Tag: BMW M4

New Audi RS5 First drive: Better than the competition?

New Audi RS5 First Drive

“Let it not be a disappointment, let it not be a disappointment” was the phrase going through most of our minds when we first laid eyes on the new RS5 at the recent Audi Sport media launch. The previous one simply didn’t live up to the extremely high standards that the B7 RS4 set. Compared to the C63 coupe and M3 of that time, it didn’t capture us the same way the competition did. The likes of BMW and Mercedes AMG haven’t made it any easier for the new RS5, with their current weapons of mass destruction. The C63 is the muscle car of the segment with its boisterous V8 BiTurbo, whilst the M4 is a precise track tool. Where then does this new RS5 fit in?

Aesthetically, it’s right up there. Oddly enough, in a normal colour with non-glossy wheels you can easily mistake it for an S5. However, throw in a loud colour, the glossy bits and the extra special shiny aluminum 20 inch wheels and you’ve got a knuckle bitingly beautiful car. The interior also makes you feel like you work very hard for your money. It’s plush, luxurious yet understated. Overall, just looking at the car would make any potential M4 and C63 coupe buyer think twice.

Starting the car gives you a welcome V6 growl from its 2.9 litre bi-turbo. It’s not very loud but loud enough to make passersby look. The exhaust note of the RS5 almost sets the tone for the persona of this car. It can be likened it to a smooth-talking individual, who is more about action instead of just talk. A claimed 0 – 100 time of 3.9 seconds is a whole lot of action and you would expect it to explode your senses when you put your foot down. It doesn’t though strangely enough. We’re so used to the theatrics from the BMW and Mercedes – which scamper and squirm off the line due to immense torque being presented the rear wheels very quickly. The RS5 doesn’t do that, it caresses you to illegal speeds, allowing you to keep your coffee intact as you zoom into the land of the detained. Was I disappointed? Initially, I wanted more. More drama, more playfulness, more edge of your seat kind of stuff. But no, instead I was given comfort, refinement and a sweet sounding V6 with enough torque on tap to not even warrant a downshift, when I needed to move a slower driver. Is that it then? A nicer looking S5 with more power? Surely there must be more to this car.

Dutoitskloof pass in Cape Town is a lovely stretch of road that allows you to get a feel of a vehicles capabilities. This pass was the RS5’s saving grace in my opinion, as it showed us its unique appeal – accessibility. In this segment, there’s “power” and then there’s “accessible power”. The BMW M4 and Mercedes AMG C63 have got immense power, but I could put money on the table that most of those vehicles drivers only access around 60-70% of that power in situations that allow for it, especially around corners. Put your foot down in the aforementioned cars and you’re met with the infamous traction control light, which reminds you that it’s keeping you alive. Powering out of corners and it’s the same thing, the traction control light is flickering away, keeping the car from oversteering. Of course, if you’re that way inclined, you’ll switch the systems off and manage everything on your own. If that’s your thing, this article is not for you. If not and you simply want “point and squirt” performance, read on.

The RS5’s ability of allowing the driver to drive the wheels off it with little drama is unmatched in this segment. This is simply because of its 4WD setup. If you’re not a knob and you respect the fact that almost all cars with this setup will understeer should you come into a corner too fast, you’ll love it. “Slow in, fast out” is the age-old recipe for an enjoyable RS5 experience, follow that rule and you’re set. In my layman hands, I felt that I could extract everything I wanted to out of the car, within my limits. No drama, just simple straightforward performance, all 331kW 600N.m of it. Steering felt good too, not extremely intuitive but enough for me to place the front end where I wanted, and exit out of corners with ease.

