Ok, let’s just get this out of the way. The front grille is fine. It is a bold statement and I commend BMW for taking a risk. It is an aggressive and muscular design that looks better in person. So let’s move on and find out what the rest of the BMW M4 is like to drive.
Engine – The G82 generation of the BMW M4 is still powered by a 3.0L inline 6 twin-turbocharged engine just like the previous generation. However, the engine is actually brand new and it produces more power than ever before. In this Competition trim, the 2022 BMW M4’s S58B inline-6 can produce 503 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque (375 kW & 650 Nm). Like many turbocharged engines, the torque is reached way before the peak power figure at just 2,750 rpms which is then sustained to 5,500 rpms. Peak power is at the 6,250 rpms mark. BMW claims a 0-100 km/h time of 3.5 seconds with the xDrive 4WD and a top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph) with the limiter; 290 km/h (180 mph) without the limiter.
The response from the engine is quick. It doesn’t feel like a high strung naturally aspirated straight-6 but it is darn close. The turbochargers respond very quickly when the rpm needle is in the mid-rev range. Anything below that 2,750 rpm mark and you’ll feel the boost threshold. Throttle response is good in Comfort mode but becomes almost like an on/off switch in Sport & Sport Plus modes. In those modes, the active exhaust flaps open up and let you hear more of the engine’s pops and bangs. Though, the stock exhaust isn’t quite as loud as the optional M-Performance exhaust that the last M4 that I test drove had. But if you want to just commute to work or if you’re stuck in traffic, this engine feels perfectly fine in those environments as well. It is one of the best motors on sale today.
Fuel Economy – But with 500+ hp, you expect fuel economy to be poor. And it is. In certain areas. The 2022 BMW M4 xDrive Competition is rated for 14.6 L/100km (16.1 MPG) in a city and 10.5 L/100km (22.4 MPG) on a highway. City fuel economy is poor as expected but highway fuel economy is pretty good and if you’re gentle with the throttle pedal, you can get it lower than that. With roughly a 50/50 city / highway driving mix (and a bit of hooning), my average fuel economy rating was 11.8 L/100km (20 MPG) in the M4.
Transmission – Gone is the dual-clutch automatic and replacing it is an 8-speed traditional automatic. This is a transmission that is made by ZF which means that it is good in all environments. On highways and in a city, the shifts are smooth. When overtaking another vehicle, the transmission reacts quickly. On spirited drives on a twisty road, the transmission shifts very quickly for an automatic but it doesn’t have quite the same crispness of the dual-clutch. There’s no doubt that this transmission is much better for daily commutes and it does feel responsive enough on a race track. But the dual-clutch of the old car gave you a sense of better connection with the car. Happily, however, if you want to row your own gears, the standard M4 is available with a manual transmission. #SaveTheManuals
Braking – The 2022 BMW M4 Competition is equipped with large and strong brakes. They measure 380 mm (15”) in the front with fixed 6-piston calipers and 370 mm (14.5”) in the rear with a large single floating piston caliper. In the iDrive infotainment, you can switch between Comfort and Sport braking performance. For spirited drives, these brakes slow the car down as though you’ve hit a tree. On city streets, they don’t feel grabby when moving except for the last 5 – 10 km/h before coming to a complete stop. It’s very hard to stop smoothly and not feel as though you’ve been tapped in the back by another car. If you need even more braking performance for frequent trackdays, carbon ceramic brake discs are available but those will cost more than your divorce settlement.
Handling – One of the first things that you’ll notice when driving the 2022 BMW M4 Competition is just how quick the steering is. The smallest, most minute tugs of the steering wheel immediately translate to movement of the front tires. The Competition model receives a faster steering rack than the standard M4 (or M3 sedan brother). For city streets, it’s almost too fast and your brain has to relearn how to take corners without turning too much. Around mountain roads however, the fast steering makes the M4 Competition feel alive and responsive. It makes the 1,805 kg (3,979 lbs) body feel much lighter than it actually is.
Another feature that makes the M4 drive very quickly around corners is the xDrive system. This is a rear-biased 4WD system but BMW says that it could transfer 100% of the engine’s power to the front wheels. Though I suspect this can only happen in snowy or icy conditions. On dry pavement, most of the power is going to go to the back wheels with the front ones only receiving power when exiting corners. However, this system will allow for a 2WD mode so that you can slide the M4 to your heart’s content.
