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2022 BMW M4 Competition xDrive Coupé - Review by Larry Nutson

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2022 BMW M4 Competition xDrive Coupé

By Larry Nutson
Bureau Chief
Chicago Bureau

Yes, you read it correctly! The new BMW M4 Competition coupé is a street legal race car.

With 503-Horsepower and a curb weight of 3,979 lbs., that’s 7.9 pounds per horsepower. The 3.0-L twin turbo in-line six-cylinder engine has an output of 168-HP/liter. Years ago, actually about three decades ago, engine development engineers expected to achieve about 100-HP per liter at a maximum. Who knew? Today’s technology is wonderful.

This all doesn’t come without cost. With a $78,800 base price, that’s $157 per horsepower. Add options and up goes the price.

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For the first time ever the M4 Competition is equipped with the new M xDrive…BMW’s all-wheel drive system. The additional traction enables the engine’s full 479 lb.-ft. of torque to be used to a greater extent during both acceleration and dynamic driving. In other words, less smoke from the tires.

The fully-variable, rear-biased system distributes torque between the front and rear axles through an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch. The Active M differential takes care of torque distribution at the rear axle. Torque is directed to the rear wheels during normal driving, providing the classic rear-wheel drive experience. Only when additional traction is required, is torque sent to the front axle.

The M xDrive system has three selectable drive modes: 4WD is the default setting with rear-wheel biased torque distribution focused on traction and precisely controlled handling. 4WD Sport directs greater percentage of torque to the rear during dynamic driving and is designed to work particularly well on track environments. 2WD requires DCS to be turned off and affords experienced drivers a pure rear-wheel drive experience without any system intervention.

The BMW M4 Competition xDrive Coupé accelerates from stop to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds. This is 0.4 seconds quicker than the rear-wheel drive counterpart. Top speed is 155 mph or 180 mph when equipped with the M Performance Package.

In between the engine and the M xDrive is an 8-speed Steptronic automatic. Adaptive M suspension is standard equipped. Making the connection to the pavement are forged M light-alloy 9.5-inch X 19-inch front and 10.5-inch X 20-inch rear wheels shod with 275/35ZR19 and 285/30ZR20 non-runflat performance tires.

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My drive time in the M4 Competition was in a loaded up Santorini Blue example with a total MSRP of $95,845 (that’s $190 per HP). The Santorini Blue is a special color and alone costs $4,500 additional. Silverstone and Black full Merino leather was another $2,500.

I spent a lot of time driving the M4 Competition around my Chicagoland environs. Lots of heads turned and looked. I think the attraction for many was the blue color. Together with my wife we road tripped from Chicago to Southeast Michigan. Highway cruising is a dream! BMWs are very comfortable and confident at speed. The M4’s ride is firm and sometimes jarring on the winter-damaged roads that haven’t yet had the spring season patching. The low aspect ratio tires require you to watch the road surface to dodge the potholes.

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Seating is for four. The interior is quite comfortable with nicely supportive high-bolstered seats. My wife commented on the seat comfort during our road trip. This race car is loaded with plenty of advanced tech to help make it safer on the road. Adaptive cruise control with lane keep assist helped ease our long highway drive.

Interestingly, on our highway drive the M4 Competition was getting 25 to 26 mpg which was a pleasant surprise considering the EPA highway rating of 22 mpg.

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Like other performance cars today, M4’s limits can’t be reached unless taken to a race track. That wasn’t in the cards this time. More info on the BMW M4 Competition Coupé is available in a deep link at

BMW M is celebrating its 50th birthday and is bringing even more performance with the recently announced new 2023 BMW M4 CSL. With a power hike of 40 hp over the current BMW M4 Competition to 543 hp and a 240-pound reduction in weight, the M engineers have managed to restrict the CSL’s curb weight to 3,640 lbs. Power-to-weight ratio is 6.7 lbs/hp. The new BMW M4 CSL can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds (it is rear-wheel drive), while the top speed is an electronically limited 191 mph. Seating is just for two with track-ready M Carbon full bucket seats.

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The roof panel on the BMW M4 CSL, and also the M4 Competition, is made from carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP). The use of this lightweight very robust high-tech material at the highest point of the body reduces the vehicle’s overall weight while lowering its center of gravity. The M4 CSL also utilizes carbon fiber for the hood and trunk lid.

The CSL designation stands for “Competition, Sport, Lightweight." Production of the new BMW M4 CSL will begin in July 2022 and will be limited to just 1,000 units globally. The price: $139,900 plus $995 destination.

Happy motoring!

© 2022 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy