The BMW M4 Competition Hits 60 MPH in 28 Seconds

All-wheel-drive systems exist in many of today’s high-performance cars for good reason: More low-end torque than two driven wheels can effectively handle is frequently produced by modern powertrains. Part results, like the 2.8 seconds it takes the all-wheel-drive 2022 BMW M4 Competition to reach 60 mph, speak for themselves, despite purists’ criticism that the move toward AWD takes some of the pleasure out of trying to control a massively powerful vehicle.

We haven’t yet tested an M4 Competition without the $4100 xDrive option that was just offered, so we can’t directly compare the two. But we have experienced a rear-drive M3 Competition sedan, which is technically and structurally comparable enough to its coupe sibling to draw some valid comparisons (it also adds an xDrive option for 2022). (it also gains an xDrive option for 2022). That car needed a relatively pokey 3.5 seconds to get 60 mph, despite both Competition models carrying the identical 503-hp tune of BMW’s twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-six, which puts out 479 pound-feet of torque at only 2750 rpm. The outstanding ZF eight-speed automatic transmission and highly adjustable chassis systems are likewise shared by both. The M3’s curb weight increases by 31 pounds to 3820 pounds when the automatic-only Competition trim is chosen instead of the standard model’s 473 horsepower and six-speed manual transmission. In a world of nearly two-ton Ferraris, our all-wheel-drive M4 test car added another 84 pounds to reach 3904, which is neither light nor particularly portly.

In Car and Driver 2022, Andi Hedrick xDrive BMW M4 Competition

The xDrive-equipped M4 completed the quarter-mile at the test track in 11.0 seconds flat and 125 mph. Although the M4 is only 0.6 seconds faster when it trips the lights than the rear-drive M3 Competition, the trap speed is only 1 mph faster. In fact, the M4 already has a half-second on the M3 by 30 mph, highlighting the superiority of the all-wheel-drive system when activating the Competition model’s launch-control function. In contrast, both vehicles accelerate equally from 0 to 60 mph, with the AWD M4 taking 4.4 seconds and the RWD M3 needing 4.5. As a point of comparison, the manual base M4 with rear-drive only accelerates to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds and completes the quarter-mile in 12.1 seconds at 118 mph.

In Car and Driver 2022, Andi Hedrick xDrive BMW M4 Competition

The xDrive coupe’s 1.02 g’s of skidpad grip and 150-foot stop from 70 mph are nearly identical to those of the rear-drive sedan because both the M3 and M4 Competition models have the same carbon-ceramic brakes and staggered 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S summer tires. They go down the road essentially the same, even down to their rigid ride quality, even with their adaptive dampers set to Comfort, thanks to their shared electronically controlled limited-slip rear differentials and the default rear-drive bias of BMW’s variable xDrive system. The xDrive improvement doesn’t seem to have a substantial impact on the M4 Competition’s efficiency, as evidenced by our test car’s respectable average fuel economy (22 mpg) and excellent 29-mpg result on our 75-mph highway route—7 mpg better than its EPA estimate.

In Car and Driver 2022, Andi Hedrick xDrive BMW M4 Competition

The M4’s all-wheel-drive system offers a 4WD Sport mode that directs extra torque to the rear axle, just like other all-wheel-drive M models. To notice much of a change in the drivetrain settings and how well they mitigate the additional weight the xDrive hardware places on the M4’s nose, though, you’ll likely need to push the vehicle to its absolute limits on a racetrack. Any change in character from the xDrive version’s slightly quicker steering ratio—14.6:1 versus 15.0:1—escaped us. Although all-wheel drive may improve the M4’s overall traction and stability, it has the same precise, albeit somewhat subdued, feel when driving. Turn the M4 into a rear-driver that burns tires for optimum fun by turning off the stability control completely.

Because we could live without a number of its most expensive options, including as the $8150 carbon-ceramic brakes and the $3800 for the skeleton yet incredibly comfortable M carbon bucket seats, we weren’t too worried by our example’s $101,995 as-tested price. The M4 Competition xDrive, with a starting price of $79,995, joins the C8 Chevy Corvette Z51 as one of the few sub-$100K vehicles to enter our club of vehicles with sub-three-second 0-60 mph times. Like with our long-term M3, we continue to favor the regular M4’s manual transmission and its stronger involvement. But there’s no denying that all-wheel drive makes the most of the more power in the Competition variant.

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