Power Ride – BMW 2015 and 2016 M4 Performance

You are going to hear this roaring twin turbocharged inline-6 coming down the street before seeing it flash by your eyes. August 2013, during the BMW Group’s opening media reception held in Pebble Beach, Munich came the official launch of BMW’s prized engineering perfection – the M4.

Its exterior is a bolder transformation from the 4 series chassis into a performance supercharged sports Coupe. The build remains an agile and well-balanced low-profile, fitting the look of a racer and most certainly playing the part. 

RELATED: The Look - 2015 and 2016 BMW M4 Exterior Review: Silhouette at a Glance

2015 and 2016 BMW M4 Comparison Overview

The dawning of the brand new M4 generation had officially marked a new beginning to the BMW luxury Coupe era. The first 2015 model of BMW M4 hit the U.S. market in summer of 2014, and it was very well received. A number of Esthetic and performance updates were made to the new Coupe in comparison to the outgoing M3 2-doorer, and we will be exploring these new changes in just a bit. 

bmwux series m4 performance review

Now a year later in 2015, the production version of the 2016 M4 Coupe is receiving additional updates at a price increase of $1,200 to set the starting MSRP at $65,400 (versus the prior year model MSRP $64,200). The price jump is largely due to inclusion of several of prior year’s optional features into the standard features. For example, the Comfort Access Keyless Entry originally from the Executive Package and the Entertainment Option Harman Kardon Surround Sound System are now both part of the standard specifications. As always, the newest Coupe is equipped with the latest in iDrive and navigation technologies. Additional minor exterior and interior upgrades can be seen throughout the cabin such as updates to trims and lighting. Overall, the improvements are, as always, focused on creating the optimal driving experience.

RELATED: Inner Beauty - 2015 and 2016 BMW M4 Interior Review

Power Exhibition

bmwux series m4 performance inline 6-cylinder

The heart of the M4 driving machine features BMW’s premier of the 3.0-liter M TwinPower Turbocharged Inline 6-Cylinder engine (S55), an efficient upgrade from its predecessor’s ferocious V8.  The front-engine rear-wheel drive pulls 425 horsepower at between 5500 to 7300 rpm and a 405 lb-ft torque between 1850 to 5500 rpm. This was an impressive upsurge from the M3 Coupe (414 horsepower at 110 lb-ft torque).  Top speed at 159 mph and going from 0 to 60 mph in just around 4.1 seconds with the standard 6-speed manual, but hits the same mark in merely 3.9 seconds when equipped the 7-speed M Double-clutch Transmission (DCT) with Drivelogic ($2,900 Performance Option). 


bmwux series m4 performance suspension

Adding the Adaptive M suspension ($1,000 Performance Option) can provide your vehicle with optimal traction control and road handling. The system adjusts the electronic dampers (Shock Absorber control) of your car and reduces the jolt motions resulting from undesirable road conditions. 

Braking Point

bmwux series m4 performance suspension

The M compound brakes, cobalt blue calibers, come as standard brakes and their upgrade version is the Carbon Ceramic Brakes glistening in gold tone. The upgrade has a whopping ticket price of $8,150 dollars (Performance Option) attached, and the need to opt for the 19-inch wheels ($1,200 Performance Option) is also required which racks up the bill to $9,350. Is it worth the money? Carbon Ceramic Brakes delivers better heat resistance, durability, and are lighter in weight compared to the M compound brakes. 

RELATED: The Complete Guide to M4 M Carbon Ceramic Brake System

According to Mr. Klaus Dullinger, the master mind behind the innovative engineering of the brake systems for BMW, the investment not only buys you greater performance, but the brakes themselves may last as long as the lifetime of your car depending on driving habits. 

Engine Sound

bmwux series m4 performance engine sound

There were speculations from the BMW fans regarding the Active Sound in the new generations of the M Models. “Artificial” engine sound being exaggerated through the stereo speaker was the main complaint. BMW have made its claim to clarify that the noise is true amplification of the actual induction sound produced by the engine. 

Carston Pries, Head of Product Management M Automobiles and BMW Individual, has stated during the international debut of the new M4,

The engine note in the cabin is largely pure. The electronic noise is minimized and only makes up 2% to 3% of the sound you hear.
bmwux series m4 performance engine sound test

To conduct our own research on this subject, we’ve made a special trip to the dealership and fired up a brand new M4 in the quiet show room. Without the speaker on and with the car door closed, the cabin is a tightly sealed capsule with remarkable sound insulation. Points on the excellent noise control barrier. With the speaker on, we can hear the engine sound audibly better. Then to compare, we stepped outside the car (with the hood popped) and let the full blast of the resonance fill our eardrums … and the result of our assessment? It still sounds like a damn sexy car by all means, and we simply enjoyed it, so why not just let it be that simple. 

The Ultimate Driving Experience

bmwux series m4 performance adaptive m suspension driving modes

Adding Adaptive M Suspension enables electronic damper control in three modes: COMFORT, SPORTS and SPORTS PLUS (+). Steering feels heaviest on Sports Plus (+) mode to keep the drive steady when you are on tracks or just practicing your new drift moves. Comfort mode has just the right balance and luxury which emulates the drive of a standard 4 series with boosted performance. This is perfect for handling daily commutes. 

The 7-speed double clutch transmission works wonders on both manual and automatic gear. Set the gears in auto, trips on those dry and relatively flat California roads are almost always a smooth sail. If you are looking for more of a speedy challenge, the paddle shifters on the steering wheel are easily maneuvered to quickly switch over into manual gear. This car grips corners tightly, and keeps well to the ground under fair weather conditions.


It is not exactly Prius equivalent (nor is this a fair association) but comparing to the former M3 coupe’s standard 14 city /20 highways, M4 have managed to gain mpg to 17 city/ 26 highway in manual and 17 city/ 24 highway in automatic according to EPA estimates. For a 425 horse powered inline 6-cylinder, it is not too shabby. Consider gas money as opportunity cost for truly outstanding performance.