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The M4 has standard City Collision Mitigation, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Shelby GT500 doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.
The M4’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.
The M4 offers an optional Side and Top View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Shelby GT500 only offers a rear monitor.
Both the M4 and the Shelby GT500 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available blind spot warning systems.
The M4 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Shelby GT500’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.
The M4’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Shelby GT500’s (12 vs. 5 years).
BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the M4 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Ford doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Shelby GT500.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 24 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 10 places higher in reliability than Ford.
On the EPA test cycle the M4 Coupe Auto with its standard engine gets better fuel mileage than the Shelby GT500 Auto (17 city/23 hwy vs. 12 city/18 hwy).
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the M4’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
The M4 offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the M4’s wheelbase is 3.7 inches longer than on the Shelby GT500 (110.7 inches vs. 107 inches).
For better maneuverability, the M4’s turning circle is 3.8 feet tighter than the Shelby GT500’s (40 feet vs. 43.8 feet). The M4’s turning circle is 4.1 feet tighter than the Shelby GT500 Track Package’s (40 feet vs. 44.1 feet).
The BMW M4 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 550 pounds less than the Ford Shelby GT500.
The M4 is 5.7 inches shorter than the Shelby GT500, making the M4 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The M4’s standard power retractable hardtop allows a seamless transition from an open car, to a completely sealed coupe. The Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer a retractable hardtop.
Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the M4 Coupe a Compact car, while the Shelby GT500 is rated a Subcompact.
The M4 Coupe has 7.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Shelby GT500 (90.2 vs. 82.6).
The M4 Coupe has 2.2 inches more front headroom, 1.3 inches more rear headroom and 4.7 inches more rear legroom than the Shelby GT500.
A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the M4 easier. The M4’s trunk lift-over height is 26.2 inches, while the Shelby GT500’s liftover is 30 inches.
With its coupe body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the M4 offers cargo security. The Shelby GT500’s non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.
To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the M4’s trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.
The M4 offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
If the windows are left open on the M4 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Shelby GT500 can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
The M4’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Shelby GT500’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.
Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the M4 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.
In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The M4 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer headlight washers.
While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the M4 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.
To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the M4 has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer cornering lights. The M4 also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.
A power rear sunshade is optional in the M4 Coupe to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.
The M4’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Ford charges extra for heated mirrors on the Shelby GT500.
When the M4 is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Shelby GT500’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.
The M4 has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Shelby GT500 has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
On extremely cold winter days, the M4’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the BMW M4 offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.
The M4’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
The BMW M4 comes in coupe and convertible bodystyles; the Ford Shelby GT500 isn’t available as a convertible.
The 4 Series was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2014. The Shelby GT500 has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.
The M3/M4 was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 13 of the last 23 years. The Shelby GT500 has never been an “All Star.”
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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