- Post is under moderationBMW M4 CS / #BMW-4-Series / #BMW-4-Series-Coupe
It’s been a bumpy ride – both literally and metaphorically – for the F82-generation M4, but in the CS is the M division finally giving us the car we all crave? Photography: Stephen Hall.
EVO has had an on-off love affair with BMW’s M4. We admire its muscle-car looks, performance potential and rear-drive chassis. Being a product of M GmbH also infuses it with a desirability that rivals are still some way from achieving.
Yet it’s been a struggle to wholly fall for the M4. Its turbocharged 3-litre straight-six has the punch to fire it down a road and around a track with a force Anthony Joshua would swerve. But this has also been its downfall. So thuggish has been the delivery to the rear tyres that not only do they give up the fight for traction earlier than you are expecting, but so too does the rear suspension, throwing in the towel at the first sign of any loading through its springs and dampers. It makes for an infuriating experience, because on its day, on the right road and in the right conditions – a bone-dry, smooth surface – the M4 is your best mate. But few of us live at the Ascari race resort, so it’s often a mate you leave the pub early to avoid.
How, then, is BMW’s new M4 CS going to cope with a 29bhp increase to 454bhp and an additional 36lb ft, bringing the total to 442lb ft? The first part of the answer is the M4 Competition Package of 2016, which brought a lower ride height and stiffer springs, dampers and anti-roll bars. It greatly improved the base M4’s behaviour, even with a power increase to 444bhp. For MY18 cars, the Comp Pack itself has been improved (the upgrade has been upgraded, essentially), and it acts as a basis for the M4 CS we have here. M division chief Frank van Meel confirms there’s been not a single hardware change to the M4 CS’s chassis over that of the MY18 M4 Competition Package. Rather, he and his team have been busy with the laptops, reprogramming the M Adaptive suspension to better suit the now standard Michelin Cup 2 tyres. It’s the same situation with the electric power steering and the engine ECU, both of which have been optimised to sharpen the CS.
There are a number of further detail changes to the CS. It’s only available with the seven-speed M DCT double-clutch gearbox, and in addition to the carbonfibre roof that’s already standard on the M4, the front splitter, rear diffuser and bonnet are also carbon, the bonnet being 25 per cent lighter than the regular aluminium panel. The new bonnet also features a sizable vent ahead of the powerdome.
The 19in front and 20in rear wheels are lightweight items with 265/35 rubber at the front and 285/30 at the rear, the former being the focus for much of the damper tuning to improve steering precision. The only big mechanical change is the fitment of a more free-flowing exhaust, and due to the lack of any front speakers, there’s no sound imposer, meaning you hear an M engine playing its natural tune rather a digitally enhanced one. Other changes inside include lightweight door-cards from the GTS, a pair of manually adjustable lightweight sports seats and a steering wheel and centre-console trimmed in Alcantara.
All in all, there’s a 35kg weight saving, down to 1505kg compared to 1540kg for an M4 with an M DCT gearbox. The CS cracks 62mph in a claimed 3.9sec (two-tenths quicker than the DCT standard M4) and runs on to 174mph. And, of course, there’s a Ring lap time of 7min 38sec.
These numbers pale into the insignificant when it comes to the road, though, because whatever van Meel and his team have done to the underbelly of the CS, it has transformed the M4 from an unpredictable and ultimately frustrating performance car into one with all the character, ability and entertainment of M-cars of old. It’s how the CS reacts to your steering inputs that hits you first.
Where previous M4s have an uncomfortable dead spot and take a moment for the front tyres to react, the CS’s nose is rich in clarity, speed and precision, delivering instant confidence. The gripper Cup 2 tyres are an obvious factor in this, but the steering and setup changes allow you to commit harder because there’s a clearer sense of how the chassis is working beneath you.
Hooked into a corner, the CS feels much more stable and better balanced, the chassis allowing you to position it so much more accurately at the apex, get on the power earlier and work on your exit speed. With previous M4s this was always a bit of a hit-and-miss affair. Too generous with your right foot and either the traction control went into hyperdrive or, if it was switched off, the rear tyres would vaporise. The car was as frustrating on the road as it was impressive for the cameras on track. That it also acted up when trying to put the power down in a straight line didn’t help it win friends, either.
In the CS there’s none of this. You can play the hooligan if you wish, but it’s so much more rewarding and satisfying to be able to open the throttle early in the corner and drive through the exit feeling the M-diff hook up and the chassis working the load with newfound precision.
Downsides? The #DCT gearbox now feels old in comparison to rivals and the brakes come up short, too. The standard cast-iron discs, with four-piston calipers at the front, two at the rear, are not a match for the car’s performance – it takes only a few committed stops for the pedal travel to lengthen, and while retardation doesn’t decline, the precision does. The optional carbon-ceramics help. There’s another issue. The £89,130 price tag is a £25k premium over a Competition Package, which makes it extremely hard to recommend the CS on price alone, despite it currently being the ultimate M4.
Below right: carbonceramic discs denoted by gold calipers – they’re expensive and not that easy to modulate, but are an improvement on the standard, cast-iron pieces; engine not quite in full firebreathing 493bhp GTS spec, but it is mightily potent even so.
‘The M4 CS has all the character and ability of M-cars of old’
TECHNICAL DATA FILE / SPECIFICATION #2017 / #BMW-M4-CS-F82 / #BMW-4-Series-F82 / #BMW-F82 / #BMW / 2017 / #BMW-M4 / #BMW-M4-F82 / #2017-BMW-M4-CS-F82
Engine In-line 6-cyl, 2979cc, twin-turbo
Power 454bhp @ 6250rpm DIN
Torque 442lb ft @ 4000-5380rpm DIN
0-62mph 3.9sec (claimed)
Top speed 174mph (limited)
Weight 1505kg (307bhp/ton)
Basic price £89,130
+ The M4 you can finally exploit and enjoy, no matter what the road or conditions
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- Post is under moderation4 SERIES REFRESHED / #BMW-4-Series-F82 / #BMW-F82 / #BMW / #2017 / #BMW-M4 / #BMW-M4-F82
The #BMW-4-Series success story dates back to the launch of the original range in the summer of 2013. Since then, BMW has delivered nearly 400,000 units to customers all over the world.
