What Is It?
The 2015 BMW M4 Convertible
What's New About This Model?
The 2015 BMW M4 Convertible is an all-new high-performance convertible and a companion to the 2015 BMW M4 Coupe and M3 sedan. It is the replacement for the 2013 BMW M3 Convertible, which has been rebadged.
When Does It Go on Sale?
BMW said it expects to have the new convertible in showrooms in summer 2014.
How Much Does It Cost?
No official pricing has been released yet, but we expect the M4 convertible to cost around $70,000.
How Does It Measure Up Against the 2013 BMW M3 Convertible?
The M4 convertible is more powerful than its predecessor and also promises to be more fuel-efficient.
The new twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine sees a power upgrade to 425 horsepower over the previous V8 engine, which delivered 414 hp.
A major emphasis has been put on weight savings with the M4 convertible, all in the interest of improving fuel economy, according to BMW.
The M4 convertible has a curb weight of 4,055 pounds, about 90 pounds less than its predecessor. BMW was able to reduce weight through the use of aluminum and carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic.
The EPA has not yet issued official fuel economy numbers on the M4 convertible, but the strict diet should translate to a major improvement. The outgoing M3 convertible with a 4.0-liter V8 engine and a six-speed manual transmission returns 13 mpg in city driving and 20 mpg on the highway, according to the EPA. It also requires premium gasoline.
What Kinds of Engines and Transmissions Does It Have?
• Twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine: 425 hp, 406 pound-feet of torque
• Six-speed manual transmission is standard; a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is optional and allows the driver to change gears via the selector lever in the center console or with shift paddles on the steering wheel.
• Zero to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds with the six-speed manual transmission; 4.2 seconds with seven-speed transmission
What Unique Features Does It Offer?
The hardtop M4 convertible gets a number of practical design tweaks, including a sound-absorbing headliner. The result is a quieter cabin. It also features a flat storage area when the backrest of the rear bench seat is folded down. The three-piece retractable hardtop lowers via a push-button in 20 seconds and can be dropped when the car is traveling at speeds of up to 11 mph.
Ambient cabin lighting is one of the best surprise-and-delight features out there, and one of the most thoughtful new touches in the M4 convertible's cabin is a BMW M logo on the seat backrests that lights up.
Performance enthusiasts will enjoy the optional head-up display that comes with M-specific functions, including a gear display, rev counter and Optimum Shift indicator.
What Kind of Safety Equipment Is Offered?
Buyers will have to pay extra for some of the latest high-tech safety equipment, including Driving Assistant Plus, which warns the driver of a looming collision with a pedestrian or vehicle and the "intelligent" anti-dazzle LED High Beam Assistant.
What Models Will It Compete Against?
2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible: Buyers who want a domestic drop top that can rival the BMW M4 convertible may want to consider a high-end version of the Corvette Stingray Convertible like the 3LT model with the optional Z51 Performance package. This setup boosts the appeal of an already tantalizing convertible, adding such items as performance brakes, black-painted calipers and an aero package. But be prepared to shell out around $70,000 for this version.
2014 Porsche Boxster S: A Porsche Boxster S tricked out with the Premium Package Plus takes the German favorite right up to around $70,000, but buyers get such amenities as a unique light setup, which adds LED lights in the cabin for a custom glow.
Should You Wait for It?
If you can handle the price, the M4 convertible's combination of turbocharged performance and stunning styling should deliver a driving experience that's worth holding out for.