Porsche adepts may be surprised by this comparison. In their eyes, the 911 Carrera S is almost a supercar, while the BMW M4 is 'a sporty coupé'. That may have been true for the previous BMW M4. It felt great in the hand, was light-footed and did not quickly deviate from the ideal line on the track. Still, next to the current BMW M4, it feels like a car from a distant past. The new generation is so much better and more powerful that it plays in a higher division. With its 510 hp, it is even considerably more powerful than the Porsche 911 Carrera S (450 hp).
The previous M4 forced its driver into super-fast interventions in the limit range with a quickly breaking out rear. If not the new one. He remains as stoic as Dr. Pimple Popper who acts decisively against the umpteenth boil. He stays calm and does his thing: make short work of everything that stands in his way at breakneck speed. Without deviating from the ideal line for a moment.
“The grip of the BMW M4 Competition is amazing. Especially when you consider that he only brings his 510 hp onto the asphalt via the rear wheels.”
With the precision of an old math teacher you cut corners. Not with the help of a triangle and a compass, of course. But with the extremely sensitive precision tools that BMW casually refers to as 'steering'. The grip is amazing. Especially when you consider that the engine only brings its gigantic power to the asphalt via the rear wheels.
To be fair, the adjustable traction control (option) is also a masterful cog in the gripping machinery that makes this M4 so much better than its predecessor. Two years ago we also let them compete against the 911 on the 4.5 kilometer long Grand Prix section of the Nürburgring. With a lap time of 1:39.7 as the best result. Now the measuring equipment shows 1:37.7. It never lies, which means the new M4 punches a two-second gap. The layman shrugs it off, but in racing this is really a huge difference. Moreover, he puts this time down with a minimum of drama, while with the previous one we felt that we had to work very hard for it.
But the question is, of course, whether this fantastic result is enough to leave the 911 Carrera S behind. Drum roll... Well, no, although it's less than before. The Porsche stops the measuring equipment at 1:36.7, exactly 1 second earlier than its opponent.
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That is also a big difference in the racing world. We have to say that the Porsche did not appear at the start in its standard clothes. We were given the test car with important options such as the sports suspension, four-wheel steering, carbon ceramic brakes and a few more dynamic dings. The whole package costs many thousands of euros, but those who want to use the Porsche 911 as a track tiger will certainly be happy with it. Although he or she has to pay almost 186,000 euros.
We know few cars that enter into such an intensive dialogue with their driver as the Carrera S and where that conversation also takes place in such perfect harmony. We never catch the car making dramatic tire screeching. Nor does the man or woman behind the wheel let a cross word escape their lips. Many a much more powerful supercar has bitten all its teeth on the 911 on this track. It is absolutely no shame that the BMW M4 also joins this group. In addition, in the tested version (148,538 euros) it is almost 40 mille cheaper than the 911.
The full comparison test, including all readings, is in Auto Review 7/2021.
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