It probably won’t surprise you to learn that the biggest market, racking up about 30% of all sales, is the USA, followed by Great Britain and Germany. About half of all BMW 4 Series models are sold in Europe, but the Gran Coupé accounts for some 50% of global sales, while the Coupé and Convertible make up around 25% each.
Keen to build on this success, BMW has refreshed the 4 Series range for 2017, with styling cues borrowed from the spectacular BMW Concept 4 Series Coupé, first seen in 2012. These include elements such as a large air intake with eye-catching bars, plus LED headlights and rear lights.
The chassis has been updated, too, with all three models now benefitting from a lower centre of gravity thanks to a wider track, revised suspension and improved traction control capabilities.
The defining feature at the front is an unbroken central air intake, with an aperture that increases in size towards the outer edges. On Sport versions, this is almost entirely bordered by an eye-catching, highgloss black bar, designed to accentuate the vehicle’s wide, powerful stance.
The Coupé, Convertible and Gran Coupé versions are now equipped with new, twin LED headlights as standard – flat-bottomed headlight tubes encircled by daytime running light rings.
We’ll be exploring this range refresh in next month’s issue, so don’t miss it!
The new 4 Series benefits from LED lighting, front and rear.
Larger air intake and revised headlights endow the ‘refreshed’ 4 Series with an even more distinctive look.
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- Post is under moderationDare to Dream 3D Design carbon-clad M4. Back in 2006, a group of highly talented designers and engineers came together in Tokyo to reboot dormant BMW tuning parts maker 3D Design. This M4 is the culmination of everything it’s done in the ten years since Words and photography: Chris Nicholls. Dare to Dream 3D Design’s stunning carbon-clad F82 M4 under the spotlight. #BMW-4-Series / #BMW-4-Series-Coupe / #BMW-4-Series-F82
The M4, for many, represents dreams. Dreams of status, dreams of amazing driving experiences and dreams of just looking at the thing and enjoying its muscular lines just one more time before walking away. This particular #BMW-4-Series-M4-F82 , however, represents a very different kind of dream – a dream to build a complete ‘tuner car’ that not only shows off your company’s expertise in designing a range of great products, but also demonstrates how well those parts work in unison when fitted together.
It’s a dream Toru Endo and his team at 3D Design have had since the brand’s rebirth ten years ago. Back in 2006, they came in to kick-start what was then a bit of a lost cause; 3D Design in its original form had been making #BMW tuning parts (mainly suspension components) since 1998, but for various reasons the company had lost any momentum and, by the time Endo-san and his crew arrived, it hadn’t released anything new for quite some time. Obviously, job one after the takeover was thus to start cranking out parts again, but given the old line-up hadn’t been a great success, Endo-san and co. decided to expand the offering to include exhausts and aero parts as well, with an end goal of offering a large enough range of components to build the aforementioned ‘complete car’.
However, because all the 3D Design staff already had many years of experience working in either OEM, aftermarket accessory or race engineering circles, slapping together a few basic designs and calling it a day wasn’t going to cut it. They vowed that, no matter what the development time and costs, they would make the best BMW parts they could, a philosophy that continues to this day. One minor detail was that they didn’t have their own manufacturing facilities, but to get around this, they partnered up with the likes of Arqray for their lovely stainless exhausts and BBS for their forged wheels, ensuring the final products were as high-end as the engineering that had gone into the design and testing. And of course, that all their products were made in Japan.
Trouble was, even with a line-up that included wheels, coilovers, aero accessories, exhausts, a boost control chip and various interior upgrades, the staff didn’t feel as if they’d reached their goal of being able to produce a ‘complete car’. So they pushed on, and decided to invest more time and resources in a couple of other key items – a carbon intake for the S55 and, most importantly, full resin-infusion carbon bumpers for the M4. Now, proper carbon bumpers (not CFRP) may seem a bit extreme, especially considering they’re usually the first things to get damaged in a crash and cop quite a bit of sandblasting just from regular road driving, but as we said earlier, the company philosophy is to offer the best, no matter what, and given carbon would allow them to integrate aero elements better, as well as save a crucial 5kg at each extreme of the car (thereby reducing moment of inertia), it seemed a natural choice. Plus, literally no one else on the market is offering such a thing, so it gives the company a competitive advantage.
Obviously, these pieces do not come cheap. The carbon intake isn’t even on sale yet in Japan, but M Style UK quoted us £6195 for the front bumper and £5695 for the rear, and when you throw in the £1482 Mulgari quoted for the dry carbon side skirts, just the basic aero kit adds considerable cost to an already expensive machine. Going down the complete car route, which adds a dry carbon rear lip spoiler, dry-carbon racing wing, polyurethane roof spoiler, resin-infusion carbon mirror covers, coilovers, forged 20-inch Anniversary 01 wheels, a DME Tuning Stage 2 engine remap, Brembo GT big brake kit and all the company’s interior mods, will no doubt jack up the price to potentially terrifying levels, but no one said the best ever came cheap. And when you look at the fit, finish and quality of each of 3D Design’s products (the bumpers fit so well you’d genuinely think they were official Motorsport upgrades), there is no doubt that they’re among the very best in each sector they compete in.
As for the overall effect these changes make, at least in terms of appearance (we only had a short time with the car and thus couldn’t drive it), it’s quite staggering. The stock M4 is a muscular beast, but the 3D Design version takes it up a notch in every respect. The cleaner, more integrated lines of the front bumper lead down to quite a protruding lip spoiler, and the fact the company has kept the lower half naked carbon really adds to the impact.
