BMW is about to add another new model to its rapidly expanding line-up of performance M cars. And, little surprise, the 2015 BMW M4 Convertible will have plenty in common with the coupe model, as well as the new BMW M3 Sedan.
Set to debut at the 2014 New York International Auto Show later this month, the ragtop M4 will be powered by the now-familiar BMW TwinPower 3.0-liter inline-six – here relying on two mono-scroll turbos – that can be paired with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed M double-clutch transmission.
Redlining at 7,600 RPMs – a significant number for a turbo engine, the package churns out a hefty 425 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque and is likely to be at least one of the fastest BMW cabriolets ever, with a 0 to 60 time nudging down around 4.4 seconds with the stick and 4.2 seconds with the DCT.
To help put power to the pavement, the M4 comes standard with BMW’s Active M Differential.
The M4 Convertible also gets BMW’s new electromechanical steering system, which is designed to improve driver feedback and steering feel. The system can be adjusted on the fly with three different steering modes: Comfort, Sport and Sport+.
Key options include the Adaptive M Suspension – which can also be set to three modes – and gold-painted carbon-ceramic brakes.
BMW claims to have put a premium on lightweighting, bringing the new M4 Convertible in at a curb weight of 4,055 pounds – or 90 pounds less than the outgoing, and slightly smaller, M3 Convertible. Among the key contributors are a new aluminum hood and front fenders, as well as a number of carbon-fiber components, such as the driveshaft and engine strut braces.
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The basic design of the M4 Convertible mirrors that of the 4-Series Coupe, which debuted last year as an all-new replacement for the old BMW 3-Series line. It’s longer, wider and lower. In M trim, the convertible gets such sporty touches as a trio of front air intakes, a distinctive twin-bar kidney grille with black-painted grille bars, exterior mirrors with twin-stalk mounts, and unique M double-spoke wheels.
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Inside, there are the requisite M door sills, an M driver’s footrest, M leather steering wheel and gearshift lever and distinctive circular gauges with white graphics. Bucket-style M sports seats are standard equipment.
As with the standard 4-Series convertible, the M4 ragtop features a three-piece retractable hardtop with additional noise insulation that BMW says reduces interior sound levels by 2 decibels compared to the old M3 Convertible when the top is raised. Meanwhile, in the up position luggage space grows to 13 cubic feet, or 0.7 cubic feet bigger than the old M3 Convertible. Space is cut to 7.8 cubic feet with the top open.
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As fast as the M4 Convertible might be off the stoplight, BMW claims the top is equally quick. It can be raised or lowered in just 20 seconds – even while moving at speeds up to 11 mph.
The Bavarian maker promises to have the 2015 M4 Convertible in showrooms by summer, leaving more than enough time to enjoy the warmth after this past, wicked winter.