What is it?
The successor to the new generation M4 sports coupé, the M4 Convertible. This is designed for those who love the feel of the wind in their hair, yet want the performance the M4 offers.
For some, the idea of a ‘performance convertible’ is a strange one, as convertibles tend to be heavier and generally do not have the torsional rigidity of a fixed-roof car. While that’s true to an extent, the modern convertible is vastly superior than before, so the overall loss of performance is much reduced.
ROAD TEST: BMW M4 Competition Coupe 2021 review
BMW engineers managed to keep the weight difference between coupé and convertible at 145 kg, a saving of 105 kg compared to the outgoing model. And to take things even further, this latest Beemer drop-top is only available in the more powerful ‘Competition’ spec, complete with four-wheel drive.
In appearance, the cloth roof down gives the M4 a different shape and stance on the road, but the much-discussed new grille remains the same, so the styling remains as polarizing as ever.
Does it have a racing pedigree?
BMW doesn’t race a convertible of course (unless you look at the former Le Mans Prototypes convertibles!) but as with the rest of the M4 range, much of this car was developed alongside the new M4 GT3 racer.
The road- and race-ready M4 share the same 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbo engine, and engineers from both sides of the company shared comments on the chassis and other aspects to ensure it maintains M Division’s reputation for building memorable performance. -cars lived up to.
What’s under the hood?
It gets the same 3.0-litre six-cylinder twin-turbo engine as the M4 Competition coupe. That means it delivers 375 kW of power and 650 Nm of torque.
In comparison, the standard M4 makes 353 kW and 550 Nm, so the Competition adds significantly more performance, which makes up for the extra weight.
As mentioned above, the M4 Competition Convertible gets BMW’s ‘xDrive’ four-wheel drive system that brings all that grunt to the road via an eight-speed automatic.
Although the move to the M4, which has traditionally been rear-wheel drive, is a big plus for all the torque. Switching to four-wheel drive allows the M4 to get all the power onto the road more smoothly.
As we discovered in the M4 Competition Coupe, this latest model is incredibly fast and has enough power to really push you back into your seat.
BMW claims that the M4 Convertible will run from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.7 seconds, meaning that regardless of the extra weight and the movable roof, this is a super-fast performance car.
How’s it going?
The latest M4 is built on a new underpinning that is a step forward over the model it replaces. Unlike the previous M4’s no-compromise handling package, this new generation maintains similar levels of dynamic performance with more suspension flexibility to create a better overall package.
The M4 is equipped with BMW’s Adaptive M system, which includes electronically controlled dampers with a specific tuning that delivers a noticeable difference in ride quality between the ‘Comfort’ driving mode and ‘Sport’, allowing you to choose the setting to suit the conditions .
The M-specific steering is a special highlight, as with the coupé. Despite the move to four-wheel drive, it still offers precision and feedback to the driver, making it an exciting car to drive.
Crucial to the M4 Convertible, BMW and M Division made major changes to ensure the body structure maintained proper torsional rigidity. To this end, this model is equipped with an aluminum sliding panel in the front structure, underfloor reinforcement elements, a rear axle subframe with a rigid connection to the rest of the body and torsion bars at the rear of the body, all of which work together to ensure that the body can also be roof stays strong.
Where would you most like to drive?
When we drove the M4 Coupé we said we would like to experience it on a track like Phillip Island or the new Nürburgring. While the M4 Convertible would undoubtedly be fast on a track, it’s not really meant for that.
This feels like the type of car you’d want to drive through the Swiss Alps on a summer’s day or whiz down a winding coastal road with the wind in your hair. It is a car to experience as much as to drive.
How is the interior?
Obviously it shares the same interior design as the coupe, which itself seemingly inherits much of the same design as most of the BMW range. It is clear that the BMW designers like their cabin layout and want to develop it subtly over time.
It’s perfectly functional and looks good quality, especially the M4 with its sporty carbon fiber trim, but if you’ve been in a BMW for the past ten years it will feel very familiar.
A notable new addition to the convertible is the standard equipment of seats with what’s called an ‘air collar’, which can blow warm air straight up your neck if you get a little chilli with the room down.
How much does the BMW M4 Competition Convertible cost?
It’s priced from $182,500 (plus on-road costs), which is a $11,000 premium over the M4 Competition xDrive Coupé. Interestingly, in addition to the typical rivals (Audi S5 Cabriolet and Mercedes-AMG C63 S) at this price point, there is also a potential rival for the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 3LT convertible, which starts at $175,500. Something to think about…
Would I buy one?
Personally, I’m not a fan of performance convertibles because despite BMW’s efforts and the ability to save 105kg over the old model, the M4 Convertible is still heavier than the coupe.
But for someone looking for a very fast, stylish and refined car that will allow them to enjoy the open air, this should definitely be on your shortlist.
2022 BMW M4 Competition Convertible Price and Specifications
|Price:||From $182,500 plus on-road fees|
|Engine:||3.0-litre sinx-cylinder twin-turbo petrol|
|Current:||375 kW at 6250 rpm|
|Couple:||650Nm at 2750-5500rpm|
|Transfer:||Eight-speed automatic, four-wheel drive|
|wheels:||19-inch alloy (front), 20-inch alloy (rear)|
|Ties:||275/35 ZR19 (front), 285/30 ZR20 (rear)|
|0-100 km/h:||3.7 seconds (claimed)|
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