider the Lexus RC F, Audi RS5, Infiniti Q60 Red Sport, and the Mercedes-AMG C 63 S.
All-wheel drive comes to the M4, although it is only offered with the Competition model. The addition of xDrive gives the M4 an even more planted feel while engaged in spirited driving. In other words, you’ll hang tight on the twisties and pull in and out of corners with ease.
The lone engine choice is a twin-turbocharged inline-six-cylinder motor. In the Competition guise, it is tuned to crank out an additional 30 horsepower, thus it sports 503 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque.
Also, an 8-speed automatic transmission routes power to the wheels. You can find a 6-speed manual gearbox provided that it isn’t the Competition. Go figure.
The twin-turbo is a perfect match for the M4. It delivers outstanding 0-60 mph performance, getting it done in just 3.4 seconds. Under hard acceleration, the engine wails and the exhaust pipes toot, although we agree with some colleagues that the note sounds artificial.
No matter, the engine’s strong growl and the buttery smooth transmission conspire to deliver an exquisite experience.
Three drive mode settings are for the choosing: road, sport, and track. There are also set up buttons to personalize your settings for changing the engine, transmission, steering, suspension, and brake settings.
I found the default road setting to my liking. The sport mode, though, is ideal for extensive spirited driving. Hit the track and you will know which mode to choose there.
Where the step-off acceleration is tremendous, the M4 Competition offers jaw-dropping power surges above highway speeds. I won’t reveal my top speed, but I will say this: this BMW has no turbo lag, offers continuous power, and shines best at high revs.
There is generous amounts of low-end torque at your disposal and under full throttle, the power quotient builds steadily without flagging. Where some high-performance engines seem to pause slightly as the transmission struggles to respond, the two components are wedded tightly together to deliver a seamless performance.
My favorite backroad, country haunts were the ideal place to put the M4 Competition through the paces. The weekly tester came with all-wheel drive and although this sleek coupe does very well without it, the xDrive system makes hanging the curves and cornering nearly effortless.
Direct steering, precision handling, and strong brakes accompany this performance model.
It should come as no surprise that a fully optioned model can top six figures. Yes, choose such features as the M Carbon Ceramic Brakes ($8,150), M Carbon Exterior Package ($4,700), and other packages, and you’ll pay handsomely to acquire them.
But those are not required features, therefore you can select a few options and manage to drive away paying under $85,000. Keep in mind that all-wheel drive is an option that adds $4,100 to the price. Consider sticking with rear-wheel drive and choosing options that keep your price below $80,000.
All in all, the 2022 BMW M4 Competition is a thrill-maker. It is the kind of car that does not disappoint, except for the lack of an available manual gearbox. The extra quickness afforded by the automatic, though, is a consolation we believe has strong and pervasive appeal.
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