+ Superb engine
+ Brilliant xDrive system
+ Lovely cabin and infotainment
- Noisier than old M4 at speed
- Feels firm in town
- Too many drive settings
Verdict: The BMW M4 Convertible is about as good as open-tops get to drive, and feels both high quality and high tech inside. It's now slightly noisier with the roof up and still feels firm most of the time, though.
2022 BMW M4 Convertible review: the five-minute read
Serious sports car fans, prepare your nose, for you are about to look down it. More specifically, look down it at this: the BMW M4 Convertible.
Of the BMW M car stable, it is traditionally seen as the worst version. One of the heaviest and least structurally rigid of the lot, and therefore the least engaging to drive.
Maybe that's why Audi doesn't even bother with an RS5 Cabriolet these days, and we're still waiting to see the new open-top Mercedes-AMG C63. For now, the M4 Convertible's closest competition is a roofless Porsche 911.
Well, spoiler alert; the M4 Convertible is brilliant – but more on the way it drives later.
First, it's worth pointing out that even with the Grille Who Must Not be Named, the BMW M4 Convertible is a great looking car. Purposeful, muscular, without being tacky, and especially so when its new fabric roof has been tucked away behind its four seats.
The M4 Convertible feels purposeful and high quality inside too. Even more so if you add the (expensive) optional carbon fibre bucket seats seen in these pictures, which have to be some of the best-looking pews in the business, but importantly hold you in place brilliantly in bends.
Amongst the lashings of leather and carbon fibre trim also sits one of the best infotainment systems on sale. BMW's iDrive here consists of a high-res touchscreen that can also be controlled using a rotary controller between the front seats, making it easier than most to use while driving. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard too.
The BMW M4 Convertible seats four people, with enough room in the back for a couple of adults to sit fairly comfortably. Even its boot is generous at 300 litres roof-down or 385 litres roof-up, an 80-litre improvement on the old M4 Convertible now that its roof is a more slimline fabric job.
On the subject of that roof, it can be raised or lowered electronically in 18 seconds at up to speeds of 31mph. It's not the quickest around, but the ability to shelter from the rain while maintaining an urban pace is most welcome in the UK.
Sold only as a punchier Competition model in the UK, the M4 Convertible gets the same 510hp twin-turbocharged straight-six petrol as the current M3 and M4. It's a fabulous engine, with incredible throttle response and massive punch across seemingly its entire rev range. It sounds great too, and paired with BMW's pin-sharp eight-speed automatic gearbox is one of the great powertrains.
The sprint from 0-62mph takes just 3.7 seconds using launch control, while the M4 Convertibles 155mph top speed can be optionally raised to 174mph if necessary.
That's the straight-line stuff, but what about that xDrive all-wheel drive in the corners? Well, we think it's the best thing to happen to the current M3 and M4 ranges. No, really. The previous M3 and M4 were brilliant in the dry, but often too playful in the wet. Now, with even more power, this M4 Convertible is a devastatingly fast all-season sports car.
And it isn't as though you can't have fun. The system runs the rear wheels most of the time, with the fronts only chiming in if needed. Plus, you can lock the M4 Convertible in rear-wheel-drive mode at the press of the button for smoky sideways action.
With all four wheels getting power and the M4 Convertible's countless drive modes all set to their most aggressive, this is one of the best-driving open-tops on sale. It steers wonderfully, doesn't lean or pitch, doesn't shudder over bumps despite no roof and its xDrive and M rear differential bring so much more confidence on wet roads.
A 911 Cabriolet is perhaps even sweeter to steer and yes, jumping out of the M4 Convertible and into a fixed-roof M3 confirmed that the latter does feel a touch keener to turn in. We're talking real beard-and-cardigan levels though, and it certainly isn't enough to spoil the fun.
Granted, the M4 Convertible's new fabric roof does let more road noise in than the old metal one and it does feel firm to drive, even in its most comfortable suspension setting and especially at lower speeds over rough roads. It is very well damped, though, and the drive never left us feeling truly uncomfortable.
So, if you love getting the roof down, you can rest assured that the M4 Convertible is now closer than ever to its solid-roof stablemates. Driving on the public road, there really is nothing in it.
As mentioned, the only car that gets close to this rounded a package is the Porsche 911 Cabriolet, but in its equivalent Carrera 4S guise costs some £33,000 more than the M4 Convertible to buy.
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