M Stands for Moar
I’m in the heart of Kohler country to test drive the new 2015 BMW M3 (F80) and M4 (F82). The village of Kohler, Wisconsin has been chosen to launch these fraternal Bavarian beauties not because of its great deals on bathroom faucets or kitchen sinks, but because everywhere you look you’d swear you’re smack dab in the middle of Bavaria, Germany. At least that’s what Ludwig Willisch, President and CEO of BMW North America, says to his guests during dinner at the Irish Barn at Whistling Straits.
Willisch is the former head BMW’s global motorsports and performance arm, M. Across the table from me is its head of engineering, Albert Biermann. Seated next to me is John Edwards, BMW Team RLL driver, and, in between him and the former, is his teammate, veteran road and endurance racing champion, Bill Auberlen. They all know a thing or two about what M really means, and by the time the main course comes out, I’m completely glutted.
“Unless you got out of the wrong side of the bed, how could anyone not be happy to be here, spending a day on this historic track with the new M3 sedan and M4 coupe?!”
Willisch hits the nail on the head with that opening in his media address the next morning in the paddock at Road America. Notwithstanding the Nürburgring and/or perhaps Ignition’s home track (Canadian Tire Motorsport Park), there may not be a better place anywhere to get behind the wheel of M’s latest stalwarts. Sure, there are perfectly suitable race tracks in North America, Europe and elsewhere, but there is just something about this particular stretch of blacktop that makes it the perfect place.
I haven’t driven a 3 Series since the E90 version came out, but I have driven the new 4 Series a ton since its launch, starting with the 435i xDrive coupe at AJAC’s annual TestFest event last fall. I drove it again – along with the rear-wheel-drive version – at Circuit iCar for my BMW Winter Driver Training in February. And, I got to drive a really sweet 435i xDrive M Performance Edition in greater Toronto traffic the week before going to Road America for my graduation.
Each and every experience was better than the previous one; so, naturally, my first move upon completing the mandatory orientation laps, was to make a B-line straight for this Austin Yellow metallic M4, and have at it on the legendary 6.515-kilometre road course!
Continue reading my experience review of the 2015 BMW M3 Sedan & M4 Coupe on the IGNITION LUXURY & PERFORMANCE website!