BMW M4 Tuning

"Thanks for reading our BMW M4 tuning tips."

BMW dropped the M3 Coupe and Cabriolet and carved out a niche for the M4.

You'll find loads 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 have. 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 to avoid wasting money.

Tuning tips and articles

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

Don't just look at the peak power figures, you need to see the whole torque curve when determining if a mod is right for you M4.

Keep the car looking standard but take off the chrome & badges letting the M4 silhouette speak for itself!

Sadly with smaller engine sizes you are wasting your time spending money on modifications, so if this applies to you get yourself an engine swap then apply the following mods.

Tuning modifications.

Typically these motorsport parts are usually installed by our members, decide how far you wish to go in your tuning project before you get started.

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.

Getting the right uprated parts for your planned usage of the car is a time and money saver. Stage 3 competition upgrades just don't work well on the road hard to control in slow traffic.

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Guide to the Best Tuning Mods & Upgrades

  1. Mods that Remove a Restriction

    If the intake or exhaust are restricted in any way this will have an impact on your cars performance, so use an induction kit/filter upgrade and better flowing exhaust whenever your tuning creates a flow restriction.

  2. Mods that Improve Handling

    Braking, Suspension and general alignment of the suspension components is vital for any tuning project even before you start increasing power.

  3. Fit Stronger Parts

    Tuned cars will show up weaknesses, typically in the turbochargers, clutch and internal engine components. Whilst most engines can cope with mild tuning mods, TorqueCars recommend that you upgrade the internal components before these weak spots manifest themselves.

  4. ECU Tunes & Remapping

    While some cars can be easily remapped, others may require piggyback ECU's or aftermarket ECU's but this is the most vital step of your tuning project as it fully releases the power from all of your mods and upgrades. Expect 10-20% on NASP engines and 30-40% on turbocharged units.

  5. More Power Needs More Fuel & Air

    Every tuning project will aim to increase the air supply, but fuel supply is just as vital and will need to match the air the engine can utilise. Fuel to Air ratio is vital so upgrade the fuel pump & injectors. Also you can look to perform head mods (flowing and porting), bigger valves, fast road cams and forced induction upgrades to improve fuel.

Stages of Tune

Stage 1 mods: Alloy wheels, Lighter flywheel, Sports exhaust, Panel air filter, Remap, Suspension upgrade (22mm - 38 mm).

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

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

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

Your goal when modding your car should be a nice flat torque range. You don't want all the power to be at the top end of the rev range unless you are creating a competition car.

The whole point of our hints is to give a brief overview of modifying performance parts and point you in the right direction, our forum is the place to go for detailed advice and tips on your car tuning project, the best motorsport upgrades and all aspects of modding cars.

Fast road cams offer one of the biggest power gains for your money second only to a remap.

The exhaust and intake 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 impossible to drive in traffic. You'd need to follow a camshaft upgrade with other mods and finish with a performance chip for the best performance gains.

When pushing up the power you will need to ramp up to the fuelling. More power needs more fuel.

Using higher octane fuel is another option if you find you are suffering from detonation or premature ignition on your BMW project after fitting other kits. To get sufficient fuel you may need to increase the injectors on your engine.

Uprate the fuel pump to cope with the extra fuel requirements of your tuned M4s uprated injectors.

Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

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

For most M4 engine tuning projects TorqueCars would suggest you just go with a washable panel air filter. Some of the air intake boxes out there really do help with top end power, it seems as though the BMW airboxes are restrictive (designed to reduce noise primarily) so a well designed performance replacement makes sense.

On heavily tuned engines and turbo vehicles an induction kit will help release the power providing you address the problem of supplying cold air.

Sports exhausts can usually air flow through the engine but do not go too wide or you may end up will reduce the flow rate. Stick to 1.5 to 2.5 inches as a rule of thumb.

Getting the head gas flowed will assist in flowing more air into each cylinder. This is definitely a job for a professional with a flow bench. When you tune up your M4 you will reach a point that the standard clutch starts to fail so get an uprated clutch. The best mods that we recommend for your M4 are Remapping or piggy back ecu, fast road cam and air intake and exhaust.

Remaps offer significant power gains on all turbo charged cars. On NASP engines the benefits are doubtful. However a remapped ECU on a NASP engine will help unleash the potential if you have done a lot of mods.

We've also come across some owners experimenting with twincharging applications and making some impressively high power hikes.

Adding forced induction will see massive power gains but this is usually too expensive to be cost effective. Turbos are often harder to add than a supercharger. It is harder to map a turbo as the boost builds exponentially with rpm.

It is easier to map a supercharger because the boost is correlating to engine speed on a linear curve. Adding forced induction will nearly always require a lower compression ratio or water injection.

Handling/Suspension upgrades

Many M4 owners uprate the handling of their cars with tuning suspension upgrades as a priority, this will certainly increase your enjoyment of the car.

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.

We found that most M4 factory suspension setups need tweaking, a few degrees of toe out -, and some negative camber will radically improve your cornering and handling.

We suggest that you fit uprated suspension and lower the car by 22mm - 38 mm. Larger drops require arch work - especially on models already equipped with uprated suspension.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

As alloy wheels are less heavy they improve performance and they help to cool the brake disks. We can't go into too much detail here about tyres but they are how the car puts the power down on the road so are a critical choice.

Soft compound tyres work well on M4, and make a big difference over budget tyres. The downside to large rims on your M4 is that you're altering your effective final drive ratio and this will have a detrimental effect on acceleration and performance.

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.

We have found the following tyres to work well, but there are others out there we have not experienced.

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

Although some people have with bigger wheels we would restrict ourselves to a 18 inch rim size as the maximum.

We know 19's look cool but they really do affect the ride and handling and unless you are driving on a super smooth track you'll quickly find a speed bump or pot hole for them to crash into.

There is a more updated version of this BMW M4 Tuning article on

For more information 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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