BMW M4 Coupe ‘Virtual’ First Drive
Fans of the new BMW 4 Coupe can get behind the virtual wheel of the car, months ahead of its launch, thanks to Playstation 3’s driving game Gran Turismo 6.
The brand new car was only revealed earlier this week and won’t make its public debut appearance until next year’s Detroit Motor Show in January.
But even though it’s not on sale until June 2014, driving the car can now be replicated on your TV screen, thanks to Gran Turismo 6. From yesterday the BMW M4 Coupe has become available for players to add to their garages free of charge.
It represents an intriguing opportunity for BMW fans and indeed any fast car enthusiast to experience a hotly anticipated new model so soon.
Even better, the Gran Turismo series is renowned for its highly realistic interpretation of driving real-life cars. The developers of Gran Turismo 6, Polphony Digital, were entrusted with a lot of technical data from BMW to authentically create the feel of the M4 Coupe for players.
So we deployed the gaming steering wheel and pedals to get a very early taste of the new M4.Naturally because we wanted to test the limits of this new hot coupe, we took the M4 for a test run on the Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit. Stretching for 12.93 miles and consisting of 154 turns, many of which are tricky, the Nordschleife will severely punish any car that can’t handle well.
The good news though is that on the basis of our ‘virtual’ first drive, the M4 Coupe is a good handling car and certainly feels quick.
The M4 Coupe is equipped with a 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol engine, linked with a six-speed manual transmission as standard.
According to the readings in Gran Turismo 6, the M4 Coupe produces 425bhp but official reports from this week confirm that in reality the car will actually have 431bhp. The game also suggests that there will be at least eight paint colours to choose with the M4, including rather distinct finishes like ‘Austin Yellow’.
In real life, the M4 Coupe will have an electronically limited top speed of 155mph but in Gran Turismo this restriction does not apply. Assuming an optional package which removes this speed limiter is made available for the real M4 Coupe, it will be capable of reaching over 170mph (where legal of course).
While the M4 Coupe is a quick car, it also requires a delicate approach. Depending of course on the exact set-up for traction control and the tyres used, it is fairly easy to get the back end of the M4 out of sorts. While this can look spectacular, it can also mean a sudden trip off the tarmac.
Drive the M4 Coupe aggressively and major understeer can easily occur if you’re timing with the brakes isn’t perfect. In general this is a car that takes an unforgiving approach toward its driver.This is likely appeal to potential M4 customers, hoping for a pure kind of driving experience which won’t be overshadowed with artificial-inducing technical gadgets.
Take a respectful and measured approach when driving the M4 Coupe at all times, and the rewards should feel very satisfying indeed.
In case you’re wondering, the fastest lap time we set around the Nurburgring Nordschleife in the M4 was 7 minutes and 51.4 seconds. To add some context, in real life the quickest lap set by the 510bhp Aston Martin DBS Coupe at the same circuit is slower by just over ten seconds.
The BMW M4 Coupe will start from £56,635.