2017 has arrived, but the BMW M4 is still a tuning favorite

If there was ever such a thing as an award for the favorite car among aftermarket tuners in 2016, the BMW M4 would win that contest, and it wouldn’t even be close. Yes, the M4 turned in one of the greatest first-year runs of any car in recent memory and it’s nice to see that the performance coupe is still in fine form in 2017, at least as far as its affinity to tuning companies are concerned. We’re barely a month into the new year and we already have Cam Shaft presenting its new program for the M4 that includes, among other items, a nice bump in power to the tune of 513 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque.

Those figures are impressive when you consider that the power gains represent an increase of just under 100 horsepower and more than 120 pound-feet of torque over the M4’s standard splits. But as nice as it is to see Cam Shaft put in the work on the coupe’s 3.0-liter inline-six engine, it’s even more comforting to know that the German tuner also worked on the M4’s exterior and suspension, two equally important sections of the car that allows it to ride and handle like the highly-touted coupe it has become.

That’s to be expected though since this is Cam Shaft we’re talking about here. The tuner has a well-chronicled list of fine tuning works in the past, including notable programs for cars ranging from the Renault Clio RS to the Ferrari F12 berlinetta. Heck it even worked on the Hummer H1 at one point. Now it’s the BMW M4’s turn to go under the watchful and innovative tuning hands of Cam Shaft and the results are what you’d expect them to be knowing what the German tuner is fully capable of.

Continue after the jump to read more about the BMW M4 by Cam Shaft.

Exterior

2017 BMW M4 by Cam Shaft High Resolution Exterior
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Cam Shaft has a mixed history when it comes to exterior upgrades that are attached to its tuning programs. Sometimes it leaves the changes to other tuners while other times it does them by itself. Then there are times when it doesn’t do anything at all. Good thing then for the aesthetically inclined because the M4 is not only the recipient of a unique body wrap, it also received a new set of wheels that add even more character to the whole program.

The body wrap, as you can see, comes in a color that BMW is unlikely to have in its own expansive color palette. Cam Shaft officially calls it “matte battleship grey” and it’s unique in a number of different ways, not the least of which is the use of neon orange as a very minor secondary color. See, the whole body is finished in matte grey while the orange accents can be found throughout the body of the coupe, including the mirror caps, the rear bumper, and the outline of the wheels. Look a little closer and you’ll also notice that the BMW badges on the M4 have been changed to reflect the use of the two-tone color finish on the coupe.

2017 BMW M4 by Cam Shaft High Resolution Exterior
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2017 BMW M4 by Cam Shaft High Resolution Exterior
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Adding to the intimidating visual presence of the M4 are the variety of decals that have been placed in various parts of the car as well. The doors, for example, come with black “Pull to Open” decals. The fuel tank cover also gets its own “Danger Fuel AI” red decal while the rear bumper gets a massive black “Beware Of Jet Blast” decal done in a military font.

Rounding off the upgrades to the M4’s exterior is a new set of 21-inch BBS wheels that are subsequently wrapped in 245/30- and 295/25-series tires in the front and rear, respectively.

What other tuners are offering

You have to give credit to Cam Shaft for creating a unique exterior package for the BMW M4. That plays well into the decision-making of M4 owners since a lot of other tuners are also offering cosmetic and aerodynamic improvements as part of their kits for the sports coupe.

CarbonFiber Dynamics, for example, not only offered a GT4-style body wrap in the iconic red-blue-purple colors of BMW’s M division, it also included an aerodynamic kit made up of a new carbon fiber hood, front bumper, side skirts, and rear wing, it also threw in its own 56°NORD carbon roof box that the tuner claims was tested at speeds in excess of 186 mph to make sure that it didn’t compromise the M4’s aerodynamics.

G-Power is another notable tuner that prepared a program for the M4’s body, although this one doesn’t approach the flamboyance of both Cam Shaft and CarbonFiber Dynamics. Instead, G-Power focused its exterior program on a three-piece aero kit that’s comprised of a new front spoiler, front splitter, and rear diffuser. it doesn’t do much in enhancing the coupe’s overall looks, but it does help improve its riding capabilities.

2016 BMW M4 by CarbonFiber Dynamics High Resolution Exterior
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2016 BMW M4 by G-Power High Resolution Drivetrain
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2016 BMW M4 by CarbonFiber Dynamics High Resolution Exterior
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2016 BMW M4 by G-Power High Resolution Drivetrain
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Note: side-by-side photo of the BMW M4 by CarbonFiber Dynamics and the BMW M4 by G-Power.

Don’t forget that BMW has its packages too

When you’re blinded by all these tuners offering this or that tuning kit for the BMW M4, it’s easy to forget that BMW can address those needs too, at least as far as exterior upgrades are concerned. Take for example the German automaker’s Competition Package. It may not be as extensive as some of the upgrades aftermarket companies offer, but it still includes goodies like high-gloss Shadow Line trim accents and high-gloss Black applications on the kidney grille, side view mirror frames and bases, side gills, side-window trim, and the M-badge on the rear deck lid.