Speaking of sliding, in this RWD mode, the M4 has a sophisticated traction control system with 10 different settings. If you leave it fully on, then the car will not slip around corners. Turn the system off and you’ll end up facing the same direction from which you came (unless you’re a professional racing driver). Or you can set it somewhere in the middle in which case the car will make even the most butter-finger drivers look like heroes. But you’d better do a good job of drifting because the car can score your drifts with the Drift Analyzer app. This built-in app measures your angle, drift length, and drift time and then scores you on it.
Ride Comfort – The 2022 BMW M4 Competition is equipped with standard adaptive dampers. They can change their stiffness from Comfort, Sport, or Sport Plus. The difference between the modes is noticeable however, the ride is good for a sports car like this regardless of which mode the dampers are on. You will not be able to get away from the bumps and bounces of the tires driving over potholes but the dampers are great at rounding off the edges and the sharpness of those bumps.
For the seats, there are two options. The standard, as equipped, sport seats or carbon bucket seats. The latter look great and probably hold you in tightly on a track but I don’t imagine they’re the best for daily commutes. These standard seats still provide good amounts of support but they also have more adjustments such as lumbar, thigh, and side bolsters.
Interior Space – Front occupants should not complain about legroom. Even at my tall 6’4” height, I can move the driver’s seat further back for even more space but I don’t need to. Headroom is good but the driver’s seat in my position is all the way to the lowest point. Behind the front seats, there’s an Ok amount of space for average sized individuals. Legroom is decent but you’ll find that headroom is tight. The Mercedes-Benz E53 AMG Coupe that I test drove a while back has more space in the rear seats. The trunk of the M4 Competition is decently sized. It allows for 440 L (15.5 cu-ft) of storage.
Noise, Vibration, & Harshness – When driving the BMW M4 on city streets or highways, tire noise is the biggest culprit into the cabin. There is also a little bit of wind noise that can be heard from around the exterior mirrors. However, if the car is in Sport or Sport Plus modes with the exhaust valve open, the engine produces some exciting tones.
Odds and Ends
Pricing – The 2022 BMW M4 Competition with xDrive starts at $94,300 CAD ($82,700 USD). This demo vehicle came equipped to the price of $105,245 CAD ($90,480 USD).
Gadgets – For the 6-figure price tag, the BMW M4 Competition is very well equipped. Navigation, heated & ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, head-up display, surround view cameras, built-in dashcam, fully adjustable power seats, power trunk, dual zone automatic climate control, adaptive cruise control, automatic parking, backup assistant, and many more features.
However, a $35,000 Hyundai can be equipped with the same features. What you’re really paying for is the performance of this car and the brilliant traction control system.
Interior Design – The 2022 BMW M4 Competition feels familiar when you step inside of it. Everything from the look and feel of the cabin is what we’ve all been accustomed to in other gasoline powered BMW vehicles. The driver display and the infotainment screen are kept separate but perhaps for the mid-cycle update, they could get replaced by the dual-screen layout of the new i4. The center console has the same iDrive controller and gear selector as many other BMW vehicles. Best of all, the climate controls are physical buttons and not buried into the infotainment system! This particular demo vehicle was optioned in more of a daily commuter / GT style. It does not have a carbon fiber trim nor the sport bucket seats.
Exterior Design – Though that grille is controversial, there’s no question that the BMW M4 turns a lot of heads. It has a presence on the road. It may be a large coupe but it looks almost as exotic as a supercar.
Safety – As standard, the BMW M4 comes equipped with nearly every driver and safety aid in the BMW catalog. The only exceptions are traffic jam assist and driving assistant professional which helps keep the car centered in the lane. These are part of a $2,000 package.
Warranty – All BMW vehicles are covered by a 4 year / 80,000 km new vehicle warranty in Canada. In the United States, it’s 4 years or 50,000 miles. For more information on Canadian BMW warranty, click here. For information on USA warranty information, click here.
Conclusion – What more is there to say about the 2022 BMW M4 Competition? It continues the tradition of being a pretty much perfect German sports car that can take you to & from work as well as complete a mind-bending lap around a race track. BMW’s slogan “Ultimate Driving Machine” may get ridiculed these days with certain models but this M4 truly is the ultimate driving machine.
Thank you to BMW Canada for providing the vehicle. www.BMW.ca