Dancing with a partner is very much like driving a car.
Both of you need to be in sync and have an understanding with each other – one will lead while the other follows.
The one leading must understand his partner’s skills and limitations, while the one being lead must be confident that the partner will always be there to catch them.
When this trust is established, both dancers move with ease and efficiency, comfortable and secure in the knowledge that their partner won’t let them down.
This is exactly how I felt behind the wheel of the new BMW M4 Competition.
BMW M4 COMPETITION: EASY FLOW
It takes time to get to know a car. A few days and a few hundred kilometres will usually give one a relatively good feel. But if all you have is an hour, things can easily become awkward.
This should have been what “speed dating” the BMW M4 Competition should have felt like. Except it didn’t.
Instead of awkwardness, I found a partner willing to be lead, and who seemed to understand what I wanted out of our dance.
I start with an easy and gentle pace, with the car still in its default setting. It is too placid, so I hit the “Setup” button and choose “Sport” for most of the settings.
The M4 Competition comes alive and the linearity of its responses are impressive. Rasping and growling, the twin-turbocharged 3-litre straight-6 is eager to deliver its 503hp (510PS) to the tarmac. But the M4 shows restraint.
It waits for me to put my foot down and turn on the taps. I flick the gearshift lever to select manual override and tug the left paddle shifter. The revs jump, the exhaust roars louder and we tackle the narrow Old Upper Thomson Road.
This stretch has become unfamiliar to me, but the BMW M4 Competition is confident and raring to go.
Can I go quicker? Yes, but I hesitate, never knowing what’s around the next bend. The M3 Competition in front of me disappears, giving me room to push.
Before tackling this stretch again, I discover that the M4 Competition’s acceleration, though quick, is never brutal. You can pin the throttle pedal to the floor and redline the inline-6, but it won’t scare you.
Having over 500hp under your right foot sounds intimidating, but the BMW M4 Competition does not frighten drivers.
The 4 Series on which it is based has grown larger and more comfortable, to the point where it feels like a smaller grand tourer. A smaller 8 Series Coupe, perhaps. You want something more thrilling? That’s what the M2 is for.
So, the M4 and I dance. We understand each other. It does not “sulk” when asked to cruise at an easy pace. On the contrary, that’s what its “long legs” are also for.
Grip levels are fantastic, with the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tyres never relinquishing their grip on the tarmac. These “dancing shoes” are literally how the M4 Competition manages to slice through corners with little drama.
It is easy to establish a flow with the BMW M4 Competition. It won’t let me down and in return, I won’t disappoint it by confusing my abilities with my intentions.
I look forward to getting to know it more during our next waltz.
BMW M4 Competition 3.0 (A)
ENGINE 2993cc, 24-valves, inline-6, twin-turbocharged
MAX POWER 503hp (510PS, 375kW) at 6250rpm
MAX TORQUE 650Nm at 2750-5500rpm
POWER TO WEIGHT 279.4hp per tonne
GEARBOX 8-speed automatic with manual select
0-100KM/H 3.9 seconds
TOP SPEED 290km/h
CONSUMPTION 9.8km/L (combined)
PRICE INCL. COE From $451,888 (after $20k VES surcharge)
AGENT Performance Munich Autos