2016 BMW M3 & M4 Competition Package
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2016 BMW M3 & M4 Competition Package
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Note: photo of the BMW M4 Competition Package.

Interior

You can excuse Cam Shaft for not doing anything to the BMW M4’s interior. It’s not the only tuner that has taken this approach, or lack of one in this case.

BMW is once again here to save the day

2018 BMW M4 High Resolution Interior
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The good news is that owners of the M4 have alternative measures to look into in the event they’re not satisfied with the coupe’s stock cabin. One approach is to get the aforementioned Competition Package, which offers minimal upgrades in the form of new lightweight M sports seats and a new design to the seat belt. Again, it’s not much, but it is something. That’s more than what a lot of tuners can say for completely ignoring this section of the sports coupe.

The other option is going straight to BMW Individual, the German automaker’s in-house personalization department. We’ve all seen what BMW Individual is capable of so if anybody is looking to sprinkle some flavor in the interior of the M4, Individual is as good a place as any to find the options needed to bring life to the coupe’s cabin.

A few notable examples should get customers in the mood for what’s being offered. The M4 Pyrite Brown Edition has been mentioned a few times in these discussions, but that special edition M4 is as good an example as any to showcase the wealth of interior options and upgrades that BMW Individual has at its disposal. Does a Sonoma Beige Merino fine-grain leather for the seats and the door panels tickle your fancy? How about a Sycamore Red-Brown fine wood trim? Those specific upgrades may not be in line with Cam Shaft’s tuning program, but they at least offer a glimpse into the possibilities.

2015 BMW M4 Coupe Pyrite Brown Edition
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2016 BMW M4 DTM Champion Edition High Resolution Interior
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Note: side-by-side photo of the interior of the BMW M4 Pyrite Brown Edition and the interior of the BMW M4 M Champion Edition.

That’s the great thing about BMW Individual. Customers don’t have to go in one direction with their interior upgrades. They can opt for a luxurious approach and get these fancy leather and fine wood trim options or they can take the functional route and opt for a GTS-style makeover, which included M Carbon bucket seats, an M Sports steering wheel, and a white rollover bar that replaced the rear seats entirely. The latter approach is in full display in the BMW M4 M Champion Edition.

Drivetrain

2017 BMW M4 by Cam Shaft High Resolution Exterior
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There are no shortage of aftermarket engine upgrades for the BMW M4. I think we’ve established that fairly easily with the number of tuners that have available kits for the sports coupe.

Cam Shaft is no different than the rest of them, even if its work on the M4’s 3.0-liter inline-six engine doesn’t yield the same amount of power as some of its rivals in this segment. The tuner didn’t specify its work on the M4’s engine, but all signs do point to a software upgrade that nets an output of 513 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque. On the surface, that’s an impressive number that should more than capable of cutting the M4’s 0-to-60-mph sprint time to under four seconds, or at least quicker than the 4.1 seconds it takes the coupe to cover the same ground when it’s equipped with a seven-speed DCT transmission. The tuner is even making a titanium exhaust from Akrapovic available for those who may want to hear the results of that software engine upgrade.

The figures are good enough but remember, Cam Shaft stressed that this upgrade is just the first stage of a multi-stage engine program that’s being prepared for the M4. That information should come in handy when a customer is considering all his aftermarket tuning options for the M4.

What other tuners are offering

2015 BMW M4 Coupe High Resolution Drivetrain
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It’s fair to say that different tuning companies have created a diverse map of engine upgrades that result in varying numbers of increased output of the M4’s six-cylinder engine. German tuner McChip is a good example considering that the power gains it got aren’t too far off from what Cam Shaft was able to get on its own. For its program, McChip relied on its own software upgrade to squeeze out 517 horsepower and 405 pound-feet of torque for the BMW M4. It’s not a significant gain by any means, but like Cam Shaft, it does enough to make a difference in the coupe’s overall driving and performance capabilities.

For bigger gains, customers are invited to look into programs developed by the likes of G-Power and CarbonFiber Dynamics.

The former relies on its trademark Bi-Tronik 2 V3 tuning module to get the necessary power bumps for the sports coupe. Together with the addition of a larger turbine and compressor wheels into the turbochargers and the installation of bigger diameter exhaust downpipes, G-Power was able to increase the six-cylinder engine’s output to an impressive 600 horsepower and 546 pound-feet of torque, enough to help the M4 post a 0-to-60-mph time of around 3.8 seconds.

If 600 horsepower and 546 pound-feet of torque still aren’t enough, CarbonFiber Dynamics’ own engine upgrade should do the trick. At the very least, the tuner proves that it’s more than just a one-trick pony with an engine kit that includes a pair of TTE 6XX turbochargers that run on 2.3 bar of boost pressure, a methanol injection kit, and a Burger Motorsport JB4 tuning module. Put all of these elements together and the result is a turbocharged six-cylinder engine that can bring out 700 horsepower and 634 pound-feet of torque. That’s right, CarbonFiber Dynamics made it possible for us to no longer imagine a BMW M4 that runs on supercar-level output.

