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World's cheapest M4: 1.5 engine, 71kW

2014-03-13 13:46

NEW M4, NOT LIKE WE KNOW IT: GWM has launched it's new 1.5-litre crossover SUV in SA and it's called the M4 - Yes, just like the more popular BMW model (inset). Image: GWM

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - GWM has officially launched its M4 aka ‘Speed’ (the nickname given thanks to its rapid sales in China, apparently), much to the dismay of BMW we’re sure… It’s now on sale in South Africa.

However, if anyone is going to point fingers about name stealing, it's BMW who, according to GWM, might be to blame. But, more about that later...

GWM South Africa COO Warren Olsen said: “The M4 is a ground-breaking vehicle for us, and actually creates an entirely new sub-niche in the crossover segment.

“It is smaller than vehicles such as the Ford EcoSport and Renault Duster, but offers more standard features and an attractive price. On the other hand it is also more obviously SUV-themed than cross-hatches such as our own C20R and the VW Vivo Maxx, so in effect it slots in between these two segments.”

Under the bonnet there’s a 1.5-litre VVT-i engine good for 71kW at 6000rpm and 138Nm and it's mated to a five-speed manual transmission. The unit has variable valve timing and has a claimed fuel consumption of 7.2 litres/100km, 172g/km of CO2 emissions and a 170km/h top speed.


It’s overall length is less than four metres, but has an SUV-rivalling ground clearance of more than 180mm and stylish 16” alloy rims, says the automaker. Boot space is measured at 310 litres with a full spare wheel under its floor.

The M4 available with a choice of six colours including orange, white, silver, black, red and blue.

Standard features include aircon, power windows/mirrors and an audio system with USB and auxiliary plug-in and Bluetooth; adjustable steering wheel and rear park assist.

Safety items include dual front airbags, disc brakes all-round backed by anti-lock brake system with electronic brake-force distribution, along with Isofix seat mountings and child locks.

Brand manager Hannes Oosthuizen said: “The M4 is bound to appeal to a younger audience that places individuality, striking design and connectivity high on the priority list.

“At the price, there is simply nothing out there to match the cheekiness of the M4, but it is more than just a pretty face, too. The standard features list is comprehensive, as is the overall value package, courtesy of a five-year or 100 000km warranty and five-year or 45 000km service plan.”

According to Oosthuizen, there are no issues as of yet regarding the M4 name. He says: "The M4 has been on sale in China for about two years, and the name was revealed even way before that, so I don’t think we can be accused of stealing the name from BMW! It was revealed at the 2011 Shanghai auto show.

GWM SA says: "See this forum and note posting dates; click here."

Oosthuizen added: "GWM also has a model called M2, interestingly, which has also been on the market for a long time."

Hmm, Wheels24 wonders what will come of this and if BMW might be the ones in hot water for calling their new 2- and 4 Series cars' sport models as the M2 and M4. With all that said, Wheels24 reported that BMW had in fact registered the M2 name in 2011. So, who is in the wrong?

BMW South Africa is yet to respond to us and GWM China has been asked for comment too.

In the meantime, if you'd like to know more about the world's cheapest M4, it's name is already over the place. Read more here.


GWM M4 1.5 VVT-i  - R189 999
Read more on:    gwm  |  launch  |  south africa  |  new models  |  m4

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