New BMW M4 Competition Convertible arrives in time for summer

The new 503bhp BMW M4 Competition Convertible adds open-top thrills to the latest hardcore M-car offering

BMW has lifted the lid on details of its new M4 Competition Convertible just in time for the British summer. The brand’s new addition to its performance car line-up will start production in July this year, it will be priced from £81,915 and deliveries will follow soon after.

As the name suggests, the BMW M4 Competition Convertible M xDrive is only available to order with the German brand’s M-tuned all-wheel-drive system. The brand’s new open-top sports car uses the same 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged straight-six engine as the M4 Coupe and M3 saloon, producing 503bhp and 650Nm of torque. With launch control and optimum traction from the xDrive system, the 0-62mph sprint takes 3.7 seconds - just two tenths of a second slower than the four-wheel drive M4 Competition Coupe.

It’s not the only impressive performance stat either, as the M4 Competition Convertible’s roof takes just 18 seconds to raise or lower electronically and can be operated on the move at up to 31mph. BMW says the electronically controlled quad-exit exhaust system’s distinctive note is particularly sonorous with the roof down.

The Convertible’s roof and its mechanism do have a slight negative impact on practicality compared with the Coupe. Boot space drops to 385 litres with the roof up, or 300 litres with it folded down - although this is still an increase of 80 litres compared with its predecessor, says BMW.

Unlike the previous M4 Convertible, which used a folding hard top, this new-generation car has returned to a soft top. Called the ‘Panel Bow soft top roof’ the new hood is 40 per cent lighter than the previous M4’s, which partly offsets this Convertible’s additional body strengthening compared with its hard-top M4 Coupe sibling.

To ensure the Convertible’s handling is compromised as little as possible in the transformation to the cabriolet, the M4 features plenty of bracing elements to boost its torsional rigidity. These include an aluminium shear panel at the front end, multiple under-floor bracing structures and a rear-axle subframe that is mounted rigidly to the body. The M4 Convertible also benefits from bespoke torsion struts at the rear.

Inside, the Convertible’s interior is very similar to the Coupe’s. However, BMW has fitted its Air Collar system as standard to the electrically adjustable heated sports seats to help keep front passengers warm with the roof down by blowing warm air onto their necks. The M4 Convertible is a full four-seater, too.

Specifications mirror those for the M4 Competition xDrive Coupe, with a similar bespoke suspension set-up for four-wheel-drive models. As standard the xDrive tech has a rear-biased set-up, but there’s also a mode to make the M4 rear-drive only with the ESC disengaged, as per its fixed roof sibling.

Equipment levels are good, as you’d expect from a range-topping convertible, while there’s plenty of potential to personalise the car’s look and feel by opting for the Comfort, M Carbon, Visibility, Technology Pro, Ultimate and M Plus packs.

The slight increase in weight means claimed efficiency now stands at a best of 27.7mpg and 231g/km CO2 emissions.

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Click here to find out what happened when we tested the new BMW M3 Competition against the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio...

Sean’s been writing about cars since 2010, having worked for outlets as diverse as PistonHeads, MSN Cars, Which? Cars, Race Tech – a specialist motorsport publication – and most recently Auto Express and sister titles Carbuyer and DrivingElectric

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