February 22, 2024

Wade Through Films

The Ultimate Driving Machines

From American muscle to an M440 to an M4CX


Previous vehicles: All V8, all American muscle. Had a WRX for about 3 months before swapping it back out for a Durango. Also have had a multitude of motorcycles here and there that scratched the itch for speed and fun.

Then Covid hit, life got…well, a bit interesting for a while, and I decided to pull the trigger on my first BMW, a 2021 M440 xDrive. You can see my thread on delivery here. (it’s worth a read too, I promise).

A key anecdote that I’m struggling to update to describe how it feels to progress to the M4:


Originally Posted by NorCalAthlete
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I once heard the saying (maybe on this board, I don’t remember) “If you don’t look back at your car and smile every time you park it, you picked the wrong car.” Maybe it’s just the honeymoon phase but…let me see if I can do it justice here: I’ve owned 500 hp cars before (Camaro) and driven 1,200+ hp cars before (TransAm). I’ve owned pickup trucks and SUVs, and ridden many a motorcycle. If the Camaro was a Diesel jeans model who did photoshoots for Roxy on the side, she’d have piercings and tattoos in all the right (and wrong) places and leave you panting for breath while begging for more. The M440 [now M4CX] is the stunner you met at a New Year’s masquerade who turns out to be just as fun but far more refined, used to all the finer things in life as she’s a trust fund daughter of a multi millionaire. This is the one you marry. Suffice to say, it’s been less than a week and I’m in love.

I went to a few meetups and got bit by the G82 bug. The hook was set. Then my sales guy called from the dealership and said he had a cancellation, and would I like the allocation? No pressure, no deposit, just give him a build code and he’d order the car. If I didn’t want it when it came in, no worries they’d throw it on the lot.

At the time, the used market was insane. I was seeing M440s going for $65k-$70k, with fewer options than mine – even a 430 sitting at $68k. Naturally, I said sure, let’s upgrade and order the M4.

Sadly, in the time between ordering and arrival, the market tanked and normalized, but by then…well, by then I’d already rolled the numbers around in my head enough to figure I could make it work regardless. This last week, my car finally arrived, and I took delivery on 11-11-22 with 11 miles on the odometer.

Note the shirt.

Funny story – while at the dealership, a random other customer saw my shirt and loved it, so he came over to talk and asked where I’d gotten it and what I was here for. As it just so happened, he was there to look at another 2021 CPO M440 they had on the lot, but had gotten distracted by mine and was drooling over it while I’d been inside. He offered to do a deal right then and there, but unfortunately we couldn’t get a hold of his bank or anything due to the holiday, so I took the dealer trade. It ended up being about 6 in one hand, half dozen in the other anyway, so not too big a difference to me. Maybe $40 / month on the payments. He did end up buying my M440 from the dealership in the end, just a couple days ago, so I’m happy it went to someone who fell in love with it immediately.

Anyway, I digress. MORE PICTURES! Here’s some side by side comparison shots between my M440 and M4CX from the parking lot. Apologies for the camera quality, I just used my iphone. Also, excuse the water spots and dirt – it was raining for the days prior to pickup, the car was sitting on the roof of the parking garage, and I asked the dealership not to touch it as it was going straight over to the detail shop for PPF and they were going to do a full paint correction anyway.

I immediately dropped it off at Silicon Valley Garage for front PPF, they were able to squeeze me in same day (Friday) and finished by about mid-afternoon on Saturday. My car was in good company:

On to the observations after the first week of ownership:

1. Front seats are beefier. A little less leg room for passengers. Foot room too – the bottoms basically touch the floor / vents when all the way down, whereas the M440 still had a bit of room.

2. Seat handles are in a much better ergonomic position for rear seat access. But, between the seats being bigger and the removal of the document / random item nets on the back, there’s less room / point overall to having anyone back there.

3. You feel the road more, for better and for worse. Not painful or anything but noticeable.

4. I keep accidentally shifting into 1st gear manual. M440 is a linear up/down for reverse / park. M4 is sideways zig zag, and also doesn’t automatically shift into park when turning off. M440 did. Getting used to it, but kind of liked the M440’s shifter motion and center console controls more. Though I do prefer the M4’s shifter itself.

5. HUD fonts and styles are different and more sporty. Sharper, angled, etc vs smooth and rounded text. Additional note: when exceeding the speed limit in the M440, your speed would change to orange text while the detected speed limit sign was still white. In the M4, they both just stay white (unless someone knows how to change this? Please tell me if you do!). This makes it a bit more difficult to tell at a glance if/when you go over the limit, whereas it was immediately obvious just from the color change in the M440. You didn’t have to actually read your speed and do a quick comparison. It’s a step backwards in my opinion and another point for the M440.

6. Even in comfort / efficient mode, you feel the engine braking a lot more in the M4 than the M440.

7. Cruising at 80+ is easy but hoo boy is he a thirsty beast. That “mild hybrid” system in the M440 is incredible and I have a new appreciation for it now that it’s gone. This is like being back to driving my Durango or Ram 1500 with the 5.7 HEMI V8. Gotta do 70-75 for any decent fuel economy.

8. The gloss buttons on the center console are not only fingerprint magnets but seem less elevated / less distinction between each one. They blend together more making it even more difficult to do things by feel. The matte ones in the M440 felt better. Crisper too, these feel a bit mushier if that makes sense.

9. No cup holders in the rear center fold down / pass through tunnel. Never used them anyway. Might mount a gun safe there instead. I dunno.

10. Goddamnit I get the carbon fiber obsession a bit more now. Looking at the rear the gloss black spoiler and diffuser just don’t quite hit right.

11. Braking! There is a difference in feel in braking. It’s subtle, but it’s noticeable to me. In the M440, I felt like the brakes would grab and hold – and continue to do so even if you started to let up a bit. I’ll see if I can describe this in words vs pantomiming in person. If you were to apply braking pressure with a value of 1 with your foot, you would feel the actual brakes grabbing at maybe 1.2. If you were to then let off as you slowed, say to 0.8, you would still feel the brakes letting off to 0.9. This made it difficult to stop smoothly or modulate, though it worked very well for spirited driving in the twisties and such when you are constantly on one pedal or the other. In the M4, by contrast, if I apply 1 pressure with my foot, I feel the car only brakes with 0.9. A few times this has caused me to mash down to 1.5 to get 1.2 braking, coming in hot to red lights at offramps from the freeway. I imagine I’ll adjust to where it’s not so significant a feel, but I do notice it currently.

12. Driving at low speeds. The M440 just…glided. Smooth. The M4 feels like driving a car with a supercharger on it – you feel the engine dragging (I know it’s not that’s just the best way I can describe it at the moment) and hear a slight whine as it begs you to goooooooo.

13. Edited to add this one in – I freaked myself out when I heard something scrape on the bottom pulling into my garage. I was like “this thing isn’t THAT much lower than the M440….is it?” Turns out there are rubber air channels underneath that scrape on low stuff but they’re designed to be a bit flexible so I *think* it’s fine.

I swore I wouldn’t mod it anytime soon but I’ve already had a couple offerings come up for sponsorship items and I’m sorely tempted. Although I’ll likely at least wait till after the break-in period is done.

edit: oh, and as is the way, I made a new IG account just for my car too. @emfore_650. I’m still getting the hang of posts / reels / filters but will be steadily stepping my game up so for any of you gurus / experts out there any tips and tricks / resources for learning how to make solid content would be greatly appreciated.

Last edited by NorCalAthlete; 11-22-2022 at 11:02 PM..