The M3 always feels nervous, urging you to mash the pedal. That’s not an insult. In fact, quite the contrary. BMW aficionados buy the M3 for just that rorty performance. It’s not crude, just insistent. The RS 4 is far more laid-back, though calling a 420-hp V8 that revs to 8,250 rpm laid-back is a relative term. It’s just that the RS 4’s V8 feels just as happy pottering along as it does zinging to 8,000 rpm.
It’s also wonderfully smooth and its engine tone is sophisticated compared with the M3’s rawness. Never mistake the RS 4 for anything less than quick, however. Zero to 100 kilometres an hour shows up in less than five seconds and that, folks, is quick in anyone’s books.