BMW launched its 4-Series small executive car in 2013, but you could be forgiven for not noticing. It was a well-proportioned, neatly styled and luxuriously appointed car, but not the sort of thing to turn heads. It was restrained, you might say – perfect for a sensible, professional car. It was perfectly well suited to the larger part of BMW’s customer base, but past success with the M3 had taught BMW that there are number of people who want a luxurious, well-engineered car that does turn heads, and that was the rationale behind the M4.
The first the world knew of the M4 was in September, 2013, when BMW published its technical specifications, to whet everyone’s appetites for the start of production in 2014. As its name indicates, it was developed by BMW’s motorsports division, BMW M GmbH, and compared to the standard 4-Series it featured an upgraded engine, suspension and brakes, and carbon fibre was used throughout to save weight.
The engine in question was the S55B30 twin-turbocharged three-litre straight-six, which had been developed by BMW M specially for the new M3 and M4. Developing a prodigious 425bhp, the engine could be mated to either a six-speed manual or the seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, which could propel the car from 0 to 62mph in 4.3 and 4.1 seconds respectively.
Unless a sunroof was specified, the roof would be made entirely of carbon fibre, along with the boot lid and engine brace. Electric power steering was used, and one could choose between 18- or 19-inch wheels with lightweight forged alloys being standard. Blue compound brakes were standard, with gold ceramic brakes optional.
In a car that’s all about performance, you want to make the most of what the engine can offer, and to that end BMW used Active Sound to amplify the engine’s natural noise into the passenger cabin through speakers. Only the live sound of the engine can be heard, with no artificial sounds available, so you can shut out the wind and road noise while still revelling in the glory of the twin-turbo six.
That all sounds very good, but why not go one better? BMW wasn’t about to grow complacent, and in 2016 it released the M4 Competition, upgraded to give 444bhp and better handling through revised suspension, with new springs, dampers and anti-roll bars, and the electronic differential and Dynamic Stability Control were upgraded to match. Inside, the Competition was distinguished by lightweight sports seats with M-stripe woven seatbelts. Outside, visual identifiers extended to the M Sport exhaust with black chrome tail pipes, high-gloss Shadow Line trim and gloss black trim on the grilles, side intakes and boot badge. In keeping with its old slogan, BMW was still making the Ultimate Driving Machine.
The BMW M4 Competition has such an impressive specification that most owners are content to keep them as they came from the factory. This one, however, has been turned into an enhanced, bespoke model, a head-turner among head-turners. The vendor, a consultant for BMW, bought it new from Stephen James BMW in south-east London. It was subsequently used as a test car for a styling and enhancements programme in 2017 and 2018, which resulted in a unique specification including many details and upgrades which would not ordinarily be available from dealerships. The car was very finely tuned and thoroughly inspected, and a number of exterior styling enhancements were added.
All the design upgrades were done by POW Automotive, which is known as a specialist automotive consultant for manufacturers including BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Rolls-Royce, Nissan and Renault, as well as Formula One. A full account of this car’s development has been published here: BMW M4 COMPETITION (powdigital.co.uk)
The car is very low mileage because it has only been driven to and from garages. It has recently been MoTed and treated to a full oil upgrade, filter change and paint detailing.
The vendor has retained all the paperwork pertaining to his car on file. In addition to the V5C, there are the documents for the private registration, a booklet from Stephen James and the original owner’s manual. Plus, of course, there is a very large collection of documents detailing all the extensive work undertaken on the car.
The registration M4 UXD is included in the sale and has been valued at £1250.
The vendor tells us that none of the modifications affect insurance and it has been covered under GAP insurance for four years. It also has four years of no claims.
From what we have seen of the interior, we feel it can reasonably be described as like new. Finished in a racy combination of carbon fibre and red leather, the combination of styling and gadgetry lends the car a very futuristic feel, which is perhaps best experienced at night when the courtesy light illuminates the interior with a warm red glow. The vendor advises that there is a small scuff on the driver’s seat and some light wear on the stitching of its headrest, but otherwise it is excellent and the rear seats are ‘near mint’.
Some of the special features of the interior include:
red merino leather racing bucket seats with illuminated M badges
M4 door styling
360-degree surround cameras
android and iPhone integration
wireless telephone charger
heads-up display with M sport mode, satellite navigation and speed warning
full carbon fibre interior trim.
On the outside, the car looks like it has only just left the showroom floor, albeit with one small paint scratch caused by another car opening its door into the BMW, but this is not more than a few millimetres long. There is also a scuff at the rear boot exit which can only be seen when the boot is opened. Living in a city, the BMW has occasionally come into contact with less considerate vehicle users, and the vendor advises that although the car has been scratched twice in the past, all damage was repaired immediately and treated as an opportunity for further upgrades, all of which is documented. The photographs show some residue from where a sticker had been removed, but this has since been cleaned away.
In addition to factory design features such as a carbon fibre roof and Shadow Line exterior styling, custom styling touches include:
rear ducktail spoiler (Vorsteiner)
carbon fibre rear diffuser
carbon fibre rear side skirts
carbon fibre rear diffuser lips
carbon fibre front spoiler (M Power)
carbon fibre front splitter covers
carbon fibre eyelids
carbon fibre mirror caps
custom front plate deletion to support custom plates
custom M4 mini plates (front and rear)
carbon fibre M4 badges
limousine rear window tints
30 per cent front tints
custom 3D bubble-finish number plates.
The wheels are 20-inch 666 alloys with Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres.
As outlined earlier, the mechanical specification of the M4 is nothing less than extremely impressive, with features such as the dual-clutch gearbox, large M sport brakes and paddle-shift. Specific to the Competition models are features such as 19bhp peak power boost, retuned Active M differential and retuned dynamic stability control system.
The car has had new springs, dampers and anti-roll bars fitted. The three drive modes have been reconfigured and adaptive dampers added. It has the standard limiter, cruise control and parking sensors featured on all contemporary M cars.
It sports a larger M sport exhaust and the vendor tells us ‘the initial start-up sound is beefier and stronger than the standard M4 and the overall exhaust sound is far more prominent’. Part of the fine-tuning process of 2017 and 2018 involved making the throttle blips more prominent, and the cold start-up flaps were set to open as default, although they can easily be reset.
In any crowd of car enthusiasts, there will invariably be some who complain that modern car design is uninspiring. Clearly, they need to see this M4 Competition. Racy and menacing on the outside, futuristic and a little bit sci-fi on the inside, here is a car guaranteed to make anyone who appreciates high-performance engineering and subtle custom details turn weak at the knees.
One of the advantages of a performance saloon over an out-and-out supercar is that, while they may be most at home on an empty stretch of Tarmac, they can still be used around town for daily tasks and not attract the wrong kind of attention. In short, they offer practicality and performance combined. This is a car which should be bought to be enjoyed, and we hope the vendor will be able to have some fun with it, but it’s nice to know that it can be used for a trip to the shops if necessary, too. Isn’t that everything you could possibly want from a car?
Notice to bidders
This vehicle is subject to third party financing. The amount of finance due on the vehicle is less than the reserve. The seller will discharge the financing debt and all related costs absolutely within two full working days from the end of the auction on a successful sale and will confirm to the buyer that such release has occurred. This obligation will be implied into the contract of sale between the buyer and the seller on auction close. Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.
As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the sellers discretion.
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