BMW M4 Tuning

"Thank you for reading my BMW M4 tuning guide."

Is the M4 just a good looking M3 coupe? It is actually much more, although BMW canned the M3 Coupe to create an all new sports focused M4.

It sounds great, is fun and engaging to drive and feels more special than the M3.

BMW used lots of carbon fibre in the cars body, making this lighter than an M3, and the new chassis design raises stiffness and supports much better handling.

The M4 is a good car tuning project to carry out. With the right mods your M4 can be transformed into a stunning project. Don't waste money, do your homework and follow our unbiased guides to each performance upgrade so you don't waste your money.

Tuning tips and articles

Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums


M4 Handling/Suspension upgrades

Improving the handling for DIY mechanics first priority in your M4 tuning project. Make sure the underlying fundamentals are sound, especially that all of the bushings are sound and the car is rigid. We would choose a set of Good Quality coilovers that allow adjust your ride height to suit your driving style and cars usage

Adding a strut brace can help realign the front suspension turrets which get worn over time.

It make sense to sort out the suspension bushes as these become worn over time and dramatically affects the handling. These bushings connect the essential suspension components to the car's bodywork and provide an element of absorption of shocks, and their impact should never be underestimated.

Polyurethane bushings are the common upgrade root most people take and would recommend that you choose softer ones because harder ones can be detrimental to the overall handling and performance of the vehicle.

When it comes to fitting suspension kits the aim is not to drop the car as low as it will possibly go and make the suspension as hard as you can because this will have a negative impact on the car's handling.

By investing in a set of coilovers you can have fully at just the right height and the spring rates to match your driving style and preference and set the car are exactly as you wanted to be.

H&R offer a kit that works well with the BMW EDC. There is also a very nice coilover setup from KW & they now offer a non coilover kit that allows ride height adjustment. The lowering kit from Vogtland is also worth investigating and we rate the Bilstein B16 coilovers.

Fully adjustable suspension allows you to fine tune the handling of you M4 often benefiting your drive.

Drop the car optimally somewhere in the region of 22mm - 38 mm and fit sports stiffer dampers, bigger drops will need other modifications in most instances.

Best tuning mods for the M4

Top end torque should be your overall aim with a nice fat wide peak torque band.

Enjoy your M4 to the limit with our hot modding hints - do the right mods in the right order.

Smaller engines do not provide much of a return in terms of power so start with a bigger engine. Engine swaps are a good option if you have a small engine size.

The M4 Engines.

The F82/F83 M4 uses BMW's S55B30 twin-turbo straight-six replaced the earlier V8 used in the M3 but power was around 425 hp. A competition package pushes power up to 444bhp, and offers revised suspension and software tweaks including the engine mapping and dynamic stability control.

This is actually a really good upgrade path to take and shows what one should focus on when tuning a stock M4.


Engine options offered on the M4 were

  • M4 2013– S55B30T0
    3.0 L twin-turbocharged I6 317kw (425hp) @5,600–7,300rpm 550 Nm (406lbft) @1,800–5,500rpm
  • M4 Comp 2016– 331kw (444hp) @7,000rpm
  • M4 CS 2017– 338kw (453hp) @6,250–7,000rpm 600 Nm (443lbft) @4,000–5,380rpm
  • M4 GTS 2016– 368kw (493hp) @6,250rpm 600 Nm (443lbft) @4,000–5,000rpm

400 to 500hp is no small figure, and one things we've learnt is that you can never have too much power.

This list of the stages and performance kits are usually fitted by our members, decide how far you want to push your car before you get started, a let's see what happens with this mod approach rarely works and ends up costing you loads.

Getting the best sports parts for your planned usage of the car is vital. Stage 3 competition upgrades just won't work well on the road difficult in stop start traffic.

Please watch our video which covers the 5 principles of tuning your car. Be sure to keep up with our latest YouTube content and subscribe.

Best mods for your M4

  1. Intake Upgrades and high flowing exhausts - Note that on their own these mods will NOT ADD TORQUE in most cases, but they permit you to release power after other mods by losing a restriction.
  2. Lightened Flywheels - a lower mass flywheel will noticably improve the engines ability to rev freely. Not always a great mod for all M4 engines.
  3. Fast road Camshafts are one of the most significant mechanical changes, but should always be fitted by someone qualified to set them up properly and tracking one down can be a challenge but there might be a local firm to regrind a stock cam .
  4. Brake Upgrades - Enhancing your stopping power needs to be high on your agenda.
  5. Remaps - A Remapped M4 ECU ensures the most power with respect to your investment, replacement ECUs, and inline Tuning boxes are all alternatives.
  6. M4 Suspension Upgrades - Fitting a more sporty Suspension kit greatly enhances your M4 road holding and cornering. Coilovers and Bushings are the usual go to mods
  7. Internal engine mods - crank, pistons, conrods & compression ratio including balancing and blueprinting
  8. Turbo upgrades - A New Turbo is the most significant way to improve intake air supply, this means you are able to combust more fuel and make higher power. Typically one of the most complex mods you'll see massive gains.

M4 Tuning Stages

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Sports exhaust, Engine Tunes/Remapping, Suspension upgrade (drop 22mm - 38 mm), Panel air filter, Alloy wheels, Lighter flywheel.

Typical stage 2 mods often include: high flow fuel injector, Power/Sport clutch, Fast road cam, Ported and polished head, fuel pump upgrades.

Typical stage 3 mods often include: Sports gearbox, Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves), Adding or upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Engine balancing, Competition cam.