The sleek skirts define the car’s flanks better and make it look lower than it actually is, while the rear end is just a whole lot buffer thanks to the large (but not ridiculous) wing, bootlid lip and again, that half-painted carbon bumper. Keen-eyed readers will note 3D Design has placed cuts on each side of it too, which allow turbulent air to exit the rear wheels better and should improve stability. One interesting side effect of all this extra aggression is that the car actually looks more like a sports car – something that should cheer all those who now consider the M4 a GT – and at least in this writer and photographer’s opinion, does a better job of integrating all that aero than the GTS. BMW take note. Finally, those wheels are just perfect against the Sapphire black paint, aren’t they?
Inside, there’s less of an impact simply because there are fewer changes. Yes, the switch to customembroidered Recaro Sportsters definitely changes the atmosphere, as does the switch to 3D Design’s alloy pedals, brake lever and shift paddles, but it still feels very much like an M4, only sportier. In many respects, the biggest change to the ambience actually comes from the Stack gauges, mounted in a lovely 3D Design pod at the bottom of the centre console. These, while looking pretty modern with their machined housings and austere faces, are still very much an old-school performance car touch in what is otherwise a very modern interior, so they do stand out and make the car feel just that little less GT-like (again). By the way, you can ignore that little display mounted to driver’s right, as it’s just a small speed camera detector. Don’t worry, they’re perfectly legal in Japan, and sadly more necessary than ever these days, thanks to the growing number of cameras on the roads there.
In terms of the effect the mechanical changes have, obviously we couldn’t sample most of those, but we have little reason to doubt the coilovers will benefit the handling, given 3D Design, unlike most of its Japanese contemporaries, designs and develops its coilovers explicitly for road use and thus makes them supple. (There is a remote reservoir track coilover in the works for the M4 should you want that, though). And again, there’s little reason to believe the DME re-flash, which, combined with the intake and exhaust bumps power up to 522hp at 6000rpm and torque to a stupid 561lb ft at just 2000rpm, won’t do the job in terms of making the car much, much faster, either. Nor that the Brembo GT big brake kit won’t do a stellar job of bringing the car’s speed down to normal levels, even after heavy track use.
While we didn’t sample the power it helps provide, we can heartily recommend the cat-back mid-pipe and muffler combination in terms of pure sound though, as we did get to sample its sonorous delights during our rolling shot session across the Tokyo Gate Bridge. Like most products on this car, it’s not cheap, with the full system setting you back £6334 from M Style UK, but its unique sound may well be worth it, depending on your priorities. We say that because the 3D Design product is by far the most subtle of the aftermarket M4 exhausts we’ve heard, with a start up that won’t upset the neighbours, and an ultra-smooth timbre as the revs rise. Indeed, it almost makes the S55 sound like an angry, tuned S54 , which is quite a feat. If you live in Japan and are reading this, the only downside is that the system won’t pass the strict shaken periodic roadworthy test there, but if you’re willing to switch back to stock for one day every couple of years, it’s not an issue, and we certainly don’t see it being a problem in most other countries.
So, having produced this ‘dream car’ and fulfilled the company’s original ambition, how does Endo-san feel? As he puts it, “we’ve never been about selling parts per sé. We’ve always developed parts with an eye to exciting the driver, whether it’s via improved styling, or upgraded ride, handling or engine feel. So when I got in the completed car the first time, there was a feeling of ‘we’ve finally done it’; that we’d achieved our goal of being able to excite the driver in every way we could”. Unsurprisingly, the positive impression continued when he drove it, too. “It’s now much more of a sports car to drive. The engine response has improved, as has the handling, so it now accelerates and points exactly the way you tell it to”.
Having said all that, 3D Design’s journey towards selling a complete car isn’t quite over yet. There’s the small matter of actually building a Tokyo showroom, which begins in May, and signing an agreement with a local dealer to supply brand new M4s the company can add all its bits to as well. After that, it may look at expanding its dealership reach past the nation’s capital, but Endo-san says that’s not been decided upon yet. No doubt there are plans afoot for more parts for other BMWs too. At the recent Tokyo Auto Salon, for example, it had a few prototype M2 parts on display, including an intercooler, race-use exhaust (similar to the M4 one) and race-oriented coilovers, so that model may well be next. A slightly more affordable dream? Maybe. Either way, an exciting one we’ll be sure to keep track of.
Contact: 3D Design / Web: www.3ddesign.jp
The switch to custom-embroidered Recaro Sportsters definitely changes the atmosphere
TECHNICAL FATA FILE #3D-Design / #BMW-F82 / #BMW-M4 / #BMW-M4-F82 / #BMW-M4-3D-Design-F82 / #BMW-M4-3D-Design / #BMW-M4-Tuned / #BMW-M4-F82-Tuned / #DME-Tuning-Stage-2 / #DME-Tuning /
Engine: Twin-turbo, 24-valve, straight-six, #Valvetronic , double #Vanos , direct injection / #S55B30T0 / #S55 / #BMW-S55
Max Power: 529.6PS @ 6000rpm
Max Torque: 561lb ft @ 2000rpm
Engine: 3D Design carbon airbox with #BMC filter element, #DME-Tuning-Stage-2-ECU remap
Exhaust : 3D Design cat-back stainless mid-pipe and valve-controlled stainless quad-tip muffler
Wheels & Tyres : #3D-Design-Anniversary-01 forged monobloc wheels 9.5x20-inches (f) and 10.5x20-inch (r) with 235/30 (f) and 285/30 (r) Yokohama Advan Sport V105 tyres.
