The BMW M4 Convertible is the latest addition to the M3/M4 lineup and it might actually be one of the more interesting models. Not only does it look far better than we were expecting but it also makes a big change to the style of roof it uses, versus the outgoing model. While convertibles aren’t often preferred by enthusiasts, they should be, due to their increased exhaust noise, excitement factor, and connection to the road. This new BMW M4 Convertible should be no different.
40 Percent Lighter Soft Top
Let’s start with its looks. Obviously, the BMW M4 Convertible is based on the M4 Coupe, just with its roof chopped off. Shockingly, it looks rather good, which can be rare among coupes-turned-convertibles. With the roof down, its sleek body lines, smooth surfaces, and gracefully swollen wheel arches give it an elegant, yet muscular look. With the roof up, which is now a soft-top, it looks like a classy, performance GT car. Think mini-M8 Convertible, rather than drop-top M3.
BMW’s decision to go with a fabric roof was also a good one. Soft-top convertible roofs just look more premium and more elegant than folding hard-tops. The only folding metal hard-top roofs that look good are those on high-priced exotics, such as the McLaren 720S Spider and Ferrari Portofino. It’s why Bentley, Rolls-Royce, and even Aston Martin opt for fabric roofs instead.
Not only is it more elegant but it’s a functional improvement, as well. The new folding soft-top is 40-percent lighter than the outgoing hard-top, which does a few things. It allows for BMW to add the increased structural bracing required when removing the fixed roof, without adding as much to the overall curb weight. It also significantly reduces the center of gravity, versus the old car, which increases agility and provides better driving feel. Plus, BMW has done a ton of work on the fabric roof, increasing its insulation and providing a full glass rear window, to keep road and wind noise down, while also providing better weather insulation.
It opens and closes in eighteen seconds, this new roof, and can be operated at speeds up to 31 mph. So it’s relatively snappy (though, not the quickest in the industry), and can be operated on the move, which is nice. For additional convenience, you can also operate the roof with the key, so you can fold the roof down while it’s parked, before you get in. That’s great on hot days, when you want to get the hot air out of the cabin.
Obviously, trunk space is hindered, versus the M4 Coupe, but having a folding soft-top gives the new BMW M4 Convertible more trunk space than its predecessor. So now you get 9.0 cubic feet (284 liters) of space, which is up 1.2 cubic feet (34 liters) from before.
As predicted, the BMW M4 Convertible will come in only Competition spec, giving it the full-beans 503 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque, from its 3.0 liter twin-turbo I6. That engine will only get an eight-speed auto and xDrive all-wheel drive. No manual, no rear-drive for the drop-top M4.
Same Beast Of An Engine
While power is the same, performance is a bit down on the BMW M4 Convertible, compared to the Coupe. According to BMW, 0-60 mph takes 3.6 seconds, which is a few ticks slower than all other M3 and M4 variants. Thanks the increased weight, from the roof mechanism, increased structural bracing, and xDrive system, for that. However, that’s likely to matter very little, as the lack of roof will increase the excitement factor. When the wind is rushing in your hair and the blare of its S58 engine is in your ears, those few tenths of a second will mean nothing.
We’re happy to see the chance from hard-top to soft-op with this new generation, as well as how good the overall body looks with both the roof up and down. Though, we’ll temper our excitement until we actually drive it. The previous-gen M4 Convertible was disappointing, in terms of chassis rigidity and overall fun, but this new car has promise. Its chassis is inherently stiffer, its roof structure is lighter, its center of gravity is lower, and its powertrain is better. So we’re cautiously optimistic about the new BMW M4 Convertible and can’t wait to try it out.