New Audi RS5

When it’s all done, put the car back in Comfort and continue your conversation as if nothing happened. It was after this that I realized what the new RS5 was about. It’s a great road car first and a stellar performance car second. It plays both fields very well, better than the competition to be honest. Where the Bimmer and Merc are more visceral, it’s more liveable, which is what many people want. Before considering any of the cars in this segment, you need to understand what you want from the car. You want to shred tyres? Then the RS5 is not for you. You want an excellent all-rounder? Then there’s something for you here. I’m just happy to report that the new RS5 is not a disappointment. When spending over R1 million rand in this league, you’ll buy what you like at the end of the day and in this segment, all of the cars are very good at what they do. Can’t I just have them all?

Audi RS5 Pricing in South Africa

The Audi RS 5 Coupé is priced at R1 285 500, standard with the 5 year/100 000km Audi Freeway Plan.

A BMW M4 for everybody: Which is best for you?

A BMW M4 for everybody: Which of the many variants is best for you?

BMW M4 GTS INTERIOR

Times have changed in the BMW M stable. Previously, when it came to the M3, things were simple, if you wanted one of these cars, you had three choices – a coupe, a sedan and a convertible. After a few years, there was a facelift and everybody carried on with their lives. Now however, if you want a sedan, you can get still get an M3 but if you want a coupe, this is where things have become rather confusing. It all started with the BMW M4, a deliciously good looking car that feels and sounds like a wild animal with bronchitis. Yes, the M4 is very good and those who don’t like it are strange. In the years since its launch, we’ve been presented with the standard car, a Competiton Package, a GTS, a DTM Champion Edition and launching locally later this year, a CS variant. As much as we like all things M4, the question does come to one’s mind, “are there too many variants of this car?”

Before you say anything, we know both the GTS and the DTM Champion Edition are cars that are technically unavailable because BMW has sold them all. That doesn’t mean that you can’t buy them though, you just need to have more money than brains to purchase one of these at the prices that used car dealers are asking for them. Since we at TheMotorist have driven every variant of this car, bar the upcoming CS, we’re going to give a breakdown of each car, should your mind be frazzled as to which one to get…

 

Standard M4

This is the car that started it all. It somewhat paid homage to the E46 M3 with its Austin Yellow paintwork that looked very similar to the Phoenix Yellow we loved to hate. This car was the first M car in the M3/M4 lineage to feature turbocharging. What a difference it made in performance noise because as fast as it was, it didn’t sing the way the E90/E92 did. Soon, people got over that and focused on the fact that they had 317 kW/550 N.m at their disposal. The M4, however, was unlike the E92 in terms of power delivery.

The previous model allowed you to take chances due to its power band climaxing at higher revs, whereas the F82 gave you everything down low. As a result, you had a razor sharp chassis with an engine that was ready to bite if you didn’t give it the respect it deserves. The “on edge” persona the new BMW M4 has, has caused people to love and respect the car. Put simply, the standard car is enough vehicle for most and can tend to be too much car for the inexperienced.

BMW M4 Engine

 

BMW M4 Competition Package

The “Comp Pack” is essentially the same car as the standard M4, with more power and better-looking wheels. By the time this car was released, the GTS is a car we had come to know. The CP has a wheel design similar to that of the GTS but in a single colour, unlike the GTS which has gold bits on the wheel design. Most importantly, the 331 kW the CP delivers may be a cause for concern for those who had perhaps not gotten used to the standard M’s snappy nature. Surprisingly, driving the CP wasn’t as scary as one imagined. Yes, the added power means you can further irritate Porsche’s but, the larger wheels seem to have lessened the “I’m just going to over-steer now” antics we expected. In fact, the CP’s setup gives you more confidence to explore the performance of the M4 as it feels slightly more sure-footed. This is our personal favourite of the lot.

