The BMW M4 Convertible is a fast, good-looking open-top that feels comfortable at all speeds. However, the M4 coupe is roomier and even more fun to drive.
The BMW M4 Convertible is a member of an exclusive club of high-performance drop-tops, which also includes the Mercedes-AMG C63 S Cabriolet and Audi S5 Cabriolet. Like these alternatives, the BMW is good-looking and hugely fast. However, it isn’t quite as practical as the standard M4 coupe.
Inside, the materials all feel incredibly well-made, with no nasty, ‘scratchy’ nooks or crannies to be found. Despite having sports seats, the front passengers will feel very comfortable, even on long journeys. The back, though, is cramped for adults, especially when the roof is up and headroom is at a premium. Things aren’t great in the boot either, as the M4’s folded-down roof greatly reduces storage space.
What the M4 Convertible lacks in practicality, it makes up for in standard equipment. Its 8.8-inch touchscreen with built-in sat-nav is part of BMW’s excellent iDrive system, which is among the most celebrated infotainment systems around. And BMW hasn’t been stingy with standard equipment, with everything from cruise control to wireless phone charging to automatic rain-sensing headlights thrown in. Automatic dual-zone air conditioning is also standard across the board, as are front seat heating, Bluetooth compatibility and wifi.
The convertible M4 is fast and good-looking, but it mostly stands in the shadow of the coupe it’s based on.
The safety kit is a bit more utilitarian. Included are automatic emergency braking, BMW Emergency Call – which automatically alerts emergency services during a crash – and front and rear parking sensors. However, features like lane-departure warnings, sign-reading technology, reversing camera and adaptive LED headlights are all optional extras – and none of them are exactly cheap.
There is only one engine option available for the M4 Convertible: a 3.0-litre, turbocharged petrol offering 431hp (or 450hp if you go for the optional Competition package). Despite the increased weight of the Convertible’s folding metal roof, the car still accelerates like a stabbed rat, going from 0-60mph in 4.4 seconds. However, this is 0.3 seconds slower than the coupe. Plus, if you attempt this with the roof up, the sound of the engine is neutered, replaced by a system that artificially channels revving sounds through the speakers.
As open-tops go, the BMW M4 Convertible is extremely good fun to drive. Together with all that performance, it has sharp, accurate steering and superb body control, so you can scythe around corners at huge speeds. The trouble is, without a roof, it’s slightly less rigid than the M4 coupe, which manages to be even more controlled through corners. Still, pop the roof back and you can listen to that exhaust noise while being well-sheltered from the wind.
So, if you desire speed and agility as well as open-top thrills, then the M4 Convertible needs to be on your list. But, if you can give or take the feeling of the wind in your hair, an M4 Coupe is even quicker around a racetrack while being slightly more practical with it.