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      07-14-2014, 03:45 PM   #1
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JPBesl's Avatar

Drives: 2014 F82 M4
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: NY

iTrader: (0)

From 991 C2S to M4

Well, I did it.

After over two years with the most amazing car I've driven in my life, I decided to switch it up a bit and go M4.

You can see my history in my signature - this is my 5th BMW, my last being an E92 M3. I've enjoyed every one of these cars at various stages of my life, but the C2S took the cake. You can read about my switch from M3 to C2S here:

So why did I come back? Well, firstly I couldn't pull off a move like this guy:

He wins

But also because I always wished I could use the car for family outings, in addition to my fun driving times. Now I've been hauling my daughter around in my 911 for two years, and in the E92 a year and a half before that, and I'm proud that she knows where the engine is in a 911, and that "daddy's car is fun". It was NOT a chore to do this - whoever discounts a 911 because of toddler toting is short-changing themselves.

But for longer trips, and days out shopping or going to a museum, with both my wife and daughter in the car, the 911 was suboptimal. So most of the time we wound up taking our family car.

From my test drives and reviews and reading forums, I was so impressed with how the M4 raised the bar on the E92 M3 that I felt it would be an overall net positive in my enjoyment of the car.

Two days in and the result is.... I was right.

Let's get the negatives out of the way first.

What's the biggest tradeoff? Weight and balance.

The feeling of weight transfer in the M4 is difficult to stomach after coming from the 911. It's actually a combination of overall weight added to the lack of the engine planting the wheels in the back.

The 911 became my best friend in these two years - always in Sport+, PDK in manual mode, PSM off. I could break the back end loose and it was sooo progressive (I know, counter-intuitive). Much more so than my E92 was. Less snap, more confidence.

What little understeer the car had could be corrected with a little trail-braking, and coming out of corners, I could plant my foot down and just launch. Foot to the floor, engine roaring behind me, hitting the apex pretty much every time. It did exactly what you told it.

I would go out for a drive and stand in my garage afterwards replaying what I just managed to accomplish in my head. I am NOT an amazing driver. It is a special car.

OK enough of what I miss, let's talk about this amazing M4

A couple days with the M4 and I have had DSC off literally since I drove it off the lot. Here's what I've learned.

Driving Dynamics:
  • If you get over the weight transfer feeling, it corners just as flat as my 911
  • With warm tires and road I can still lose traction at the rear in 1st -> 2nd and 2nd -> 3rd, but only with DSC completely off
  • I can get the tail out MUCH EASIER than the 911
  • It's MUCH easier to play with the rear end at low speeds
  • Oversteer is snappier than my 911, but not as snappy as my E92
  • I am much more likely to get arrested - the overall weight and solidity of the M4 masks your speed more than the 911. Speed alarm FTW


The DCT is so good - it matches the 911 PDK in terms of crispness and involvement. However, it lacks pulling both paddles to shift to neural (which goes further than you'd expect giving a feeling of involvement) and seems to have more play in the drivetrain when manually shifting gears and engine braking. Net result is that I'm giving my passengers a rougher ride if I elect to shift manually than in the 911. I may get better and learn to negate this with throttle and brake inputs.

One thing is I did have an ever so slight delay on the 911 PDK that gave me upshift timing trouble (see next section). I think the response of the M4's DCT is actually quicker in my driving style.


The sound is different. Good different though.

There's nothing like the sound of that 911 flat 6 at 7k RPM. Oh it's so good. But I don't miss it as much as I thought.

The exhaust note on the M4 is so ... dirty? menacing? guttural? All of the above? I really like it. It suits the car - and since I have Black Sapphire on black interior on black wheels, the whole package with that sound is so intimidating and wicked. It's a really nice change.

As I mentioned above, one thing I had trouble with on the 911 was hitting the rev limiter unintentionally. There was this weird delay in my PDK upshifts under hard acceleration that only hit sometimes, so I'd be feeling like a superhero at one moment and then get that power loss bounce off redline and hear a sad trombone in my head...

The thing is, given the power band of the 911 (and the awesome sound up there), I was playing over the 5k mark so much, especially while trying to get some tail movement, that this became an actual problem. Given the broad torque band of the M4, I'm only up near redline when I want to be, not because I need to be.

Comfort / Usability

This is one of the main drivers for my switch, and it does not disappoint. We've already had one family outing with all seats filled and every single person was comfortable. My wife was happy in the back playing with my daughter, and everyone felt the ride quality - even in Sport+ - was great for short or long trips.

iDrive and the general tech integration of the car is a huge step above Porsche. Now I'm here to drive, not poke around the computer, but just the feeling of premium features and technology you get for the price makes you feel that much better about the money you're spending. And hell, I will absolutely use many of the features - they won't go to waste.


No regrets. Another chapter in my automotive life that I'm proud to embrace. I am going to love learning this car, just like I loved learning the cars before it. And I'll do it while being able to really use it as a family hauler and getting my money's worth.

I'll miss my old friend, and I have no doubt I'll be in a 911 again someday. But one of the best things about cars is that if you don't get uptight and personal and fanboy and base your identity on them, you get to have so much fun enjoying them for what they are, and what they bring to your life.


2015 F82 M4 DCT (current) / 2012 991 C2S PDK / 2011 E92 M3 6MT / 2009 Cayman 6MT / 2007 E92 335i 6MT / 2004 E46 325xi 6MT / 2000 E36 Z3 M Coupe 5MT

Last edited by JPBesl; 07-14-2014 at 05:00 PM..