So, what happens when there is a HUGE void left to be filled and there are not one, but THREE choices to suit your need? For starters, you have one helluva showdown between several Bavarians.

Of course the obvious car is the all-new M4 that follows the E92 M3. To me, it's a bit retarded to consider the M4 not an M3, but I digress. Let's just see how this one plays out.

The second entrant is the BMW M235i. It's been getting a lot of love from all corners of the globe, yet, I despise it. Go figure. Its size is more or less closer to the great E46 M3 and is far more simple than the other two players in this game. But, does it really have what it takes? If you ask me, no. It feels like a standard BMW and not like a real M car.

Last, but certainly not least, is the Alpina B4. As far as I know don't count on seeing one make it here in the States, but once and a while BMW will surprise you. Alpina's work isn't that of some half-hearted tuner. You have to remember that BMW does recognize Alpina's work and actually has sold its vehicles through BMW retailers here in the U.S. That says something. Could it have built the BEST successor to the M3 though?

Well, get ready to read it and weap. The results follow...

Autocar's verdict:

...If there’s a shock, it is that the M4 comes last. It looks great and, whatever the numbers say, is clearly the quickest from point to point. But although it has the most power, poise and grip, there’s a price to be paid in ride, refinement and the fact that it’s just not as reassuring to drive really fast as this kind of car should be.

It’s beaten by the Alpina because where the M4 is better, it is not by much; and in those areas where the B4 has the upper hand – comfort, civility and on-the-limit friendliness – its advantages are decisive.

But not so decisive as to provide a convincing reason to spend the extra over our eventual winner, the M235i. It might look like the poor relation in photographs and on the spec sheet, but out there where it matters in the real world, it doesn’t feel that way at all, especially when you consider the price gulf between them...

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CAR WARS! Family Edition: WHICH All-New BMW Is The REAL Successor To The M3 Coupe? Alpina B4 vs. M235i vs. M4

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