All M4s get three settings for the electrically assisted power steering and all have three modes of firmness on the adaptive dampers (as opposed to the usual two). All UK cars, meanwhile also come with 19-inch alloy wheels as standard, although the GTS rides on 20ins shod in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres.

Your options are Comfort, Sport and Sport+, but even in Sport+ the BMW is bearable on the smoothest UK roads. Generally, though, we found ourselves picking Comfort on the road and Sport+ on a circuit.

Nic Cackett

Nic Cackett

Road tester
The BMW M4 is inherently and pleasingly well balanced

The steering is weightier in its latter setting but feel remains similar in both, the only difference being that the signals reach you at a different amplitude. That’s fine by most of today’s standards, but it would send an E30 driver weeping into his Warsteiner at the inertness of it all.

Control of body movements is very good, though, for a 1600kg car, and the M4 drives with a maturity and isolation that is the logical progression from its predecessor.

Driving an M4 back to back with an M240i brings that into sharp context; the M4 feels like a bruising cruiser next to the more lithe, more agile, more compact M240i, although the long-anticipated M2 muddies those waters somewhat.

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In fact, the 2 Series feels more like a 3 Series coupé usually does. Or did. The M4, then, is a bit more grown up than the car that immediately preceded it. It has always been that way.

The M4’s road manners may have improved, but this isn’t a sensible, soulless car. The key ingredients are all here: a front-mounted engine with ample power to overwhelm the rear tyres, and, of course, the team at M division behind it.

Select the M4’s angriest settings and you’ll have a car that is adeptly tied down yet compliant over the worst bumps. Body movements are well contained and the M4 turns with decent willingness given its weight.

The rear diff can be completely open (and usually is under braking) so it doesn’t push into understeer on corner entry, or it can be completely locked, which turns the car into the kind of adjustable drift machine that M cars have recently become.

There’s also a track setting on the stability control that allows a bit of slip angle before gently intervening, which lets you drive the M4 on a neutral steer point, rear wheels happily straightening a line. So while there’s less incisiveness here than on earlier M cars, there is plenty of fun to be had.

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