BMW M4 Competition


Episode 09: BMW M3 and M4 explained.

The engine sound.Episode 09: 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.

Full force or very quietly: Michael and Sebastian listen very carefully when they are working out something new. The BMW M developers are responsible for the sound of the new BMW M3 and M4. In the video, they show important innovations and present the technology behind them – and which legendary engine they had in mind during development.

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)

Read more
BMW M3 M4 Explained


How difficult is it nowadays to design the sound of car? Since the introduction of the GPF a lot has changed.


Michael: Heavy! Having known about all required new technologies and having gathered some experience with GPF (gasoline particulate filter) in the predecessor, it was actually kind of a straightforward development of the sound. Additionally, new noise regulations force lower absolute exterior noise levels too.


How do you determine the optimal exhaust note?


Michael: The sound pattern is most obviously an authentic inline-6 sound. It is like the instruments in an orchestra - the violin should always sound like a violin ;).


Does the exhaust button activate the exhaust valves or sound over the speakers?


Michael: Essentially, the sound control button influences the overall sound of the vehicle. You can decide whether it is muted or highly emotional.


Read more

Is there any fake sound through the speakers?

Michael: Fake sound? No! There is no V8 or V10 or whatever sound pattern included. However, the truly authentic inline-6-cylinder sound of our all-new 3-litre TwinTurbo is amplified in the interior.

Is it possible to get the M Performance exhaust with the standard tips configuration?

Sebastian: No, that is not possible.

Does the exhaust flap open at higher revs?

Sebastian: The valve control depends on load, rpm and speed. At wide open throttle and depending on revs the valves will open completely, ensuring maximum power output in all modes.


Read more
BMW M4 Competition Drive Mode M Steptronic

Do Sport and Sport Plus make a difference regarding the sound on the outside?

Sebastian: Yes, exhaust sound is differentiated for each engine mode – "Efficient" / "Sport" / "Sport Plus".

Do the valves stay fully open in sport / spot plus mode at all RPMs, or are they RPM variable?

Sebastian: The exhaust valves will be opened gradually across the combined load / rpm range to create the best sound within the legal limitations.

I want to ask why you take 70 mm diameter pipe?

Sebastian: Exhaust piping diameter has been increased to allow for more exhaust gas flow in order to achieve the higher power output levels in the new generation BMW M3 / M4.

Read more
BMW M4 Competition Schaltpaddle

What are the differences on stock and M Performance exhaust?

Sebastian: The stock exhaust is a stainless steel construction, the M Performance exhaust features a titanium muffler and saves five kilograms in weight.

How many filters and resonators?

Sebastian: In the Euro-spec model, there are two resonators and two GPFs.

Does the US car have petrol particulate filter? If not, how much louder are US cars vs European?

Sebastian: No, the US-spec car does not have a gasoline particulate filter and complies with the local noise regulations.

How does the M Performance change the exhaust sound and look?

Michael: For the looks of it have a look here.
For the sound - that is highly subjective! You will have to check it out yourself. Market introduction was March 13th.



Read more
BMW M4 Competition

BU: Manual transmission or Competition model - the sound remains the same.

Is there a difference between the sound of a manual and a competition with 8-speed M Steptronic transmission?

Michael: There is no difference in sound between the manual transmission and the Competition models.

Does the firing order of the pistons influence the sound?

Sebastian: Yes. For BMW there is only one firing order for an inline-6 which is 1-5-3-6-2-4. And the sound comes accordingly ;)

Why are the burbles so muted?

Sebastian: Absolute noise emission is restricted by binding noise regulations – which we comply with.

Read more
BMW M4 Competition

The "sound godfather" of the new M3 and M4 automobiles was the M88 engine.

Besides the all-new M3 and M4, what is your favorite sounding M car?

Michael & Sebastian: That's the V10 powered M5 (E60/E61M).

How long have you been with BMW?

Sebastian: I joined BMW in 2009.
Michael: I've been working for BMW for nine years.

What did you two study?

Sebastian: Automotive Engineering.
Michael: Electrical Engineering with focus on acoustics.

What car is your daily driver?

Sebastian: I use a BMW 330d E90 as my daily driver. For special occasions, I used to take my 1-Series M Coupé out for a joy ride.
Michael: My daily driver is a Alpina B3 Touring E46. For the sunny days, my BMW 325i E30 Convertible is still a joy.

Read more
  • 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.