It’s hard to work with automotive numbers in the haze of the pandemic-crazed world of 2020 and beyond, but before it all kicked off, the United States was by far and away the biggest single market for the BMW M models. Among the most popular of those models is the BMW M4, the stunning 2-door high-performance coupe/convertible that still captivates year on year.
LEt's take a quick look at fun stuff to do to BMW M4s, in particular the BMW M4 exhaust options some other modification fan favorites other drivers have seen fit to make.
The aftermarket and modification world for the BMW M4 is a rich one, and owners love to show their personal flare by taking this finely crafted factory model and making it truly their own.
BMW M4 – Overview
First, let’s get an overview of what the OEM specification on the BMW M4 is. It’s hard to truly appreciate modification unless you know what it is that’s been changed and by how much. Your “standard” (without meaning to suggest it’s by any means merely ‘ordinary’) BMW M4 features:
- 3.0L TwinPower Turbo inline-6 engine delivering 473hp, and taking you from 0-60 in just 4.1 seconds (503hp and 3.8 seconds respectively in Competition Coupe).
- 11 standard exterior colors
- 8-speed MSTEPTRONIC transmission
- M Sport Differential as standard, along with Adaptive M Suspension
- M Compound brakes with red, blue, or black calipers
- LED headlights with Laserlight and L-shaped LED taillights
- Aerodynamic finned roof design to optimize airflow
- Rear diffuser and trunk spoiler designed to boost downforce
- Stunning interior with M Sport seats, illuminated M badges, infotainment, digital Live Cockpit displays and more
- Digital Key technology – unlock and lock your BMW M4 from your iPhone
- And the list goes on…
It’s a pretty picture they paint. There’s no doubt that the M4 is a well-made and fully loaded machine. Probably the biggest attraction of the BMW M4, or any member of the M Series in reality, is the M4 exhaust.
BMW M4 Exhaust Options
Looking back at the M4 in recent years, there have been three main options when it comes the M4 exhaust. These are the stock exhaust, the Competition exhaust and the Performance exhaust. All of these appear in the same quad-pipe in 2x2 layout, but there are some key differences in their sound and composition. Below we’ll look at each of these in turn:
BMW M4 Stock Exhaust
This is the “quiet” of the three, though still makes a very impressive sound, especially when switching to Sport mode. From a cold start in Efficient mode, you just have to wait a short time before you can kick in with Sport mode and really let the sound rip. What you hear on the cold start in Efficient mode, just as a point of reference, is the quietest you will ever hear the BMW M4 exhaust be.
BMW M4 Competition Exhaust
This one is the next step up from the stock exhaust. It’s also known by BMW as the “Sport” exhaust and came as part of the M Competition package. It has a lower and more dominant sound than the stock exhaust, even when working from a cold start.
Once again, the sound is taken up a notch when you make the switch to Sport mode, even deeper than the stock, especially when idling. It also ensures that the feedback and other noises while shifting are optimized to a more pleasing level than with the stock exhaust.
The Competition is a good step up from the stock M4 exhaust, but it came at a cost. When it was part of the Competition package, it set you back a cool $5,000 to have it added. Mind you, if you’re buying an M4, it’s likely an extra several thousand for a full sent of significant enhancements is neither here nor there.
BMW M4 Performance Exhaust
This exhaust set drivers back either $3500 as an individual add on, or as part of the $7,000 M Performance package. For those who want volume, this is the OEM exhaust that would best deliver. The tailpipe also came with nice additional aesthetics like the perforated carbon fiber-wrapped tips.
As we mentioned above, if the stock M4 exhaust options aren’t quite enough, then you certainly have options. Perhaps the most well-known alternatives include the AC Schnitzer exhaust option, as well as the Capristo, Akrapovic and Stanic. These are not just well known but among the best-engineered options on the market and each offers different types of sounds to suit your own taste.
Of course, modifying the exhaust is just one of the many things that BMW M4 owners can and do change. Below we’ll explore some of the other popular modifications that M4 drivers make after having achieved the exhaust sound they want.
BMW M4 Modified: What Options Are There?
Here are some of the most popular and fundamental ways in which many M4 owners have made their BMW M4 modified:
1. Exterior Carbon Fiber Additions
Switching out the front splitter for a carbon fiber one is a simple change but adds a great sense of style and gravity to the front end. Drivers also get carbon fiber side mirror caps, side skirts, rear splitter/spoiler, diffuser, tailpipe tips and more. Carbon fiber isn’t just for aesthetic, either, but also adds a protective element, especially when you’re looking at items like side skirts.
While the stock M4 is still marketed by BMW, and regarded by many fans, as a track-ready car, some still think that it sits too high on its suspension. They therefore look into getting the car lowered to add to that sleek, athletic aesthetic.
Modders often comment on how lowering the M4 helps tie the look together better; it makes the car into a single entity. You have to be careful with lowering if you’re driving in a place with a lot of speed bumps, however.
3. New Steering Wheel
The M Performance Steering Wheel is a popular mod choice, which not only looks nice with its Alcantara and carbon fiber coverings, but also with redline indicator lights at the top which you can customize to flash up when you hit a pre-set RPM.
So, the look is more stylish and the wheel actually more functional than the stock M4 wheel, which has received some complaints even from fans in the past few years.
Of course, no modder would change their M4 without at least considering giving it a tune up. You can tune the M4 coupe up to about 540hp on a pretty standard tuning, but there have always been much better offerings. Back in 2018, G-Power were featured on the BMW Blog as offering to take a 3.0L BMW M4 all the way up to 670hp and 561lb-ft of torque.
While you’re working in the engine department, you might also consider (as many M4 modders do) installing an upgraded air intake kit that you can get for $250 to $500 or so.
One popular variety is the VRSF High Flow model, which retains OEM cold air ducting while eliminating the restrictive upper part of the OEM intake. It’ll help to add around 14hp or so, as well as contributing to a better overall sound.
The aftermarket wheel selection is also incredibly varied for M4 drivers. Among the most popular brands are Avant Garde and their popular M series (M621, M510 and others), and BC Forged whose range includes dozens of monoblock and modular wheels for an M4 (and other cars, too).
The BMW M4: Modified from M4 Front to M4 Exhaust
High-spec as it is as it rolls off the production line, it’s still easy to see why many people choose to make their BMW M4 modified. It adds to the individual flavor, and brings further enhancements that OEM is often too restricted from bringing to you en masse.
Explore the rich aftermarket for more options and see just how much you can personalize your M4 exhaust and every other part.