Controversial looks aside, the new BMW M4 Competition and M440i xDrive are both excellent performers but as this video reveals, it is the full-blown M car that has the clear advantage.
Driving the M440i xDrive is the automaker’s B58 3.0-liter turbocharged straight-six engine supplemented by a mild-hybrid 48-volt starter-generator, resulting in a total of 380 hp and 368 lb-ft (500 Nm) of torque. Those figures put it within striking distance of the previous-generation M4. It’s fortunate then that BMW has left no stone unturned in creating the new generation of its compact M coupe.
The new M4 uses the same 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged straight-six as the X3 M and X4 M and in Competition guise, delivers 503 hp and 479 lb-ft (650 Nm) of torque. Unlike the M440i xDrive, the M4 Competition is currently only available in rear-wheel drive configuration.
The first half of the test takes place on a tight, technical handling circuit and the M440i sets a best time of 31.01 seconds, with the driver having encountered heaps of understeer when pushing the car to its limits. After jumping into the M4 Competition, he says it feels like an entirely different car and provides far superior front-end grip. It is so much better that it sets a best time of 28.43 seconds, a huge gap considering how short the track was.
Things get very interesting when two drag races are held between the pair. In the first race, the M440i gets a far superior launch as the M4 struggles for traction. The second is much closer as the two both get off the line very well. Who wins? Find out for yourself in the video below.