Always tune/remap last, to fine tune the mods, and extract the maximum performance from them.

You need to keep as much low end power as you can and aim to get a long power band across the rev range rather than a narrow top end power hike.

The point of our guides is to give a limited introduction of car tuning modifications and point you in the right direction, our forum is the place to go for detailed advice and tips on your tuning project, the best modified upgrades and all aspects of modding cars.

M4 Camshafts

A fast road cam is widely accepted as one of the best NASP power mods you can do mechanically to your engine. If you can't source a fast road camshaft in your area is possible to get local companies to offer a grind on a stock cam profile to a more sporty one.

This has the added advantage of letting you put the power and torque exactly where you want it to be in your RPM Range.

The intake and exhaust durations play a large part in your cars power band, but be careful here, getting this wrong can upset the idle and make the car hard to drive in traffic. You'd need to follow a cam upgrade with other mods and finish with a tune/remap to fully realize your gains.

We'd also caution you not to go with a motor sports profile cam as this affects the engine idling and general town driving characteristics.

M4 Remapping & Fuelling

A tune/remap will easily raise power to around 500bhp on the turbo engine. And if you've done other mods you need to adjust the mapping to fully release it's potential power.

Aftermarket ECU's are generally the way to go for extreme power gains, they outperform factory ECU's and often allow useful additional features or allow you to switch between fuel types or provide logging.

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so will need to look at the fuelling.

If you find you suffer from flat spots and power surges after your uprated upgrades you should check the fuelling and try a higher octane fuel as well. Uprating the injectors is another beneficial modification and will deliver sufficient fuel.

For power figures over 500hp you generally need to start using more specialist fuels, Ethanol generally allows a higher fuel to air ratio than gasoloene thereby allowing you to safely raise the power output. Here in the UK we can't easily get E85 fuels, so we would need to look at race fuels or stick with the UK high octane fuels of around 100 (Shell Vpower, BP Ultimate and Tesco 99).

The stock injectors are generally 750cc, but for 600hp projects, we would recommend 950cc, which give a nice bit of headroom.

If have increased your fuelling with bigger injectors you will also need to get a bigger fuel pump to supply it.

M4 Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

Now we move on to the intake and exhaust and ensure proper flow through the engine.

For the M4 engines TorqueCars would suggest you just go with a washable panel air filter made from cotton gauze. Some of the air intake boxes out there really do help with top end power, it seems as though the BMW airboxes are restrictive so a well designed replacement makes sense.

We were impressed with the Eventuri carbon/Kevlar intake which is used by some tuners (with other mods) pushing power beyond 650bhp on the M4.

Sports exhausts equal out the flow of gases through the engine. But if the exhaust pipe is too large, ie: it's over 2.5 inches bore, you will lose a great deal of the flow rate and end up losing power and torque.

We highly rate Akrapovic, Dinan and Corsa exhausts. The OEM particulate filter is not that well designed, and can be improved with a carefully designed larger bore aftermarket system.

Don't remove the cat if it's not legal to do so in your area, it's not worth the risk.

M4 Air Intake Induction kits

Maximum power gains come from a tune/remap with full induction kit with a cold air feed on heavily tuned engines, this can be sited within an air box but a performance panel filter should suffice for most applications.

Bear in mind that induction kits only release a restriction, they never add power to the engine. Any claims to the contrary are untrue. In most cases adding an induction kit to a stock engine will not provide a power gain at all.

TorqueCars suggest you use a panel air filter as these are easy to clean and maintain and generally perform better than paper ones.

M4 Serious Performance Tuning Mods

Head work including a polish and port and 3 or 5 angle valve job will really help to release the potential of the engine. Your clutch can lose you loads of power as the power goes up if it starts to complain and the standard clutches are only ever good for power gains of up to 45%. Fit an upgraded clutch to avoid power losses through the transmission. The best mods we recommend for your M4 are Remapping or piggy back ecu, fast road cam and air intake and exhaust.

With turbocharged engines this is another story. A tuned/remapped turbo will give impressive power gains and take full advantage of the strength of the block.

We've also seen some tuners toying with twincharged applications and making some impressively high power figures.

Despite the large cost involved adding forced induction to a NA (naturally aspirated) engine will give large power gains. It is generally cheaper to bolt on a supercharger than it is to install a turbo. With a turbo the boost curve is related exponentially to the engine speed making it harder to map.

The nice correlating boost and rpm characteristics of the supercharger make them more straight forward to map. Adding forced induction will often require a lower compression ratio or water injection.

M4 Alloy wheel upgrades.

Few people we spoke to love the M4's wheels, and most will look to replace their rims at the first opportunity. We don't think they are ugly but concede there are some nice aftermarket rims out there.

Because alloy wheels are less heavy they improve performance and they help to cool the brake disks. Further improvements can be made to your cars handling with the addition of soft compound tire. Large M4 alloy wheels can decrease performance.

If you get big alloy wheels you will be changing your final drive ratio. In all cases not going bigger than 18 inches. We know 19's look cool but they really affect the ride and handling and unless you are driving on a super smooth track you'll quickly find a pot hole to retire them in.

Tyre choices are important, the car needs all the grip it can muster, and tends towards being a little tail happy even in standard tune.

  • Michelin Pilot Super Sport Tires
  • Toyo Proxes T1 Sport Tires
  • Hankook Ventus V12 Evo2 Tires

If you would like to know more, or just get some friendly advice on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss M4 options in more detail with our M4 owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased BMW tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

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