Now Car and Driver chose a 7-speed manual Porsche 911 to compare to the BMW M4. The M4 has a dual clutch transmission and this would be closer if the Porsche had the optional PDK transmission. It is what it is though and the BMW M4 simply has the 911 overmatched. It has more power at 425 horsepower (which is severely underrated to begin with) to the 911's 350 horsepower. It has more torque at 406 lb-ft to the 911's 287 lb-ft.
The straightline contest is no contest. The M4 runs through the 1/4 mile in 12.1 @ 119. The 911 Carrera completes the 1/4 in 12.7 seconds at 113 miles per hour. It makes efficient use of its 350 horses thanks to its roughly 400 pound lighter curb weight but even if this was the 400 horsepower Carrera S with a PDK transmission the M4 would still win. This is the largest the acceleration gap between the 911 Carrera and M3/M4 has ever been.
Speaking of weight the M4 comes in at 3581 pounds. It just is not as light as we were made to believe. Car and Driver's own weight figures place the F82 M4 30 pounds lighter than a comparably equipped E92 M3 and that sounds about right. BMW did try to make the M4 lighter but it is mostly to mask the added weight of the turbo powerplant and associated plumbing. If the M4 actually hit the 3300 pound figures BMW was throwing around... well, no point dreaming. Also take a look at the front to rear weight distribution figure. BMW no longer is building 50/50 balanced cars in the turbo era despite what they claim.
Car and Driver states that the 911 steering is more precise and offers a better feel. They also state the 911 is more fun to drive. Basically, Car and Driver calls the M4 the muscle car to the 911's more nimble sports car character. The handling performance between the two is actually about even with the M4 and 911 both pulling .98g on the skidpad. What is odd though is that the 911 is not equipped with a limited slip differential. Seriously Porsche? For an $85k base price that is asking too much?
Really what this comes down to is price for performance. The M4 offers more performance for less money with greater usability. The 911 is the better sports car of the two, no question. It is more fun to drive as well. That said, Car and Driver nails the conclusion. 'The M4 is more challenging to drive at the limit, but it's far easier to drive faster beneath it. It's the quintessential German muscle car to Porsche's quintessential German sports car. Is one design more right than the other? That's a matter of opinion. But it's hard to argue with a car that delivers more performance for less money.'
The M car has more of a muscle car character than a sports car character? Welcome to the new M.