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aFe Power's BMW M4: Review


The M4 filters out road and wind noise surprisingly well, and puts in its place real sounds coming from the engine bay through the speakers into the cab. However, once the aFe Power cat-back exhaust system was installed, the exhaust tones were much more noticeable in the cab and gave a deep growl throughout the power band, adding to the overall driving experience. [JM1] The aFe cat-back exhaust for the M4 also takes advantage of the butterfly valve that comes factory equipped to make the exhaust either quiet and refined or loud and aggressive at the push of a button.  [JM1]I found that there was a performance sound but it was still refined and not excessive.   Also, you have control over how loud the exhaust is with the two different modes.  The aFe exhaust utilizes the factory exhaust valves.  So you choose between a quieter mode through the muffler, or a louder mode when the exhaust valves are set to use the open exhaust path.

 aFe POWER is very familiar with the BMW M4. We’ve had at least three M4s here at the factory full time over the years to develop products for. With all that time spent testing, we’ve learned quite a lot about the successor to the M3. The M4 is a powerhouse that not only screams around a track, but does so intelligently with technology that BMW is world renown for. The twin turbocharged six-cylinder engine has a response that rivals the previous 4.0L V8 in the old E92 M3, and redlines at a screaming 7,500 rpm. The handling on the M4 is sharp, considering its weight of around 3,500 pounds, and hugs corners with precision. BMW decided to use electronically assisted steering, and luckily it feels tight and points the M4 where you want to go with a firm and consistent feel. Other cars with electronic steering sometimes make the driver feel disconnected from the road. The weight of the steering wheel is more on the heavy side, especially when in Sport+ mode, which helps you feel more connected to the ground when throwing the M4 into a hard corner.  We knew the suspension could benefit from a thicker set of sway bars, and set about creating a pair for the front and rear to give the M4 the edge it needed in the corners. Coupled with the set of lowering springs, the suspension immediately had a more race-oriented feel.

Overall, the BMW M4 is a solid value that puts down serious performance numbers like 0-60 times ranging from 3.8 – 4.2 seconds depending on which options you choose, and greatly benefits from any of our aFe POWER bolt-on performance parts. 

Traction holds very well with BMW’s stability control system, and doesn’t feel like it’s intruding on your driving experience. The electronically controlled Active M-Differential will allow for a little bit of tire slip if the driver wants to push the limits more when cornering. However, when the traction control is turned off, the M4 can easily disappear in a cloud of smoke thanks to its massive amounts of torque delivered to the rear wheels almost instantly. When we installed our aFe POWER Momentum intake for the M4, the power jumped 17 horsepower and sound of the turbos became more evident under acceleration.

The M4 is a true driver’s car. All the technology in this car is designed to bring the road to the driver with little distraction. The generous use of carbon fiber reinforced plastic is used throughout the M4 to save weight, and electronic driver assists are re-tuned from BMW specifically for the M4 to achieve the tight feel in the corners. The mono-scroll turbos deliver power instantly not unlike the feel of a supercharger, and that power is delivered to the rear wheels via a carbon fiber drive shaft for optimal performance. Four electronically controlled dampers help keep the wheels planted in high speed corners and can also deliver a smooth ride around the city. 

BMW claims only about 50% of the components on an M4 are shared with a standard 4 series, which shows just how involved the BMW M GmbH engineers were in the process of tuning the M4 to make it as precise as it is. This BMW comes with tons of creature comforts like 10-way electronically adjustable front seats with driver memory to support up to two different drivers. A standard 16-speaker Harmon Kardon sound system with two dedicated bass woofers under the front seats to provide clear and powerful sound. Dual zone climate control with both heated and vented seats work very well even in extreme hot or cold weather. There are also 360-degree parking cameras and enhanced Bluetooth capabilities all to benefit the driver.  Under the hood, the aFe Power Matte Carbon Fiber Engine Cover and BladeRunner Intercooler Tubes serve to give the M4 engine bay the appearance it deserves.

Safety isn’t compromised either with the performance-oriented M4. Front and side airbags with active knee protection comes standard, even for the backseat passengers. Impact sensors can detect a crash and immediately disconnect the fuel pump, alternator, and starter from the battery. The sensors can also automatically unlock the doors and turn on the hazards upon impact. The massive brakes are also able to bring the M4 to a full stop from 70mph in a just over 150 feet.  

aFe BMW M4
aFe BMW M4
BMW M4 Engine Bay
BMW M4 Brakes
aFe BMW M4 Hood Open

One thought on “aFe Power's BMW M4: Review”

  • Val Anthony Pakis
    Val Anthony Pakis January 3, 2019 at 12:59 am

    Hi. Have you guys addressed the real M2/3/4 problem with pebbles getting caught between the rear heat shield and brake rotor, which cause screeches like the rear end is falling out? Like re designed heat shields? You’d sell a million of them!

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