Hot air: BMW M4 Convertible vs Jaguar F-Type
BMW's M4 Convertible aims to make an impact on the open-top performance car market. We test it against Jaguar's exhilarating F-Type S
The market for high-performance, open-top sports cars has been given a shot in the arm in the shape of the BMW M4 Convertible. While it shares its running gear with the M4 Coupe – including a cutting-edge twin-turbo straight-six engine – it adds the folding roof mechanism already seen in the standard 4 Series Convertible.
Although the new M4 Convertible delivers a tantalising combination of open-top motoring and performance, it doesn’t have the high-speed cabrio market all to itself, as this is also the domain of one of our favourite cars.
So, can BMW impress like its Coupe cousin, or has removing the roof stunted its driver appeal? We hit road and track to give these two a thorough workout to find out.
Click the links above for individual reviews, and scroll down to find out the verdict!
You get fully electric tops in both of these cars, and they can be operated while on the move – the BMW at speeds up to 11mph, and the Jag up to 30mph. We timed the M4’s roof at 23.8 seconds to open and 26.9 seconds to close, while the Jag took 10.8 and 12.1 seconds to do the same. With the tops up, the BMW was quieter at 70mph, registering 69dB. The F-Type’s fabric roof let in more noise – we recorded 72dB.
Both cars are simple enough to get in and out of, although the Jaguar is lower and access is a bit trickier with the roof up. Meanwhile, the BMW’s rear is easy to climb into. Both front seats slide forward electronically at the push of a button, and the doors open wide to boost accessibility.
The M4 and the F-Type boast 3.0-litre six-cylinder engines, but the straight-six in the BMW is twin turbocharged, while the Jag uses a supercharger. BMW has bolstered the M4’s engine note with a sound synthesiser, and the F-Type employs a mechanical valve in the exhaust to pump up the volume.
1st place: Jaguar F-Type
If you want a luxury convertible that makes you feel special every time you get behind the wheel, then nothing can match the Jaguar F-Type. From the way the exhaust barks into life when you start it, to the savage acceleration and tail-happy handling, the F-Type simply feels alive. This talent to entertain means you soon forget about its lack of practicality, and means the Jag is still one of the best cabrios you can buy.
2nd place: BMW M4 Convertible
The M4 Convertible delivers the same punchy performance and straight-six soundtrack as its coupé cousin, but losing the roof has compromised its performance. While it has the pace to outgun the F-Type, the extra weight of the M4’s complex roof system takes the edge off its cornering ability. It’s a great-performing four-seat convertible, but lacks the crucial feelgood factor of the Jaguar.
|Jaguar F-Type S||BMW M4 Convertible DCT|
|On the road price/total as tested||£67,535/£70,690||£63,390/£71,470|
|Residual value (after 3yrs/36,000)||£35,321/52.3%||£32,963/52.0%|
|Annual tax liability std/higher rate||£4,412/£ 8,824||£4,138/£8,276|
|Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)||£3,147/£5,245||£2,546/£4,244|
|Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost||50/£887/K/£285||45/£559/K/£285|
|Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service||£993 (3yrs)||£1,000 (5yrs/50k)|
|Peak power/revs||375/6,500 bhp/rpm||425/5,500 bhp/rpm|
|Peak torque/revs||460/3,500 Nm/rpm||550/1,850 Nm/rpm|
|Transmission||8-spd auto/rwd||7-spd auto/rwd|
|Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel||70 litres/£255||60 litres/repair kit|
|Boot capacity||196 litres||370 litres|
|Roof time (open/close)||10.8/12.1 seconds||23.8/26.9 seconds|
|Turning circle||10.7 metres||12.2 metres|
|Basic warranty (miles)/recovery||3yrs (unlimited)/3yrs||3yrs (unlimited)/3yrs|
|Service intervals/UK dealers||16,000 miles (1yr)/97||Variable/153|
|Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos||2nd/8th||10th/22nd|
|0-60/30-70mph||4.6/3.8 seconds||4.1/3.4 seconds|
|30-50mph in 3rd/4th||2.2/2.9 seconds||2.2/3.3 seconds|
|50-70mph in 5th/6th/7th/8th||3.7/5.4/7.5/12.3 secs||3.9/4.8/6.9/N/A secs|
|Top speed/rpm at 70mph||171mph/2,000rpm||156mph/2,000rpm|
|Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range||21.2/4.7/326 miles||26.2/5.8/346 miles|
|Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket||308/203g/km/33%||249/203g/km/33%|
|Ceramic brakes/stability/cruise ctrl||£8,900/yes/yes||£6,250/yes/yes|
|Climate ctrl/leather/heated seats||Yes/yes/£350||Yes/yes/yes|
|Met paint/xenons/wind deflector||£700/yes/yes||Yes/yes/£265|