BMW M4 2022 Test 2.8 seconds to reach 60 mph

With the aid of a new all-wheel-drive option, the BMW M coupe accelerates like a supercar.

Many of today's high-performance vehicles have all-wheel-drive systems, and for good reason: More low-end torque than two driven wheels can effectively handle is frequently produced by modern powertrains. Some 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 trend toward AWD takes some of the fun 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 added, so we can't directly compare the two. However, we have tested a rear-drive M3 Competition sedan that is comparable to its coupe sibling mechanically and structurally enough to make some accurate comparisons (it also gains an xDrive option for 2022). Despite both Competition models of that vehicle having the same 503 horsepower tuning of BMW's twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-six, which generates 479 pound-feet of torque at just 2750 rpm, the car required a relatively long 3.5 seconds to reach 60 mph. The outstanding ZF eight-speed automatic transmission and highly adjustable chassis systems are also 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 base 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.

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. When using the Competition model's launch-control feature, the M4 actually has a half-second lead over the M3 by 30 mph, demonstrating the benefit of the all-wheel-drive system. In contrast, both vehicles accelerate equally from 0 to 60 mph, with the AWD M4 needing 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.

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 travel down the road essentially the same, right 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 upgrade doesn't seem to have a significant impact on the M4 Competition's efficiency, as evidenced by our test car's respectable average fuel economy (22 mpg) and impressive 29-mpg result on our 75-mph highway route—7 mpg better than its EPA estimate.

The M4's all-wheel-drive system has a 4WD Sport mode that directs more torque to the rear axle, just like other all-wheel-drive M models. To notice much of a difference in the drivetrain settings and how well they mitigate the additional weight the xDrive hardware places on the M4's nose, however, you'll likely need to push the vehicle to its absolute limits on a racetrack. We failed to notice any character shift from the xDrive version's slightly faster steering ratio (14.6:1 vs. 15.0:1). Although all-wheel drive may improve the M4's overall traction and stability, it has the same precise, if somewhat muted, feel when driving. Turn the M4 into a rear-driver that burns rubber for maximum fun by turning off the stability control completely.

Because we could live without a number of its most expensive options, such as the $8150 carbon-ceramic brakes and the $3800 for the skeletal yet incredibly supportive M carbon bucket seats, we weren't too alarmed 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 select 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 standard M4's manual transmission and its greater engagement. But there's no denying that all-wheel drive makes the most of the additional power in the Competition model.


Vehicle Type: front-engine, rear/all-wheel-drive, 4-passenger, 2-door coupe


Base/As Tested: $79,995/$101,995

Options: M carbon-ceramic brakes, $8150; M carbon bucket seats, $3800; black leather upholstery, $2550; M Driver's package, $2500; Executive package (remote engine start, power liftgate, gesture control, head-up display, heated steering wheel), $1800; carbon-fiber trim, $950, M Drive Professional, $900; Parking Assistance package (drive recorder, parking assistance plus), $800; Skyscraper Grey Metallic paint, $550


  • twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve inline-6, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
  • Displacement: 183 in3, 2993 cm3
  • Power: 503 hp @ 6250 rpm
  • Torque: 479 lb-ft @ 2750 rpm


8-speed automatic


  • Suspension, F/R: struts/multilink
  • Brakes, F/R: 15.7-in vented, cross-drilled carbon-ceramic disc/15.0-in vented, cross-drilled carbon-ceramic disc
  • Tires: Michelin Pilot Sport 4S
  • F: 275/35ZR-19 (100Y) ★
  • R: 295/30ZR-20 (99Y) ★


  • Wheelbase: 112.5 in
  • Length: 189.1 in
  • Width: 74.3 in
  • Height: 54.9 in
  • Passenger Volume: 91 ft3
  • Trunk Volume: 12 ft3
  • Curb Weight: 3904 lb


Combined/City/Highway: 18/16/22 mpg

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