More good news: the M4’s growth spurt hasn’t detracted one iota from its ability to get down a good B-road like a true entertainer. The M4 Competition’s is a world-class chassis, one that offers exceptional precision on turn-in, plenty of grip and stability mid-corner, and sublime on-throttle adjustability if you choose to explore what happens when you over-rotate those rear tyres just beyond the limit of adhesion.

The typically thick-rimmed steering wheel still feels a bit overly chunky in your hands and stops a little short of giving a high-definition report of the exact textural makeup of the road beneath you all the time. But it’s nonetheless capable of telegraphing lateral load on the front tyres really consistently and inspiring a healthy dose of confidence in the car’s incisive handling talents.

M4 Competition’s quick-geared helm makes it exceptionally responsive and agile; it contains its mass well, remaining flat, sure-footed and confidence-inspiring in turns.

Fairly quick gearing – there are 2.2 turns between locks – causes the M4 to respond energetically to steering inputs, but its directional agility is backed up by a cool sense of control and directional stability.

It goes where you point it exactly and keenly, without contrivance or hyperactivity and with steering weight and resistance building up in an intuitive and natural way, to paint a clear picture of how the front tyres are holding up beneath you.

An Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio might be keener still to turn, but there’s abundant interactivity, feedback, engagement and positivity available here, both at fast road speeds and on track.

The M4 controls its body movements with equal precision. You can sense its mass moving from side to side at times, but the car itself stays really flat as you load up the chassis, and it translates steering input into lateral load with so little energy wasted. Its rigidly mounted rear subframe no doubt contributes to this eerily close sense of body control and composure, which works with the generous bolstering on those bucket seats to give your backside a running commentary on the rear axle’s relationship with the road.

You can really feel when you’re approaching the limit of lateral grip in this car, which isn’t something that could be said about the F82- generation M4. And yet this new M car has been neither watered down nor softened up in order to achieve that. On the contrary, it’s got a clearer and more ready sense of dynamic poise and precision than any direct rival we can think of.

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The M4 Competition’s performance on MIRA’s dry circuit was impressive, and all the more so considering our test car was some way from being in what BMW might consider a track-optimised specification (standard iron brakes, regular PS4S tyres). Yes, it worked those brakes hard, but they still survived close to an hour’s examination without serious fade.

The tyres resisted overheating to give finely balanced but robust grip that could be adjusted with tyre pressure, for superbly absorbing, throttle-adjustable handling.

M Dynamic mode for the electronic stability control gives a reassuring safety net in the wet and dry without killing chassis response stone dead. Switch it off and you can adjust traction control on its own through 10 settings, the least intrusive of which permit lurid and indulgent oversteer. However you want your track driving to go, the M4 is ready to help rather than get in your way.

Comfort and Isolation

Getting in and out of the M4 Competition isn’t as straightforward as you might think. You need a lot of space to get those long doors open, and you need to navigate your legs over the chunky side bolsters of the bucket seats. Once you’re in, though, boy, does the BMW impress.

You sit low down, directly in front of the steering wheel and in close proximity to all the important controls. The chairs are firm, but they hold you in place so gracefully and comfortably that you can almost overlook how much they add to the price of the car.

Unsurprisingly, the ride is firm and can be just a little brittle over really uneven Tarmac. But with the adaptive dampers set to Comfort, there’s enough pliancy on smooth, fast roads to make the M4 Competition a very competent long-distance tourer, if not always the most relaxing one. That said, at low speeds and in Sport mode, there’s still plenty of bite about the car’s damping. Sport+, meanwhile, is best left for circuits.

The M4 is a little noisy at pace. The roar generated by the 19in front and 20in rear wheels and tyres is considerable, and at 70mph our microphones recorded cabin noise at 73dB – that’s 3dB louder than the Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupé we road tested back in 2019. Most testers said it wouldn’t be enough to discourage them from using the car on longer journeys, though.

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