The new BMW M4 Competition Convertible is a proper soft top - and also properly quick.
Just like the latest BMW 4 Series convertible, this M4 does away with the metal folding roof of old and instead goes for a ‘panel bow’ soft top roof.
Not only does it mean you get the classic look of a fabric hood, it’s also 40 per cent lighter than its predecessor’s retractable hardtop.
The soft top’s electric drive mechanism allows it to be opened or closed, while on the move, at speeds up to 31 mph, with the process taking around 18 seconds.
What’s more, the soft top also means an extra 80 litres of boot space compared with the hard top incarnation, with 300 litres to play with now.
And another nice touch is the standard-fit ‘Air Collar’ system, which directs warm wafts to the back of the neck and head of the front seat occupants, ensuring you’re nice and toasty despite the wind whistling around your bonce.
So far, so good, then - and there’s much more to get excited about it.
Underneath the bonnet you’ll find a high-revving 3.0-litre six-cylinder in-line engine developing a very healthy 510hp and 650Nm of torque.
That mill is bolted to BMW’s 4x4 ‘xDrive’ system, translating to a 0-62mph acceleration time of just 3.7 seconds. And if you really want to have fun, so-called ‘skilled drivers’ can switch to 2WD mode, which channels power solely to the rear wheels and which turns off any stability intervention from the chassis control systems.
Speaking of acceleration times… the M4 Convertible takes 13.1 seconds to reach 124mph from standstill, will do the 50-75mph dash in only 2.8 seconds, and if you go for the optional ‘M Driver’s Package’ you’ll increase the electronically limited top speed from 155mph to 174mph.
The cooling system and oil supply system has been specifically set up for hard track driving while the exhaust comes with electrically controlled flaps and should deliver pitch-perfect auditory poetry, especially when you’ve got the roof down.
Because it’s a soft top, BMW has paid close attention to making sure the body is still stiff enough to provide precise steering and handling.
A BMW spokesperson explains:
“Key features include bracing elements focused on enhancing driving dynamics and an aluminium shear panel in the front-end structure, underfloor bracing elements and a rear axle subframe with a rigid connection to the body. The convertible also benefits from unique torsion struts at the rear of the body.”
Nineteen inch rims at the front and 20 inch alloys at the back adds to the M4 Convertible’s handling capabilities.
And the cabin is just as accomplished.
The interior features an M leather steering wheel with gearshift paddles, M-specific gearshift lever with red colour accents, electrically adjustable and heated M Sport seats and a Merino leather trim, all as standard.
And there’s a hefty amount of equipment and driver assistance systems as standard, too.
You’ll enjoy three-zone automatic climate control, LED interior lighting with ambient lighting, a Harman Kardon HiFi system, as well as BMW’s cloud-based map navigation system.
The ‘Reversing Assistant’ system is also fitted as standard.
All in all, BMW says its M4 Competition Convertible M xDrive - which is priced from £81,915 - is its ‘most exclusive M car in the premium midsize segment’.
Production commences in July.
Enjoyed this? Read our latest news:
- New all-electric Vauxhall Combo-e Life MPV revealed
- New Evoque HST adds ‘sporty stealth’ to Range Rover’s SUV
- Volkswagen Arteon R promises ‘next-level’ performance
- All-new Subaru Outback is ‘safest ever built’
New Citroen e-Berlingo primed for release
For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to our newsletter here.