Suspension: 3D Design machined alloy dampers with 20-step compression and rebound damping control and 6kg/mm (f) and 8kg/mm (r) springs
Brakes : #Brembo-GT big brake kit with six piston calipers (f) and four-piston calipers (r) and 405mm (f) and 380mm (r) slotted rotors
Styling: 3D Design resin-infusion carbon front and rear bumper, cry carbon side skirts, dry carbon Racing wing, dry carbon bootlid spoiler, polyurethane roof spoiler, resin-infusion carbon mirror covers, body stripe stickers
Interior: 3D Design sports pedal kit, hand brake lever, shift paddles, floormats, Stack gauge kit and custom-embroidered Recaro Sportster seats
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- Post is under moderation/ #2017 / #BMW-M4-GT4 makes its race debut / #BMW-M4-GT4-F82 / #BMW-M4-F82 / #BMW-F82 / #BMW / #BMW-4-Series / #BMW-4-Series-F82 /
The first important 24-hour race of the 2017 season took place in Dubai in January and the newest member of the BMW customer racing range, the M4 GT4, took on the challenge in the desert. Schubert Motorsport tested the BMW M4 GT4, which is still in development, in race conditions for the first time. BMW works drivers Jörg Müller and Jens Klingmann, and BMW Motorsport Junior Ricky Collard took it in turns behind the wheel. The endurance test was a resounding success – both in terms of the performance of the GT4 car as well as its reliability, finishing the race in 25th place with virtually the entire field ahead of it being comprised of GT3 cars and others with far less restrictive regulations than the GT4 class. Overall it was a hugely encouraging start to the M4 GT4’s competitive career and works driver Müller was very happy with the progress that’s been made with the car: “This was definitely a successful debut for the M4 GT4. It all went smoothly… finishing a 24-hour race like that without a scratch on the car is simply unbelievable. So we are pleased with this first event. We learned a lot.”Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationCLEAN BANDIT Styled and tuned F82 M4. SLICK M4 F82 with power and poise. Passion brought forth the assassin… Keren Zeng’s ingrained love for the BMW brand has helped him deliver a killer blow with this M4. Flawless victory! Words: Daniel Bevis. Photos: Kevin Uy.
Assassins come in many forms. Followers of classic Japanese folklore will be familiar with the concept of the ninja or shinobi, whose function was to act as a covert spy and saboteur. Fans of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series will know the assassins to be as gentlemanly and respected as they are deadly, fusing the cloaked secrecy of the ninja with the necessity to always leave their victims with a receipt.
And, of course, there’s the ragtag group of misfit assassins that this BMW M4 falls into; rubbing shoulders with James Bond and Liam Neeson, it’s the sort of character that’ll kick your door in, carry out the lethal task in broad daylight, utter a witty quip, shoot the cuffs on their impeccably tailored suit, and effect their graceful egress. Possibly leaping off a ledge and onto a plane or something.
This car could never be a shinobi. Look at it, it’s bright orange. But it does neatly intertwine the twin cannons of flawlessly sharp aesthetics and brutal firepower; a sublimely crafted art piece packing a horsepower figure that begins with a five. It’s primarily a functional thing, as evidenced by its gait being hunkered aggressively down rather than stylistically stanced, with the tyres displaying a usefully chunky spread of sidewall. But at the same time, its looks and sense of purpose are razor-edged. This is not a thing to be messed with, unless you’re planning on that being the last thing you ever do.
This creation is the vision-made-real of one Keren Zeng, proprietor of an automotive aftermarket shop in Victoria B.C, Canada, and lifelong BMW-fancier. “When I was in seventh grade I saw the E46 M3 on the cover of Need for Speed 9 for the first time, and I immediately fell in love with that car,” he says.
“Since then my dream machines have always been #BMW-M cars. And when the M4 came out, I placed an order without hesitation!” This long-held obsession is more than a videogame-induced fantasy, however. The passion runs somewhat deeper than that. “Owning a #BMW in my home country back when I was growing up was very, very hard,” he explains. “Not just because of the price, but also the limited availability. I loved to memorise all the car brands when I was little, and my father bought me all kinds of toy cars and asked me what models they were. I remember my favourite was the BMW 8 Series, which was a birthday gift from my father. And I was lucky enough to experience BMWs when I was a little older; at the age of 17 I drove my friend’s E92 M3, and I was totally blown away by the handling, the sound and the performance of the car. And from that time, BMW M cars have planted a very deep root in my heart.”
You see, this is no cynical tale of somebody throwing a bunch of money at an on-trend motor to win Instagram points, this is the culmination of a lifetime of aspirations and yearning. When Keren came to open up his Canadian business, the time was right to dive into the fragrantly alluring waters of M car ownership. Well, almost… he had a little practice with a 435i first.
“In 2013 in Montreal, I first saw a 435i in real life,” he breathlessly recalls. “I spied it at the downtown parking lot and the colour was Mineral grey – it immediately caught my attention; the shape of the car, the M badge just up the side vent, and the aggressive face. I told myself that one day I would own a car like this. And later that year, my dream came true.”
Neat use of ‘one day’ there, this is clearly a guy who likes to get things done with no time to shilly-shally. An Estoril blue example was bought, and duly subjected to KW coilovers, Vorsteiner wheels, Akrapovič exhaust, a feisty remap, and all the aero stuff in the M Performance catalogue. With this makeover successfully dealt with, Keren felt it was time to join the big leagues and really make that dream a reality. His name was inked on a shiny new M4’s pink slip, and the planets obligingly aligned.
“I had a pretty clear plan for the M4 from day one, based on what I’d learned from the 435i,” he explains, which makes perfect sense really. Combining age-old dreaming with first-hand experience tends to forge strong mental images. “My first set of wheels were BBS CI-Rs, powdercoated satin black. However, after having them for half a year I decided to go with HRE for its Forged series, choosing the Classic 300 – I respect classic cars and wanted to combine the retro with the modern, although in order to do so you can’t just put a classic rim on a new car, the colour choice has to be very careful. So I went with Dark Brushed Clear for the outer lip and barrel, and Satin Bronze for the face, both of which match perfectly with the Sakhir orange paint.”
In order to get the car sitting lower over these broad, chunky rims, Keren opted for Swift springs to work with the stock M4 dampers, keeping in mind that the car’s a daily driver and the factory chassis setup is already pretty mind-blowing. A set of Fall- Line Motorsports anti-roll bars found their way into the mix with the aim of making the car “track ready” (Keren’s words; he’s not playing games here), while the engine inhales and exhales a lot more freely thanks to an Eventuri cold air intake and full Akrapovič exhaust system, all remapped to make the most of those bonus horses. ETG’s clever ones-and-zeroes tuning is marketed as offering gains of 89hp and 96lb ft of torque over stock, which is certainly not to be sniffed at, and it also offers a bunch of boltons such as a speed limiter removal, transmission software and traction control reflashing, and even throttle-blipping and overrun exhaust popping. As you might imagine, Keren was pretty liberal with the box-ticking that day.