BMW M4 Competition Package

 

BMW M4 GTS

The “matte grey monster”. Firstly as a 5ft 7 inch person, one feels like an infant in a GTS because the racing bucket seats are at the lowest setting possible. Yes looking at the car may have given you goosebumps or caused you to cringe as feelings on its aesthetics were either hot or cold. Sitting in it, however, was a different experience altogether. The gold roll cage behind you for starters means you can only have one friend drive with you. The seats only go forwards and backwards and the doors open by way of a length of “string” with M colours on it. The car has been stripped to be lighter but thankfully you still have a radio in it. This car does a good job at disappearing into the sunset as it features 368 kW/600 N.m. The way it does that is impressive, but dynamically it’s a different story to a standard M4 or even the CP. The added aero and steering setup makes for a very fast front end so turn in is quicker than expected. Front end grip is also great, but that rear end will light up faster than a chain-smoker in an open area.

The wild nature of the standard M4 is further amplified in this car, which makes it exciting but scary to manhandle. Water injection featured on this car and other performance tweaks make this the wildest M4 you can get. Again, as much as you can’t buy one of these new anymore, there are a few available selling for around R3 million, making this the M4 you want if you have money to burn.BMW M4 GTS

BMW M4 DTM Champion Edition

The M4 DTM Champion Edition is the M4 you want if the matte and gold combination is not for you. In essence, this car and the GTS are identical in terms of power, with the only difference being the added aero. The DTM features a smaller rear wing and does without the front splitter you get in the M4 GTS. Handling differences are negligible between the two, with only the most highly skilled of drivers able to specifically pinpoint major differences. All in all, the white paintwork with BMW M colours on the body look better than the GTS’s “out there” design in our opinion. In terms of pricing, the DTM is in the same bracket as the GTS, although fewer examples of these came into South Africa, meaning that you should pay slightly more if you really want one.

BMW M4 DTM Champion Edition

 

BMW M4 CS

The upcoming M4 CS is another limited edition model aimed to fit in between the Competition Package and the GTS. It will feature around 340 kW/600 N.m, slightly less than the GTS and slightly more than the CP. Unlike the GTS which is a car meant for the track, the CS is aimed at the road, with a non-adjustable rear splitter and rear seats, allowing for your little ones to join in on the fun. So this variant is for the buyer who wants the most performance you can get out of an M4, whilst still retaining certain creature comforts like four seats.

BMW M4

All in all, we have to admit that BMW has given us many M4’s to choose from. These choices are good but they do border on being too much. Nothing can take anything away from a standard M4 and its credentials. Bang for buck, we feel the M4 Competition Package offers the most value for money. The CS will probably be great but that extra power and exclusivity will come at a price. The DTM and GTS are for collectors who can’t stand to not have those special editions parked in their garage. For that customer, money is no object, then again anyone who can afford an M4 not exactly on a tight budget.  

 

 

BMW M4 DTM Champion Edition

Another BMW M4 you wish you could have.
For those who have great means but weren’t worthy an of invitation to own the BMW M4 GTS, there is hope. Enter the M4 DTM Champion Edition, a celebration of DTM success by BMW in honour of Marco Wittmann. In 2014, Marco won his first championship title and now in 2016 he has done it again. BMW sure knows how to say well done, in this case they’ve done this:

What’s different:
The M4 DTM Champion Edition features a power output of 368kW and 500Nm, which means the 0-100km/h sprint will take you 3.8 seconds. The way the car delivers this power is through the same water injection system in the M4 GTS. As we know, colder air going into an engine means better performance. This special edition is not limited to more power only, as visual and aerodynamic features have been added. The iconic BMW colours are present on the bodywork, as well as different front and rear splitters and a large rear wing which creates a look that is both beautiful and badass. The interior makes use of race car style bucket seats and a role cage too.

Limited Edition:
The M4 DTM Champion Edition is limited to 200 units worldwide, which makes it a super exclusive car to own. You can also have it in any colour you want, as long as its Alpine white. Another great feature about the M4 DTM Champion Edition is the rear lights, which are identical to those of the M4 GTS. So at least the majority of the people who will only see the rear of the car, will have a great view to look at (We hope these taillights will be available on normal M4’s too soon).

What will this beauty cost? You’re looking at roughly R2.3 million. Ouch.

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