The manual gearbox is not dead: BMW M4 Coupe we tested the three pedals
The BMW M4 is one of the favorite cars of Motor pasión. OK, you tell me. We have already tried when he left with his brother 4 – door M3 in convertible version and even in a variant exclusive M Performance where it was clear that the M of M Performance is its monstrous power of 500 hp.
This time we tried another rara avis of the M4 range, the M4 with manual gearbox. Yes, there is and have even sold some units. We do not know whether the next generation will have this possibility, but for now, let ‘s see if it makes sense to propose this variant.
With so many tests, we have discussed at length the current M4 (and his brother M3), including its lighter construction, driving aids and their great inline 6-cylinder 3.0-liter supercharged, so I will not dwell much about it.
Unlike its predecessor, the E92 M3 Coupé, the current motor M4 S55 is loaded with torque in the lower area. Delivers its maximum torque of 550 Nm from just 1,850 laps . And it does until 5,500 rpm regime in which disburses its maximum power of 431 hp. Still, the engine rises to the 7,300 laps maintaining the maximum power (he stays at 1,000 rpm the old V8).
And although not sound so cold as suggestive as its predecessor, once hot its roar becomes very pleasant and threatening, although onboard sound more attenuated than outside. Still, it sounds fat and pleasantly, but without the musicality of a 6 in atmospheric line. That feeling better as we went up the pace:the backfire escapes, roar and completely hide the hiss of turbos .
Again, it is the users who enjoy the soundtrack of the M4 and not the driver. And that’s what the driver hears is half false and partly from the speakers of the audio equipment.
We eat chips
The BMW M4 base (at this level of range can not say “peeled” for equipment already has an interesting series) it costs 92,300 euros. That’s not the 19 – inch wheels (2,619 euros for our unit) -standard are 18 inch, without carbocerámicos brakes (9,327 euros), without the M adaptive suspension (2,427 euros) and automatic double clutch DKG (2,190 euros). And all the units we tested equipping those options, except in some cases ceramic brakes. Are not too many elements that can alter our perception of the M4?
For example, change DKG has six levels of action, ie of rapid change: three in automatic mode and three in sequential mode, all selectable from a button on the center tunnel. And there are quite standard electronics that interferes with our driving -the sound of “artificial” engine, three levels of stability control, three types of management for the motor (this throttle response), three levels for management and other for adaptive M suspension (impossible to get a M4 lacking it), if we add the six levels of action of the gearbox, everything loses some of its meaning. Before going on road or track, you have to make a which airline pilot checklist.
Okay, there are two buttons M on the steering wheel that allow access two set-ups that have previously determined depending on your tastes and you go to move, but still, no longer a full environment electronics that alienates us the purest driving.
Just lost in performance
In terms of performance, it is clear that the M4 with manual transmission is slightly slower in acceleration and recoveries variant with change DKG. The 0 to 100 km / h with manual transmission is settled with a time of 4.4 seconds (BMW announces 4.3 seconds in the 0-100) while the change DKG can drop to 4.1 seconds. The launch control DKG help much here, but it is also clear that change gear by hand slows down a little acceleration.
The difference is even more evident in recovery from 80 to 120 km / h. To go from80 to 120 km / h in fourth, our M4 manual needed 3.8 seconds , while the DKG do kick-down and on more than one occasion down the 3 seconds to re – accelerate from 80 to 120 km / h. While one second difference is something that you begin to notice the differences are not as drastic as it might seem at first. Is that difference decrease the pleasure of driving the M4? Not at all.
Driving the BMW M4 handbook is actually more pleasant than with the change DKG. The route of the knob is precise and firm without being hard . (Although in this test unit already very tired He ran before all kinds of hands, sometimes the first had some difficulty to enter).
After testing the M3 DKG change, I realize that the DKG city is not as smooth as itseems, at least cold (when heated and improvement). Not for nothing rough – and in a traffic jam is a benediction, but the changes were much smoother me with the manual gearbox. Going on road, is where the drive with the manual gearbox becomes a much more rewarding experience with DKG.
For starters, it has less tendency to change gears with cams DKG. In all driving modes, except that disconnects Sport + stability control, the car gives a blow gas to adjust the revolutions of the primary and secondary axes of the gearbox and engine; as if you did the double clutch or heel tip. But he does.
Eye, Sport + or disconnected helps the car no longer will double clutch for you .And in BMW they believe that if you have the level to bring this car without assistance, you also have the heel to the tip or the double clutch. Indeed, while the bottom bracket to allow relatively comfortably the heel tip could reduce the space between the brake pedal and accelerator. That would be perfect.
With the change DKG and disconnected aids, electronics continues to regulate a little power delivery to the rear wheels. It is not the case with manual shift M4; you have to really know your acceleration dose. In other words, we must be much finer with M4 manual with DKG , which is almost suitable for the most gross.
A greater connection with the car
Nor are going to create is a difficult car to carry, much less. However, to go really fast with him have to earn it and go slowly improving your driving. And it is precisely this feeling of having done well you will connect with the car. Especially in a car that with each new generation seems less and less communicative. It is evident with the address: still lacks some communication. It ‘s like he was losing a bit of feeling each with each generation of M3 (M4).
Moreover, it is an M4 as the others. Even that happy adaptive suspension too firm remains. In my opinion, the Sport and Sport + modes suspension are only suitable for filming in circuit (or a newly paved and smooth as a billiard road). In mountain road, twisty, bad or wavy, it is best to opt for the Comfort mode for the hardness of the suspensions.
With the suspension in Sport or Sport + mode, the rear wheels always end up bouncing causing small loss of traction . And against that the rear limited slip differential can not do anything. In order to fully enjoy the M4 you have to customize the settings of the car. The set-up is advisable in Sport steering, throttle sensitivity to consumer tastes and suspension mode … comfort mode.
The choice of manual or automatic gearbox DKG is a matter of taste, first of all, but it is true that with the manual gearbox, driving the M4 becomes a much more rewarding experience . I’ve noticed that disconnects us electronically so unnecessarily link the pleasures of curves and straight to the M4, ie, the simple pleasure of driving a sports machine.
I am not a staunch defender of the manual transmission in the background is an anachronism, but as there is still analog clocks, I think the manual transmission in vehicles, at least those where driving pleasure is paramount, should be present.
In this case, without being a regular in the morning traffic jams or batches -both circuit in situations where the DKG has more sense-, the BMW M4 for those who like driving should be as analog as possible . In fact, of the many options that equipped our test unit, there is no imperative to really enjoy driving.
Moreover, some as disks ceramic brakes (over 9,000 euros) are meaningless unless to turn to many batches (having checked the difference in the Jerez circuit, can delay the braking 150 m with ceramic with respect a M4 with steel brakes).Nor is it clear that adaptive suspensions are necessary, at the end of the day, we will leave almost always in Comfort mode.
In short, if what you like is to drive and gran turismo, choose your M4 analog as possible . For everything else, automatic and electronic version is also an excellent machine that will bring you a smile every time you step on it.