There’s something special to be said about the way a modern BMW drives. There’s nothing else like it, and that’s a good thing considering how most of the new lineup, including the latest M440i Coupe that I had a chance to check out this week, feel as if they have much more power than stated on paper. Now, the M440i Coupe is available in a rear-wheel-drive (RWD) variation for the 2022 model year for a little more tail-happy fun.
The BMW M440i Coupe in its rear-wheel-drive setup reminds me of the old 335is from about 10 years ago that was an excellent bridge from the base version of the 3 Series Coupe and the V8-powered E92 M3 Coupe at that time. Today, the M440i feels as if it is the perfect bridge between the 430i Coupe and the M4 where you have a decent amount of power from the latest BMW turbocharged 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder engine with a mild-hybrid 48-volt setup. The powertrain outputs 382 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque and sends that power to a ZF-sourced 8-speed automatic transmission to the rear wheels through an M Sport limited-slip differential.
Having a rear-wheel-drive version of the new BMW M440i there may be a bit less weight to carry but the zero to 60 mph time falls a bit short of its all-wheel-drive M440i xDrive trim sibling where my RWD test vehicle hits 60 in about 4.5 seconds and the AWD xDrive hits 60 mph in about 4.2 seconds. My previous brush with the M440i in the xDrive AWD setup confirmed such times and was a pleasing experience in a sure-footed BMW coupe. Now, having the RWD setup, the M440i is a bit more playful and is not shy in lighting up the rear tires and allowing a bit of playful drifting when you disable the stability and traction control. Even launch mode seems more of a trivial thing considering how the rear wheels will spin a bit more and add to the time it takes the 3,858-pound Bavarian 4-seat cruiser to hit 60 mph.
The BMW 4 Series continues to be an excellent contender and somewhat of a rarity for its specialized segment in being a compact luxury performance coupe. The ride quality is excellent as is its ability to perform and hid its heft to give you one of the best driving experiences for its price of admission partly thanks to its adaptive M suspension setup.
A surprising benefit of the RWD M440i apart from the fun factor is the fuel consumption of the 2022 BMW M440i RWD Coupe being slightly better than the xDrive AWD variation. The M440i xDrive gets 22 mpg city and 31 mpg highway. My 2022 M440i RWD Coupe gets 25 mpg city and 34 mpg highway, an overall improvement of about 3 mpg.
From the current generation’s introduction as a 2021 model year, not much else has changed for the 2022 model year other than a couple of modifications to the standard equipment and optional equipment groups. Otherwise, the 4 Series carries on bringing us the traditional and welcoming interior of modern-day BMWs before they get the upgraded iDrive system matched to a new curved display setup. Here we have the welcomed iDrive infotainment unit fed through the 10.25-inch touchscreen and redundancy of controls next to the gear shifter.
The live cockpit professional gauge cluster 12.3-inch screen is a straightforward pod with not much configuration of what is displayed but it is nicely integrated with a not-so-useful mapping graphic setup and several information screens. The color heads-up display is also part of my nearly loaded test vehicle as are stylish staggered 19-inch wheels wrapped in supper performance tires. There’s a new M Carbon Exterior package that adds several carbon fiber bits to areas like front air ducts, rear diffuser, and rear spoiler.
There’s a lot more I covered in my previous review of the 2021 BMW M440i xDrive Coupe, which is mimicked in my 2022 M440i RWD Coupe here, including a bevy of active safety features and the unique and controversial look of the front grille.
BMW has done well to keep pricing competitive and even more so in the RWD variation of the M440i Coupe coming in at the as-tested price of $67,320, which undercuts my 2021 M440i AWD xDrive Coupe at $71,870 by just over $4,500 featuring the same equipment sans the xDrive AWD system.