BMW M4 Competition Coupé


Episode 22: BMW M3 and M4 Explained.

Launch control M Steptronic transmission.Episode 22: BMW M3 and M4 Explained.

The epitome of racing feeling in everyday traffic starts a new round. 35 years after the debut of the first BMW M3, BMW M GmbH presents the latest generation of its high-performance automobiles in the premium mid-size segment. Time to introduce the two new vehicles. In the #M3M4explained series, the developers have the floor.

Developer Stefan, responsible for the customer experience powertrain of the M3 and M4 models, loves a perfect launch: The implementation of Launch Control in combination with the 8-speed M Steptronic transmission was one of his main tasks during the BMW M3 Competition and BMW M4 Competition development. In the video, he explains how the new system works. He also answers questions from the community in our Q&A.

BMW M4 Competition Coupé with M xDrive:
Fuel consumption in l/100 km (combined): 10.1-10.0 (WLTP)
CO2 emissions in g/km (combined): 230-227 (WLTP)

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BMW M3 M4 Explained


What is the set RPM while launching?


As a result of the torque converter limitation in the 8-speed M Steptronic, which is determined by oil temperatures, external temperatures … roughly 2.700rpm.


Acceleration from 0 to 200?


The M3 Competition with 8-speed M Steptronic and RWD does it in 12.5sec and the M3 Competition with M xDrive takes 12.3sec. The figures of the M4 Coupé are identical.


Why does the Competition launch in the second and not first gear?


The (RWD) Competition models launch in 2nd gear for optimum balance of the torque converters multiplication and transferrable power using two rear wheels only allowing for better slip control. The M3 and M4 models with M xDrive use 1st gear instead due to the higher traction available with all four wheels being driven.

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BMW M3 Competition

BMW M3 Competition Sedan: Fuel consumption in l/100 km (combined): 9.6-9.8 (WLTP) CO2 emissions in g/km (combined): 219-224 (WLTP)

Is there a way to launch it in first gear if you have better tires or you're on a drag strip?

A 1st gear launch is not available within the automatic launch control programme of the Competition RWD models. However, you can still perform a launch like that on your own.

Can a launch be initiated in 2nd gear to prevent wheel spin?

It is possible to launch the car in 2nd gear by yourself without using automatic launch control in Competition models with M xDrive. The Competition models with RWD use 2nd gear for the automatic launch control start anyway.

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Will the automatic cars allow a manually controlled launch with use of simultaneous brake and throttle?

Yes, that is possible.

In AWD cars, is launch control available in 2WD only mode?

For models with M xDrive, launch control is only available with DSC OFF in 4WD/4WD Sport. With DSC OFF and 2WD burnouts are enabled.

Can you launch the Steptronic in MDM?

No, the 8-speed M Steptronic's launch control is only available in DSC off.

With Steptronic you always have to shift yourself with launch control?

The 8-speed M Steptronic's launch control application uses fully automated upshifts for optimum acceleration.

Why is launch control only available for 5 seconds?

For Competition models, during launch control preparation the engine is "working against" the brakes, causing very high load and rising temperatures in the transmission.

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BMW M4 Competition Coupé

BMW M4 Competition Coupé: Fuel consumption in l/100 km (combined): 9.6-9.8 (WLTP) CO2 emissions in g/km (combined): 219-224 (WLTP)

Must the engine and transmission be up to proper temperature for launch control to be available?

Launch control cannot be activated when the vehicle's / engine's / transmission's condition are not ready or warmed up properly. There also needs to be some cool down time in between two launch control starts.

How many launches can you make in the life of the gearbox?

There is no limitation of the launch control's availability over its lifetime. Availability of launch control is temporarily unavailable when - mainly - temperature conditions of the engine, transmission, differential do not allow its use.


Read more
BMW M4 Competition Coupé

BMW M4 Competition Coupé: Fuel consumption in l/100 km (combined): 9.6-9.8 (WLTP) CO2 emissions in g/km (combined): 219-224 (WLTP)

  • The models illustrated include optional equipment.

    Due to regular software updates, screen designs in the communication may differ from the actual screen design in your car.

    Official data on power consumption and electric range were determined in accordance with the mandatory measurement procedure and comply with Regulation (EU) 715/2007 valid at the time of type approval. In case of a range, figures in the NEDC take into account differences in the selected wheel and tire size; figures in the WLTP take into account any optional equipment. WLTP values are used for assessing taxes and other vehicle-related charges that are (also) based on CO2 emissions, as well as for the purposes of vehicle-specific subsidies, if applicable. Where applicable, the NEDC values listed were calculated based on the new WLTP measurement procedure and then converted back to the NEDC measurement procedure for comparability reasons. For newly type-tested vehicles since 01.01.2021, the official data no longer exist according to NEDC, but only according to WLTP. For more information on the WLTP and NEDC measurement procedures, see

    For further information about the official fuel consumption and the specific CO2 emission of new passenger cars can be taken out of the „handbook of fuel consumption, the CO2 emission and power consumption of new passenger cars“, which is available at all selling points and at

    All vehicles, equipment, combination possibilities and varieties shown here are examples and can differ in your country. In no way do they constitute a binding offer by the BMW M GmbH. Visit your local BMW website or see your authorised BMW M Retailer for accurate details on the offers in your country.