2022 BMW M4 Competition Convertible review: price, specs and release date
The M4 Convertible should in theory deliver the same driving thrills as the Coupe version, with the added benefit of putting the wind in your hair...
On sale Now | Price from £83,355
If you prefer your performance car to be served with a dose of fresh air, then the BMW M4 Convertible will be a sight for sore eyes, because up until now, your choice of super-quick, four-seater drop-tops has been severely limited. Earlier this year Mercedes decided to kill off its V8-powered C63 Cabriolet and it’s been over five years since Audi last offered a convertible RS5. And while we’d be remiss to not mention the indomitable Porsche 911 Cabriolet, with a six-figure starting price it’s a completely different financial proposition.
Perhaps the lack of models in this class is down to the fact that, for many drivers, a performance-focused drop-top is something of an oxymoron. If you’re after a rewarding driving experience, why would you pick the version that is compromised by a heavy folding roof and a floppier body? If you didn’t know already, convertibles tend to have far less structural rigidity than coupes.
BMW is clearly aware of these drawbacks, though, and has done everything possible to make the new M4 Convertible as focused as possible. For starters, unlike its leaden predecessor, it gets a soft top that is said to be 40% lighter than the old car’s retractable hardtop, while the rear suspension has been tweaked to cope with the weight increase over the coupe – 150kg if you’re wondering. Even the underbody has been heavily reinforced to increase rigidity.
What's it like to drive?
So have these tweaks been effective? Well, in short, yes. With everything turned up to 11, it’s easy to forget that you’re not in an M4 coupe while you’re scything down a demanding stretch of country road. The ride that can be a little fidgety in town frees up with speed, to meld impressive compliance with exceptional control. There is also masses of grip from the front end, which, when combined with a rear-biased all-wheel drive system (the Convertible is xDrive only) makes this M4 a willing companion – you can easily play with its balance on the exit of corners.
Of course, when driven back to back with the coupe, there are small but noticeable differences. Really rough roads do send slight shudders through the cabriolet’s steering wheel and the brakes don’t quite have the urgent stopping power of the coupe (on account of the extra weight) but judged against its peers, this really is as capable as four-seat convertibles get.
As for straight-line performance, it might be 0.2 seconds slower to 62mph than the coupe at 3.7 seconds, but it’s impossible to feel that difference in the real world. In fact, with the roof down acceleration is more visceral – with the exhaust in M mode the straight-six engine sounds crisper and more characterful than it does in the coupe. And with the benefit of all-wheel drive for the first time, you can confidently deploy all 503bhp regardless of the conditions.
Speaking of the weather, if you get caught in a sudden downpour, you’ll be pleased to learn that the roof can be raised (or lowered) at speeds of up to 31mph. With the roof up wind noise is surprisingly muted even at motorway speeds (you hear more road noise from those massive tyres) and with it dropped there is a surprising lack of buffeting. Indeed, it’s so calm behind the wheel that we’re not convinced BMW’s optional £350 wind deflector is worth it – especially when you can’t have people in the rear seats with it fitted.
What's it like inside?
Inside, the convertible looks pretty much identical to the coupe. That means you get a beautifully built interior, a class-leading infotainment system and the option of BMW’s carbon bucket seats. The latter are rather expensive at £3,400, but they’re incredibly supportive and add a real sense of occasion to the interior.
Getting into the rear seats involves squeezing through a relatively narrow gap, but the same is true of all four-seat convertibles. Once you’re in, you’ll actually find more leg room than in a 911 Convertible or Lexus LC 500 Convertible. With the roof up taller adults will need to cower slightly or put up with their head resting on the ceiling, but a couple of six-footers will be comfortable enough in the back as long as the journey isn’t too long.
If you want to know more about the M4’s interior and how practical it is, we have a whole section about it in our M4 review.
If you’re after a genuinely useable four-seat convertible that is also capable of demolishing your favourite stretch of country road, then the M4 Convertible is something of a no-brainer.
Not only is it massively capable, but it’s also competitively priced. Now that might sound odd when you consider we are talking about an £80k plus car, but its closest rival is the 911 Cabriolet, and a base Carrera is nearly £20k more. Even the Lexus LC 500 Convertible has a near six-figure price tag, and that car skews towards the comfort end of the performance spectrum.
Ultimately, we’d rather take that money and spend it on a couple of choice options such as a set of beefier carbon ceramic brakes and the fantastic carbon bucket seats that we mentioned earlier.
What Car? rating 5 stars out of 5
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BMW M4 Competition Covertible with M xDrive
Price: £83,355 Engine: 6cyl, 2996cc, twin-turbo, petrol Power: 503bhp @5600-7200rpm Torque: 479lb ft @2750-5500rpm Gearbox: 8-spd automatic 0-62mph: 3.7sec Top speed: 155mph (180mph with M Driver’s pack) CO2, tax band: 233g/km, 37%
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