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2022 BMW M4 Competition xDrive Test Drive

When it comes to variants of the second-generation 4 Series lineup, BMW definitely has its bases covered. Aside from the trio of body styles offered (Coupe, Convertible and Gran Coupe), the redesigned 4 Series offers some of the best performance in its class. 

As always, the M4 stands at the top of the 2022 BMW 4 Series lineup, but if the "standard" M4 isn't enough performance, there's always the more intense M4 Competition. That's the version I was able to sample for this review, and it was equipped with the new-for-2022 xDrive all-wheel drive option.

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2022 BMW M4 Competition xDrive Exterior

2022 BMW M4 Competition xDrive Test Drive

Critics and keyboard warriors have made a huge deal about the M4's massive grille. But in reality, BMW has done an excellent job differentiating the new 4 Series from the 3 Series sedan. Because while the original 4 Series looked just like a two-door version of the sedan, this new 4 Series has a completely distinctive design. In my opinion, it actually looks more like a scaled-down 8 Series coupe, which is one of the most beautiful cars on the market right now. 

That said, if you hate the grille on the standard 4 Series, you're probably not going to love the taller grille on the M4, which is complemented by a wider lower air intake to help accommodate the cooling demands of the more powerful engine. Aside from the bolder face, the M4 coupes are easy to spot with elements that include the scalloped hood, vented front fenders, carbon fiber roof and the M-signature aero sculpted mirrors. With lightweight forged alloy wheels (measuring 19x9.5 inches in front and 20x10.5 inches in rear), and a black, quad exhaust setup, the M4 Competition steps things up further. 

Color-wise, the 2022 M4 is available in a rainbow of high-impact finishes, including my tester's beautiful Isle Of Man Green Metallic, a $550 option.

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2022 BMW M4 Competition xDrive Interior

2022 BMW M4 Competition xDrive Test Drive

Except for the M steering wheel, some added carbon fiber trim, and subtle red and blue seat belt stitching, the styling of the 2022 BMW M4 Competition isn't all that different from the 2022 BMW M440i I drove last year. 

Of course, this tester was no base model M4, as it upgraded from the standard interior with $3,800 carbon fiber racing-style bucket seats and thanks to the $2,550 Kyalami Orange leather interior, plenty of color. The $1,800 Executive Package adds a heated steering wheel, power-activated trunk lid, heads-up display, wireless smartphone charging, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and BMW's Gesture Control. Standard cabin tech on the M4 Competition includes the M-specific 12.3 inches wide digital gauge display, along with a 10.25-inch infotainment screen with cloud-based navigation (BMW Maps), and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

As a compact, four-seater coupe, there's no denying that the best place to enjoy the M4 Competition is from behind the wheel, but the new 4 Series is longer and wider than its predecessor. This change has allowed the rear seats to offer enough legroom and headroom for kids, and in a pinch, even adults can fit. Rear occupants will appreciate being able to charge their electronic devices with a pair of USB ports, and for even more practicality, this coupe provides a respectable 12 cubic feet of gear. 

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2022 BMW M4 Competition xDrive Performance

2022 BMW M4 Competition xDrive Test Drive

Until the higher-power, lighter-weight M4 CSL debuts for 2023, the M4 Competition represents the peak performance trim currently available for the latest 4 Series coupe. While the 2022 BMW M4 Competition uses the same 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline-six, it's tuned to produce 503 horsepower and 479 lb-ft, as opposed to the "standard" M4's 473 horsepower and 406 lb-ft. 

Unlike the M4, which comes standard with a six-speed manual gearbox, the M4 Competition is only equipped with an eight-speed automatic. Sure, this forces buyers to use an automatic, but it rewards them with neck-snapping acceleration. With the new xDrive all-wheel drive option, the sprint from zero to 60 mph takes just 3.4 seconds, which is almost a half second quicker than the rear-drive M4 Competition, and 0.7 seconds quicker than the M4. That's the kind of performance that even the diehard #SaveTheManuals crowd can't argue with.

While the power output is impressive, the overall balance of the M4 Competition is what makes this car truly special. In daily driving, the coupe is comfortable, composed, and with EPA-rated fuel economy estimates of 16 mpg city and 22 mpg highway, moderately efficient. But drop the hammer, and this machine quickly proves it's ready for anything. The standard launch control system is simple to operate, and rockets the car off the line like a new-age rollercoaster, and its cornering potential makes cloverleaf onramps a smile-inducing event. 

The 2022 BMW M4 Competition comes standard with rear-wheel drive, and for an extra $4,100, buyers can now choose the xDrive all-wheel drive option. Impressively, the extra grip only adds 99 pounds to the M4 Competition's curb weight. 

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2022 BMW M4 Competition xDrive Safety

2022 BMW M4 Competition xDrive Test Drive

The new BMW 4 Series has yet to be given a safety rating by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. But this coupe comes standard with plenty of advanced safety features, including Frontal Collision Avoidance, Pedestrian Warning with Braking Function, Blind Spot Detection, Lane Departure Warning with Steering Correction, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Rear Collision Preparation, and Automatic High Beams.

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2022 BMW M4 Competition xDrive Overall

2022 BMW M4 Competition xDrive Test Drive

Now, you can hate on the styling of the new 4 Series all you want. But drive the 2022 BMW M4 Competition, and you'll find little to complain about. Even though this high-powered four-seater may have been bred for the track, it's still a comfortable and manageable luxury vehicle, which will handle a daily commute with aplomb. 

While a base 430i coupe is priced starting at $45,800, the M4 Competition rings in at $72,000. Decked out with the all-new xDrive all-wheel drive option, the well-equipped M4 Competition coupe used for this review had an as-tested price of $95,345.

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Jeffrey N. Ross | July 26, 2022

2022 BMW M4 Competition xDrive

Layout

2-door
4-passenger
AWD

Engine/Transmission

Twin-turbo 3.0L I6
503 hp, 479 lb-ft
8-speed automatic

Mileage

16/22
(city/hwy)

NHTSA Rating

N/A


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**Based on EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending on specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.