The 2018 BMW M4 is the alter ego of the standard 4 Series, a high-performance version of the German luxury brand's luxury coupe and hardtop convertible. Formerly known as the 2-door derivatives of the M3 sedan, the M4 remains the benchmark for rivals like the Mercedes-Benz C63, Cadillac ATS-V and Lexus RC F.
You'll Like The 2018 BMW M4 If...
Formerly known as the BMW M3 coupe and convertible before getting its own nomenclature as the M4, this 2-door BMW performance car has a proud history. Even as new rivals emerge, the BMW M4 is as proven as its power, and grants immediate access to a tribe of driving enthusiasts.
You May Not Like The 2018 BMW M4 If...
If you opt for an automatic transmission in your high-performance coupe or convertible, know that the BMW's 7-speed dual-clutch isn't as refined as those in its competitors. If you crave the enhanced traction of all-wheel drive, Audi's forthcoming RS5 looks to be the one to beat.
The 2018 BMW M4 carries over with only minor changes. The biggest news is the new M4 CS edition coupe, which packs even more bite with 454 horsepower and slots in the lineup above the M4 with the competition package.
Both the 2018 M4 coupe and convertible have seating for four, and like their more mainstream 4 Series siblings, space is tight in the rear. That likely won't matter much to buyers of the M4, as their primary concern will be behind the wheel. Here the business of serious driving is emphasized, thanks to deeply sculpted, 10-way power-adjustable seats with 4-way lumbar support. The steering wheel is well-padded, and most of the controls are intuitive. The non-gated lever for the automatic transmission can take some getting used to -- or it's just another reason to get a stick.
The M4 coupe and convertible look similar to those of the 4 Series, but their unique traits are easy to see if you know where to look. The hood features a power dome that you can think of as a bicep signaling this performance car's extra muscle. Around back are quad exhaust outlets. While the M4's wheelbase is nearly identical to the standard 4 Series, this beefed-up model has a wider track and overall stance. The M4 convertible has a metal roof that retracts, while the M4 coupe's fixed roof is carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic, part of a weight-saving effort.
The M4 is a ferocious counterpart to the standard 4 Series coupe and convertible. With 425 horsepower standard, the 2018 M4 coupe can hit 60 mph in under four seconds, while the M4 hardtop convertible does it in 4.2 seconds. Precise handling and excellent road feel have long been hallmarks of M cars, and that remains true. On a track it's a blast but in stop-and-go city driving it can be a bit much, especially with the idle start/stop fuel-saving function. The M4 still offers a manual transmission, and it even features a rev-matching system for more fluid shifts. A 7-speed dual-clutch automatic is available, too, but in our testing we found it rougher than the automatics used in rivals like the Lexus RC F and Cadillac ATS-V. The good news with the auto is BMW touts the "Smokey Burnout" function, which does exactly what you think.
The 2018 BMW M4 has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $67,400 for a coupe, while the M4 convertible is notably steeper at nearly $75,000. Loaded, an M4 can reach beyond $90,000. At these considerable prices, the M4 is still in line with the Mercedes-Benz C63. This high-performance German luxury coupe and convertible remain above the starting prices of the Lexus RC F and Cadillac ATS-V coupes. Another less expensive alternative is the new Infiniti Q60 Red Sport coupe. It has "only" 400 horsepower, but begins in the low-$50,000 range and can be had in rear- or all-wheel drive. Before buying, be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their M4. The M4's resale value is expected to hold up pretty well, but still trail that of the Lexus RC F.
The rationale for buying an M4 over a 4 Series is for its track-ready performance, and to that end every M4 coupe and convertible comes with a 425-horsepower 6-cylinder turbo engine and a bevy of performance hardware. Aside from the go-fast upgrades, other notable ingredients include leather interior with carbon-fiber and black-chrome trim, 16-speaker harman/kardon AM/FM/CD/HD Radio audio system with USB input and Bluetooth connectivity, navigation system, rearview camera and auto-dimming rearview mirror. Helpful features include a hands-free trunk opening and universal garage-door opener. Also included is BMW Ultimate Care -- three years/36,000 miles of complimentary maintenance.
In addition to the Competition Package is the Executive Package, which bundles features like side- and top-view camera, parking sensors, adaptive full LED headlights and head-up display. Individual options include Apple CarPlay compatibility, heated steering wheel, wireless phone charging and Wi-Fi hotspot, and power rear sunshade. Among the performance upgrades are carbon-ceramic brakes, while a standard suspension is available for enhanced comfort. Safety aids include blind-spot monitoring and active driving assistant, which has lane-keeping assist and frontal-collision and pedestrian warnings. Various shades of leather are available inside, and if you want any exterior color other than basic white, that will cost extra.
We like the M4 convertible for the same reason as the 4 Series convertible: It's essentially two cars in one. Top down, it is a 4-passenger open-air chariot built for speed. With hardtop in place, it's essentially an M4 coupe.
For M4 buyers with a "go big or go home" attitude, this package increases horsepower to 444, tweaks the steering ratio and adaptive suspension, and includes 20-inch forged light alloy wheels, among other distinguishing factors.
Under the Hood
Heart of the 2018 M4 is a turbocharged 3.0-liter 6-cylinder engine that makes a stout 425 horsepower. Opt for the Competition Package, and that output rises to 444 horsepower, while the 2018 BMW M4 CS ups the pony count to 454. A 6-speed transmission is standard and the recommended choice for the M4, while a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic is optional. The M4 remains rear-wheel drive.
3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6
425 horsepower @ 5,500-7,300 rpm
406 lb-ft of torque @ 1,850-5,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25 mpg (manual, coupe and convertible), 17/24 mpg (automatic, coupe), 16/22 mpg (automatic, convertible)
With Competition Package: 444 horsepower
With M4 CS model: 454 horsepower
The 2018 BMW M4 is the alter ego of the standard 4 Series (reviewed separately), a high-performance version of the German luxury brand's coupe and hardtop convertible. As with the 4 Series, the M4 boasts plenty of premium amenities and handsome design inside and out. But the M4's biggest appeal is its startling performance. With a turbocharged 6-cylinder engine that sends 425 horsepower to the rear wheels and a chassis that's been aggressively massaged by BMW's M division, the M4 coupe and convertible boast performance and driving manners that remain benchmarks for rivals like the Mercedes-Benz C63, Cadillac ATS-V, Lexus RC F and the upcoming Audi RS5. Starting around $67,000, the M4 also packs a significantly higher price than the standard 4 Series.