The driver of a 2015 BMW M4 demonstrated for amused and horrified Cars and Coffee attendees in California that the traction and stability control settings on the all-new BMW M4 are not to be toyed with.
It is unclear if the driver was attempting to drop the clutch and do a smoky burnout to impress his fellow cars and coffee pals, or if he was attempting to simply hammer the throttle to create a mechanical bellow from the BMW’s 6-cylinder engine. The M4 comes with an in-line 6-cylinder turbocharged engine producing 425 horsepower. However, the torque is the cause of the difficulties the driver in the video discovered. The M4 creates 406 ft-lbs of twist at just off idle. Enough to spin the rear tires at any road-going speed if the incorrect gear is selected, or if the clutch or throttle are used incorrectly. The cars sounds like it is in second gear in the video and also sounds like a manually-shifted car. The driver may have thought that second gear was a safe gear to hammer the throttle, but remember, all of the car’s torque is on-tap in the BMW M4 after an upshift, unlike most cars, which built torque with revs.
The driver may be embarrassed, but should consider himself lucky. The tire and suspension damage resulting from this off-road excursion is nothing compared to what might have happened were another motorist coming in the other direction, or if the pole in the center island joined the party.
The reason for this accident is almost certainly operator error, or is it? Was the BMW M4 designed to be a daily driver, driven by “normal” drivers in an aggressive fashion? MotorTrend asked the vice president of engineering, BMW M, Albert Biermann, about the M4 in an interview. In that interview he uses the term “Racecar” “Racetrack”, or “Track car” seven times to answer just five questions. For example, when asked “What are the five things about your car that you’d want people to know?”, Biermann responds in part “This is not a pretender. Like all the M3s before, this a track car.” Apparently, when BMW tells you that the M4 is a car for the track, they are not kidding.
This is why we can’t have nice things. Cars and Coffee in Irvine was suspended last month because of safety concerns, likely due to incidents like this.