“I love clean cars, so when I choose the style of my car, I always believe that less is more,” he explains. “In order to match the body colour and details, all of my exterior pieces are carbon fibre. And the same goes for the interior – the carbon fibre upgrades are there to enhance the spirit of the M Performance brand rather than try to turn it into something else.” In addition to this OEM+ approach, there’s also been a fairly substantial input from iND, whose comprehensive range of aftermarket add-ons has been raided to yield such trophies as black kidney grilles, black boot badges, painted front reflectors to eliminate the garishness of the factory items, and painted side markers in the same vein. The overarching principle here is to hone and refine the cohesiveness of BMW’s own design and the M division’s enhancements to it; think of this car as being the next little step down the M4’s evolutionary path. “My favourite modifications are the wheels and the exhaust,” Keren continues.
“The way the HREs look and the way the Akrapovič sounds are just total eye and ear candies, it transforms the M4.” And all the while, as he gazes fondly over his creation, you can hear his brain ticking away, formulating new schemes and stratagems. It’s not finished, of course: “The orange turns so many heads, people are always taking photos of it,” he ponders. “I’m considering wrapping it in camo for the show season…”
Well, that’d certainly help the M4 to fulfil its destiny as a stealthy assassin. A sneakily applied camo would help it slither under the radar and carry out its evil deeds. As long as Keren doesn’t have the engine running, naturally – all that popping and crackling is a bit of a giveaway.
DATA FILE #BMW-F82 / #BMW-M4 / #BMW-M4-F82 / #BMW-M4-Akrapovic / #BMW-M4-M-DCT / #BMW-M4-M-DCT-F82 / #BMW-4-Series / #BMW-4-Series-F82 / #HRE-Classic / #HRE / #2017 / #Akrapovic
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six S55B30 / , #Akrapovič exhaust system, #ETG remap, #Eventuri intake, seven-speed M-DCT gearbox
CHASSIS 9.5x20” (front) and 10.5x20” (rear) #HRE-Classic-300 , 255/30 (f) and 285/30 (r) Michelin Pilot Sport, #Fall-Line-Motorsports front and rear anti-roll bars, Swift springs
EXTERIOR Sakhir orange, #M-Performance rear spoiler, #RKP front lip, Kohlenstoff rear diffuser, #iND front painted reflectors, iND black grilles, iND painted trunk emblem, iND painted side markers
INTERIOR M Performance Alcantara steering wheel, #DCT console trim and DCT gear knob cover
THANKS Kevin King Uy for the photoshoot, Cat from iND for all the modifications, Kelvin from #ETG-Tuning-Group , #HRE , #Akrapovi , #BMW-Victoria , #KZ-Auto-GroupStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationM4CEMENT AGENT
The M4 is an extremely capable machine but there’s plenty more potential to be unlocked, and that’s exactly what Thorney Motorsport has been busy doing. Words: Elizabeth de Latour Photos: Matt Richardson.
Thorney Motorsport M4
As far as all-rounders go, the M3 and M4 are really hard to beat. BMW’s move from glorious, high-revving NA V8 to less exciting twin-turbo straight-six was, we suppose, inevitable in terms of the way the motoring world is headed, but while it may not deliver the same sort of spinetingling soundtrack as the S65 V8 did, you really can’t knock the S55. It’s got masses of easily accessible torque, it’s got a big-hitting top end and, driven gently, you can nudge 30mpg, plus the affordable tuning potential is on another planet compared with the S65.
It’s wrapped up in a car that’s, relatively speaking, pretty lightweight – lighter than the E9x M3 – but not short on luxury and creature comforts. As an all-round performance machine it’s nigh-on unbeatable. Of course, that’s not to say there isn’t room for improvement, and Thorney Motorsport has been really getting under the skin of the M4 to make it the best it can be.
Now most of us, upon the purchase of a new car, will likely go for a drop, sort out some new wheels and look at getting more power out of it, because that’s just what you do. We’d be happy with that but Thorney Motorsport takes a different, far more measured approach because it’s not modding a car for fun, it’s developing parts that it will sell and it wants to make sure that the car they combine to create is a fullyfledged, finely-honed performance machine.
The M4, you’d think, would be the perfect candidate for a series of improvements to bring out its best, but Thorney has had a somewhat thorny relationship with its M4 and, while many owners are delighted with their cars, we’ve heard of a surprising amount who, after the initial delight of their M3s and M4s had worn off, realised they weren’t happy and were looking at swapping to an E9x M3 instead. So what gives?
“We do a lot of Vauxhall tuning alongside our #BMW work,” explains owner John Thorne, “and I had customers who’d switched from their Astra VXRs to M4s complaining about the handling and traction, saying the car was hard work and they weren’t enjoying it. One guy sold his within a month and a half of buying it. I told them they needed to learn to drive but then we bought our one and I realised there was a problem. In a straight line, it’s fine, but in corners the traction control is forever cutting in and the rear feels loose. Driven hard on the road, it’s a not a good handling car.” That’s surprising to hear but then again, how many of us really push our cars that hard and how many of us have the motorsport experience to be able to analyse exactly what a car’s doing? The handling, therefore, became John’s focus with his tuning programme for the M4 and his desire to tame the M4 and turn it into the car he knows it could be brings to mind one man’s obsession with a certain white whale, but where that made for a great novel this will make for a great driver’s car.
“We went for the geometry first, but there’s not much adjustment and it made no difference, so we went for the springs next. Initially we tried Eibachs, which we found too soft, and we tried Teins which were far too hard, so then we tried H&R’s higher springs, which made no difference, and then went for its lowest offering, which we’re running on the car now. They give a 40mm drop and have really made a difference to how the car feels; previously, the car just couldn’t put the power down in Sport or Sport Plus and in Comfort it was too soft, but now on the Sport setting there’s a lot more grip and it feels more stable through the corners. Though it’s certainly not perfect,” he says, but it’s a cost effective upgrade which makes the car much better.
