A Famous Performance Car
Like any other BMW M car, the M4 (which was previously an M3 Coupe) is still perfectly capable of offering the Ultimate Driving Pleasure. So nothing really surprising here.
However, what makes it interesting is, BMW replaced the soft-top with a metal top, for more rigidity and road comfort, which makes it unique in its class. Same BMW used soft-top in its Gran Tourer, the 8 series, but not in M series. Isn’t that weird?
2020 is going to be the last year of current generation M4, which is based on the previous generation of 3-Series. In our test, we will see how does the M badge goes along with four-seat practicality and the bulky hard top.
Exterior and Interior
BMW M4 was first released in 2014 and it still keeps main design elements both interior and exterior. Convertible M4 comes with a metal roof, which offers a more comfortable and silent driving experience at higher speeds, at the expense of more weight. Though, when the roof closed, it looks almost identical with M4 coupe. There are some major differences compared to the regular 4 series. M specific wheels, bumpers, diffusers, fenders, hood, mirrors, quad tailpipes are all different and make the M4 look better and more special.
When we get inside the M4, it has typical BMW quality. Lots of leather, soft-touch plastics, and some carbon fiber trims. It is still a 4 seater but there is little to no rear legroom in the 4 series. This car is really not for 4 adults. Front seats are both supportive and comfortable which come with 14-way power-adjustable sport seats. Unlike the new 3 series, 4-Series hasn’t been updated yet, so it comes with older interior design which we still like it. There are still lots of physical buttons and they are pretty easy to use. It has a nice combination of technology implementation while still keeping buttons for essential features for longevity.
Engine & Drivetrain
This is the most fun part of this car. The M4 comes with a 6 cylinder twin-turbo engine that produces 425 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. However, as it is a cabriolet, it is approximately 500 pounds heavier which is over 4100 lbs. Surprisingly, M4 is available with a manual transmission option, but you can also choose a 7-speed dual-clutch DCT transmission. The transmission is a perfect match for a 6-speed inline engine, and they send power exclusively to the rear wheels. In the rear, it comes with M limited-slip differential, which is a must in this class.
If you choose Competition Package, it offers extra “whopping” 19 horsepower for a total of 444 horsepower. Though its extra weight, the M4 Convertible is able to reach from 0 to 100 km/h around 4.5 seconds. This level of power, feeding two turbocharges and added weight means more fuel consumption. In our tests, M4 consumed approximately 13.0L / 100 km in mixed driving circumstances.
Okay, at the end of the day, it is a true M car. This car is overpowered for public roads, and it will be dangerous for an average Joe if he turns off the stability control. However, if you are an enthusiast, you always appreciate having silky smooth inline-6, twin turbocharger, dual-clutch DCT (or manual), and a limited-slip differential. Unlike regular “sporty” BMWs, M4 comes with metal paddle shifters and they feel great when you shift manually. It literally encourages you to drive harder, and use it in manual mode all the time.
Driving a Convertible is fun in the summertime, but for an M car, there are significant disadvantages. It has less body rigidity, worse weight distribution. The M4 Convertible cannot beat physics, so this is where it gets confusing. You must decide if you need convertible, or need a true sports car, or both. If you need both, this is an excellent car, but you shouldn’t expect it to be perfect for being both.
As it is 500 lbs heavier than the coupe, it feels slower and heavier for a true sports car. It is not as sharp, or nimble. Not only it feels slow, but having so much torque and weight gives rear wheels hard time. As it is a twin-turbo, it has lots of torque in the low rpm and you must have great road conditions to successfully transfer that amount of torque when you are accelerating. You must be really careful with the throttle or it will constantly spin the rear tires in bad weather and road conditions. This should not be a problem as you shouldn’t get a convertible if you are serious about having the best lap time in track day or autocross. If having a convertible is your priority, this is an extremely fun and powerful car and it is capable of putting a smile on your face every time you drive it spiritedly.
Features and Pricing
As always, it has lots of optional features. Our tester comes with the Ultimate Package, which is a hefty $26,000 premium for Adaptive M suspension, 20″ wheels, Storage Compartment Package, M Seat belts, Park Distance Control, Adaptive Full LED Headlights, High-Beam Assistant, Active Blind Spot Detection, Surround View, Head-Up Display, SiriusXM, Wireless Charging, Wi-Fi Hotspot, Black Kidney Grille, Competition Package, M Driver’s Package, Carbon Fibre Front Inserts and Mirrors, Titanium Exhaust with Carbon Tips, and Carbon Fibre Rear Diffuser. For all features list, please visit www.bmw.ca
The infotainment system is user-friendly and easy to search around. However, it still lacks Android Auto. Unlike the 3-series, this generation 4 series hasn’t been updated yet, so it still has older technologies, so some of them are not on par with the other (newer) BMW models. For instance, the Adaptive Cruise control system is not as good as the new 3-Series. However, when it comes to features, you can’t go wrong with BMW as long as you pay the premium.
The M4 Convertible starts at $89,000 CAD and if you choose the Ultimate Package and M DCT automatic transmission, it goes all the way up to $118,900. It is true that you are paying a huge premium to have a true sports car heart with a convertible body. Unless you really need a convertible car, you can get a lot faster M cars for significantly cheaper. For the price, you are getting into M5 / M5 Competition territory which offers way more horsepower, more fun, more precise driving experience, more functionality, and more daily driveable car.
For up-to-date and detailed information, please visit: http://www.bmw.ca
Article And Photos by Dan Gunay