Mark Jones
Road Test Editor
2 minute read
5 Aug 2015
2:00 pm

BMW M4 Coupe stretched at Phakisa

Mark Jones

Fresh from a win in the straight line one kilometre top speed sprint event at ODI a month ago, I headed down to the Phakisa Freeway in Welkom with the BMW Car Club Gauteng to tackle this long, demanding and very fast circuit to prove my BMW M4 Coupe had just as much pace when the going gets twisty.

BMW M4 Coupe. Picture: Supplied

The event was the fifth round of the club’s Bridgestone BMW Club Racing Series championship, along with a Time Trial event for the street cars. A healthy field of race cars and time trial cars – mostly of the Bavarian variety of course, along with some of the best on offer from Italy, Japan and Germany – assembled at the Free State circuit to do battle.

The anticipation was thick in the air, with everybody waiting eagerly to see what this full house luxury street car on OEM tyres could do on the day. But when you are running a 2015 International Engine of the Year class-winning engine under the bonnet – all married to the best BMW M has to offer in the suspension and handling departments – your confidence levels pick up immediately.

A BMW M car is made for enthusiastic driving and my best lap time of one minute 55.616 seconds around the track backed this up 100%. It was a time that was good enough for the car to win its class again and beat many of the pukka race cars in the process. The only street cars to go quicker were a duo of Porsche 997 GT3 RS models, one only bettering the M4 time by five tenths of a second and the other running full slicks, managing to pull a two-second gap.

The new BMW M4 Coupe. Picture: Supplied

The new BMW M4 Coupe. Picture: Supplied

Can you imagine how quick the M4 would have been on stickier rubber and fitted with the optional carbon ceramic brakes? Sure, it takes a fair level of skill to extract the best out of a M car, but they are driver’s cars and are best enjoyed when driven with vigour.

A point worth noting: This very rapid 317kW/550Nm, award-winning, high revving M TwinPower Turbo in-line-six-cylinder powerplant is also quite frugal when not driven in the fashion described above and I managed a very respectable 8.3 litres/100km average fuel consumption for my trip down and back home from Welkom. The best of both worlds.

The next update on my time with the BMW M4 will be on October 7, which will be a road test featuring all the data as the BMW Driver’s Pack has been installed and a performance exhaust should also have been fitted.