“I drove a Competition pack car and while it offers more outright grip it’s no better in corners than the standard car; the additional grip is welcome, though, so we’re going to fit a set of Toyo R888s,” explains John. “We’re going to go wider at the back, 285 or maybe even 295, but we’re going to stick with the stock front tyre width as there’s no understeer, just no rear grip.
“We’re working directly with Bilstein to develop dampers for the car, but they have to retain the adjustability of the EDC – the same as its E9x M3 damper, in fact, a plug and play solution. I’ve told Bilstein how the car needs to handle, that the slow speed damper compression needs to be softer and that the rebound is currently too stiff.
Bilstein’s damper curve is much softer on low speed stuff, which is good. We get sent a new set of dampers to test, we make notes of the changes we’d like and then Bilstein sends another set and we see what’s been changed and we carry on like this until we’re both satisfied. The right Bilsteins could transform this car and it would be a Porsche-beater, but we’re not there just yet.
We’re close, though,” he smiles. “That’s our target for each car: to be able to beat Porsches on track. In a straight line, the M4 is quicker than a 911 GT3 RS, but not in the corners, at least no just yet…”
While the handling may be a bone of contention, the perfect setup is not far off and in the meantime Thorney has found a good solution to tame the M4’s wayward handling habits, one that not only doesn’t cost the earth but also actively encourages you to go for an aggressive drop.
One area where the M4 is certainly not lacking is performance and it’s also an area where getting the best out of the car requires a lot less effort. It’s surprising how much of a difference the little things make. “The first thing we did was to run the car for three tanks of fuel using 95 octane unleaded then dyno’d it and then we ran it for three tanks of super and dyno’d it again. On regular unleaded the car was 25hp down on the stated power output of 431hp at the top end, so it’s worth only running it on super.
“The next step was to develop our own remap. It took 96 dyno runs before we were completely happy with the mapping; the remap is our Stage 1 upgrade, which takes power up to 490hp. Stage 2 adds the exhaust, as fitted to this car. It’s a full system, mandrel bent, with 3” piping throughout and also includes 200 cell and 62g cats. This adds another 40hp on top of the remap for a running total of 530hp. Stage 3 will be an oil cooler and bigger chargecooler setup which we’re working on now.” For the moment, though, 530hp is plenty to be getting on with.
“We’ve also added braided lines to the brakes and while we’re working with Pagid to develop a pad for the car, on the road they’re fine and don’t really need to be upgraded. If you want the best brakes possible for track use then I’d recommend ticking the carbon ceramic brake kit box when you’re ordering the car,” he says. And, while the M4 is not a car that’s lacking in the looks department, John has also worked on the car’s styling, adding an M Performance front lip to fill out the front bumper and a Thorney Motorsport carbon rear wing based on the GT4 racer’s spoiler.
It would have been rude to come all the way up to Thorney’s Silverstone HQ and not take the M4 out for a spin and John is keen for me to have a go, especially after I’d just driven Thorney’s track-built E92 M3, and it’s not a hardship to agree to go for a play in his 530hp machine. The first thing you notice is the noise; the M4 isn’t a quiet car and now there’s even more volume to the soundtrack. It still can’t hold a candle to the S65 V8 but if you like your performance cars to sound aggressive the Thorney exhaust system doesn’t disappoint.
The next thing you notice is the power or, rather, the torque. There’s just so much of it; punch the throttle hard at anything above tickover and your head is forced into the headrest, it’s that brutal. In fact, brutal really does do a very good job of describing the power delivery of this car, it’s instant and you get so much of it that it’s all you can do but hang on for dear life. Driving this car makes you feel that there’s no need for any more performance. Any more would be silly, which might sound weird coming from a modified BMW magazine but it just feels so utterly relentless that there’s no situation this car could not deal with.
And that’s before we even get onto the power; 90% of the driving experience is being battered by that brutal onslaught of torque, which propels the car to stupid speeds on even the lightest of throttle applications but when the road allows you the chance to open this M4 up the power is absurd. The delivery is relentless, completely un-turbo-like, and the power keeps on coming all the way to the redline, at which point you must decide whether or not you want to snatch the next gear and go again, or back off and breathe, because the M4’s been accelerating so hard that you’ve forgotten about your basic functions.
In terms of the chassis, the ride is still firm and the traction control seems busy most of the time meaning you really want to find the smoothest, flattest Tarmac before exploring the upper echelons of this M4’s performance envelope. It certainly feels like a more stable beast through the corners, though, and gives you enough confidence to be able to enjoy pushing the car. For the cost of set of springs, if you’re serious about exploiting all of the performance your M4 has to offer, it’s a no-brainer.
Thorney Motorsport’s modified M4 is a ferocious, furious machine which delivers an intense driving experience and feels as fast as you’d ever need or want a car to feel. But while there’s more performance work to come from Thorney along with the aforementioned ongoing quest for the perfect suspension setup that will unlock this car’s full potential, John’s plans go far beyond that: “In the short term I might change the wheels and I want better seats.
I’m not impressed with the standard ones and I’m looking at #HRX race buckets but the ultimate goal is to take this car to the level of the M4 GTS, but better.” That’s exactly what the goal was with the company’s E92 M3 and, judging by our experience with that.
Exhaust system looks the part, with quad carbon tips, and delivers real performance gains.
Exterior has been enhanced with GT4-style spoiler.