The results are as good as it gets too, thanks in part to a 0-to-60-mph sprint time in the low three seconds (supercar levels) to go with a top speed that exceeds 200 mph (also supercar levels).

Suffice to say, CarbonFiber Dynamics’ program has the biggest potential out of all these engine upgrades, but like everything else in the aftermarket tuning world, programs are a matter of perspective. Some like it the way CarbonFiber Dynamics prepared its kit while others are more into subtle modifications like the one that Cam Shaft did.

Either way, check out the table below to see how these programs line up opposite each other.

Tuner Power Torque 0 to 60 Time Top Speed
Cam Shaft 513 horsepower 531 pound-feet under four seconds 193 mph*
McChip 517 horsepower 405 pound-feet 3.9 seconds 155 mph (with speed limiter)
B&B Automobiltechnik 580 horsepower 533 pound-feet 3.5 seconds* 200 mph*
G-Power 600 horsepower 610 pound-feet 3.5 seconds 200 mph*
Carbonfiber Dynamics 700 horsepower 634 pound-feet of torque 3.0 seconds* 205 mph*

Suspension and Brakes

2017 BMW M4 by Cam Shaft High Resolution Exterior
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This is the section where you can see pretty much universal agreement among tuners and that’s because suspension upgrades aren’t supposed to be flashy or sexy. They just need to improve the car’s handling characteristics in the face of all the other upgrades happening in other sections of the coupe.

In the case of Cam Shaft, it addressed that obvious need by installing KW thread springs, which not only allows for individual height adjustment from 0.2 to 1.18 inches, but also helps keep the adaptive adjustment of the absorbers active.

Other tuners have taken similar approaches using different tools. CarbonFiber Dynamics has Bilstein’s new B16 EDC suspension system on offer while G-Power’s work on the M4’s suspension is all about it’s own GM4-RS coil-over suspension kit. Even B&B has its own suspension upgrade in the form of a threaded height adjustable sport suspension kit that lowers the M4’s ride height from 0.19 to 0.98 inches.

Pricing

2017 BMW M4 by Cam Shaft High Resolution Exterior
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Cam Shaft’s pricing figures for its BMW M4 is pretty straightforward. The saucy matte wrap costs €2,000, or about $2,132 based on current exchange rates. The suspension upgrade amounts to €699, or around $732. Finally, the engine upgrade costs €2,199 ($2,344) while another €2,900 ($3,091) will net you the Akrapovic titanium exhaust.

Since all these tuners tout their engine upgrades on the M4 the most, check out the table below to see how Cam Shaft’s engine kit compares to other tuners in terms of pricing.

Tuner Price in Euro (€) Price in USD ($)
Cam Shaft €2,199 $2,344
B&B Automobiltechnik (Stage 1 kit) €1,798 $1,960
G-Power (Bi-Tronik 2 V3 module) €3,250 $3,662

Competition

BMW M4 by B&B Automobiltechnik

2016 BMW M4 By B&B Automobiltechnik
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2016 BMW M4 By B&B Automobiltechnik High Resolution Exterior
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I mentioned B&B Automobiltechnik’s program in the table above, but here’s where I elaborate on what the tuner is offering for the BMW M4. The highlight (no surprises here) is the multi-stage engine kit that can produce as much as 580 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque out of the M4’s inline-six engine. The tuner does have two minor-by-comparison kits in the Stage 1 program that amounts to an increase of just 490 horses and the Stage 2 kit that’s good for 540 horsepower.

Read the full review here.

BMW M4 by Vorsteiner

2015 BMW M4 Special Edition GTRS4 By Vorsteiner Exterior
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2015 BMW M4 Special Edition GTRS4 By Vorsteiner High Resolution Exterior
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Another program worth mentioning here comes from Vorsteiner, which is one of the first tuners to offer an aftermarket kit for the M4. In its kit, Vorsteiner included a software upgrade that increases the output of the M4 to 550 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque, a little more than what Cam Shaft was able to bring out. Finally, the Vorsteiner kit also included KW’s suspension sleeve kit and a larger set of wheels shod in Pirelli P Nero rubber tires.

Read the full review here.

Conclusion

2017 BMW M4 by Cam Shaft High Resolution Exterior
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In the face of stiff competition from all corners of the tuning world, Cam Shaft did well for itself here with a program that has an identity of its own. It doesn’t offer the most power and it’s not the most aerodynamically loaded program out there, but it does have a unique look to it that gives the BMW M4 a nice theme. Plus, the extra power is more than enough to justify that "Beware of Jetblast" decal on the rear bumper.

  • Leave it
    • * Look is not for everyone
    • * Minimal aerodynamic upgrades
    • * Other options available
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