TECHNICAL DATA FILE #Thorney-Motorsport / #BMW-F82 / #BMW-M4 / #BMW-M4-F82 / #BMW-M4-Thorney-Motorsport / #BMW-M4-Thorney-Motorsport-F82 / #Thorney-Motorsport-F82 / #Thorney-Motorsport-M4 / #BMW-M4-Tuned / #2016 / #BMW-4-Series / #BMW-4-Series-F82 / #BMW-4-Series-M4 / #BMW-4-Series-M4-F82
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six #S55B30 / #BMW-S55 / #S55 , custom #TMS-remap , high-flow air filters, 3” bore mandrel bent custom full exhaust system with twin silencers, 200 cell 62g cats and quad carbon fibre exhaust tip trims, seven-sped #M-DCT gearbox
CHASSIS 9x19” (front) and 10x19” (rear) Style 437M wheels with 15mm spacers and 255/40 (front) and 275/40 (rear) tyres, #H&R 40mm lowering springs, custom geometry setup, braided brake lines
EXTERIOR M Performance front splitter and air intakes, #TMS #GT4-style carbon fibre rear wing, #TMS-M-Sport livery
INTERIOR All StockStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderation/ #BMW / #BMW-M4-DTM-Champion-Edition announced / #BMW-M4 / #BMW-F82 / #BMW-M4-F82 / #BMW-4-Series / #BMW-4-Series-F82 / #BMW-4-Series-M4 / #BMW-4-Series-F82 / #BMW / #BMW-M4-DTM-Champion-Edition-F82 /
BMW has a long tradition of bringing out special edition models to celebrate racing success – think back to the E30 M3 and we had the Europa Meister, Cecotto and Ravaglia models – while in more recent times DTM success has been rewarded with a series of Champion Edition models. Hence the arrival of the latest M4 edition to celebrate Marco Wittmann’s second DTM driver’s title at the wheel of his Red Bull M4 DTM.
The road-going version won’t be quite so extreme as his race car, but the limited run 2016 Champion Edition does feature a number of upgrades over a standard M4 Coupé. For starters it’s packing the same water-injected twin-turbo straight-six as the M4 GTS which is good for 500hp and 443lb ft of torque which endows it with a 0-62mph time of 3.8 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 190mph.
The M4’s handling has been refined thanks to a set of three-way adjustable coilovers and it’s been on a weight loss program too, with the bonnet and instrument panel support being constructed from CFRP and the exhaust is a part titanium system. To ensure it stops as well as it goes it’s equipped with the carbon ceramic brake setup. Wheels are the 19- and 20-inch (front and rear respectively) #Style-666M items from the GTS but for this application they’re painted in a matt Orbit grey finish.
Externally the DTM Champion Edition can be identified by its Alpine white paintwork and a number of upgrades such as its carbon front spoiler, carbon aero flicks on the front corners, mirror caps, side-skirt attachments, rear diffuser and an M Performance rear wing.
Inside the rear seats have been ditched in favour of a half cage while the front seats have been replaced with a pair of M Carbon buckets finished in Alcantara and Merino leather. The rest of the cockpit is swathed in dark Alcantara while the seat belts feature the M colours in their weave like those on the M4 Competition models.
The M4 DTM Champion edition will be limited to 200 examples and will cost 148,500 Euros – just about double the price of an standard M4.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationStunning 520hp M4 tested MOTECH #BMW-M4 / #BMW-F82 / #BMW-M4-F82 / #BMW-4-Series / #BMW-4-Series-F82 / #BMW-4-Series-M4 / #BMW-4-Series-F32 / #BMW
Lean Green Flying Machine A stunning Java green M4 with a full set of choice performance modifications.
It’s not just the colour that makes this M4 stand out from the crowd as it’s packing a serious power hike among some other tasty modifications. Words: Bob Harper. Photography: Dave Smith.
I may have mentioned this before but our company chairman used to have a fondness for the expression, ‘if you’re going to be a bear, be a grizzly!’ We discovered this one day when he appeared in the office wearing what can only be described as a ‘rather interesting’ tie – you know, the sort that one of those programmes on the TV populated by so-called fashion gurus would have had a fit about. To call it bright would have been the understatement of the century. And we can only imagine this sort of ‘if you’re going to be a bear…’ thought process must have gone through the owner of this M4’s mind when he signed on the dotted line for this rather wonderful Java green M4 Coupé. It turns out that he’d actually gone to his local dealer to put an order in for an altogether more straight-laced M3 Saloon, but when he clapped eyes on this M4 which had just been delivered to the dealership to be a demo car it was love at first sight.
But it’s not the colour that first grabs my attention as I can hear it coming long before I can see it. We’re camped out at a photo location we know of in the wilds of Northamptonshire and at first it sounds as if there’s a Chinook helicopter on exercises somewhere in the distance, but after a few seconds this doesn’t make sense as the sound isn’t constant – it rises and falls every couple of seconds or so. Whatever it is it’s getting closer though and eventually we see the Java green M4 spearing along the lanes with the sun glinting off its freshly polished paint and even when its surrounded by lush green vegetation it still stands out from the crowd.
As the M4 sits quietly ticking away to itself as it cools down from its workout we quiz Motech’s Mike Hodder as to what exactly we have before us. Mike has been involved with tuning BMWs for more years than he cares to remember and instead of just offering remapping services with which he’s still very much involved, he’s now offering what he likes to think of as a one-stop tuning solution for busy owners of BMWs. While some owners might have the time and inclination to visit one company for an exhaust, another for a remap and another for some styling upgrades, Mike’s increasingly finding that many owners would like to have all the work carried out at once at the same company.
Thus this M4 is sporting what he’s calling the ‘M520’ package, and yes that figure does refer to the car’s power output. At the heart of this particular conversion are a couple of Remus products: a Powerizer and an exhaust system. Over the years Mike’s become a big fan of Remus products – its expertise with exhausts is second-to-none and you may well be surprised as to quite how many manufacturers Remus make exhausts for. We’ll start with the Powerizer which is a tuning box that brings power up from 431hp to 520hp – a pretty significant gain – while torque is also swelled from 406lb ft to 472lb ft. Like most tuning boxes it’s a plug-and-play item that’s fairly easily plumbed into the car’s electronics with the supplied wiring kit and it gently manipulates signals from the ECU to make its gains.
The fact that Remus’ Powerizer has full TÜV certification gives you peace of mind too. It’s not the Powerizer that’s responsible for all the noise though, that’s down to the full Remus system that replaces everything aft of the downpipes. The fully stainless system is beautifully made and has been fully reengineered by Remus’ boffins at their state-of-the-art R&D centre. As is the way these days, it’s a switchable system meaning that it can be quiet and discreet when you want it to be or strident and vocal when you’re feeling a little more extrovert – as we heard earlier on.
Completing the M520 package are a set of Pipercross air filters that are a direct swap for the OEM items. Pipercross reckons its filters have a vastly improved surface area and that the carefully selected multi-layered foam within the filters offer 30 percent more airflow which is never a bad thing – an engine that can breathe properly should always be a strong performer. These three modifications – Powerizer, exhaust and Pipercross filters – add up to the M520 package and when the work’s carried out at the same time they offer pretty decent value for money – at £2898 you’re seeing some excellent power improvements for your money.
Motech doesn’t just deal with the power side of the equation though as this car is sporting some tasty styling upgrades too. The 20-inch wheels will be a matter of personal taste – I usually like my wheels to be silver but these black DForged items do look good when set off against the Java paintwork and what’s a very nice touch on this particular machine is that the brake callipers have also been painted in Java green. The standard fit blue callipers with their M logos didn’t really look quite right with the car’s exterior colour. Whether or not the 20-inch alloys will actually improve the driving experience on our lumpy roads is a moot point but there’s no doubting they fill the arches nicely and look very good indeed.
Elsewhere around the car you’ll find some nice carbon additions – around the huge front air intakes and a splitter just below the front spoiler along with a rather natty little ducktail spoiler atop the bootlid and a nice diffuser around the quad pipes on the Remus exhaust. This particular machine has the carbon tips to the Remus exhaust and it has to be said they really do look the part. As is the case with carbon exterior parts they don’t come cheap, well certainly not for quality components such as these, but at £540 for the three-part front spoiler, £660 for the rear diffuser and £276 for the rear spoiler these particular items do seem to be very keenly priced and look to be of high quality with a nice lustre displaying the carbon weave underneath.
The last couple of changes that have been wrought can’t be seen but include au Ultra Racing lower rear strut brace to tighten up the rear end and a set of Eibach lowering springs which lower the M4 by 20mm. These won’t be the end of the chassis changes though, Mike’s currently experimenting with a couple of different options which should help the M4 to use its power to good effect.
That’s enough of the theory though and now that photographer Smithy’s got his pictures in the bag it’s time to experience the performance for ourselves. Before we put the hammer down we start off by getting familiar with the M4 again and driven at moderate speeds it’s as refined and cultured as you could want it to be. The exhaust’s muted, the additional power is slumbering and you could almost be forgiven for wondering what all the fuss is about.
The roads around here are lightly trafficked and have some wonderfully inviting sections that are wellsighted and allow you to really drive quite hard and in these circumstances the M4 really comes alive. It’s been set up so that when you engage Sport Plus you have the full 520hp at your disposal along with the exhaust having its flaps fully open, so not only are you covering ground at an increasingly rapid pace but you’re being aurally assaulted at the same time. Like many other modern M cars it’s not a desperately cultured sound if you compare it to a naturally aspirated multi-valve straight-six from ‘the olden days’ but of its type this Remus system has to be one of the best we’ve experienced. It sounds angry – very similar to the AC Schnitzer ACL2 we drove a couple of months ago and it does seem to egg you on to extract the full performance from the car.
I can’t imagine wanting to travel any faster than this on British B roads, even ones that are as wellsurfaced and well-sighted as these ones, but you find you can’t help yourself… you keep trying that little bit more, just a bit more throttle, just to hear an even more vocal and strident symphony from the exhaust. It’s a bit of a licence loser, but what a way to go! Even though these roads are better than most the odd bump can knock the M4 off line and eventually we call a halt to proceedings while we’re all still in one piece. On a dark and damp winter’s evening you could get yourself into an awful lot of trouble with this car, but if you have a modicum of self restraint and are happy to notch the pace back a little then you’d still be able to cover ground at an indecent pace while (colour aside) slipping under the radar.
We run the M4 back to Motech’s Northampton HQ and as we’ve had our fun on the back roads we elect to cruise back and in its normal mode loping along at the legal limit the car’s perfectly refined. The exhaust is quiet, there’s no hyperactive throttle response – even the ride’s pretty decent on those bigger rims and lowering springs. It’s nigh on the perfect all-rounder – fast and shouty when you want it to be, calm and relaxing when you’re not in the mood.
So, ultimately, while you don’t have to have be a grizzly and spec your M3 or M4 in a lairy BMW Individual colour, opting to fit Motech’s M520 package will certainly help you sound like one. We’ve tested plenty of M3s and M4s now and reckon this one’s right up there with the best as far as aural stimulation is concerned and with the performance upgrade it’s got the bite to match its bark.
Driven at moderate speeds it’s as refined and cultured as you could want it to be.
Contact: Motech Performance
Tel: 01604 810000/07842 122467
TECHNICAL DATA #2016 #BMW-F82 / #BMW-M4 / #BMW-M4-M520 / #BMW-M4-M520-F82 / #BMW-M4-M520-F82
ENGINE: In-line six-cylinder, turbocharged, 24-valve
MAX POWER: 522hp
MAX TORQUE: 472lb ft
M520 PACKAGE: #Pipercross free-flow filters; #Remus downpipe back exhaust system with 102mm carbon tips with race centre section; Remus Powerizer. Package price inc. fitting (with chrome tailpipes): £2898.00
STYLING: CarbonSpeed three-part front spoiler extensions and splitter: £540.95; CarbonSpeed full rear diffuser: £660.95; CarbonSpeed ducktail rear boot spoiler: £276.95
WHEELS AND TYRES: #DForged D1 9.5x20-inch (front), 10.5x20-inch (rear); Toyo Proxes
CHASSIS: Ultra Racing rear lower strut brace: £189.95; Eibach 20mm spring kit: £245.00
Motech Performance: 01604 810000
The Performance Company: 01933 685840
Pipercross Air Filters: 01604 707750
Colour Kraft: 07881 536 186
Dooka Detailing: 07754 733778
RS Repairs: 07904 07816Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.