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2015 BMW M4 Convertible Review & Test Drive

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Filed under Automotive, BMW, Test Drives

2015-bmw-m4-convertible

The competition is fierce today in an automotive world where horsepower numbers are the end-all in the gleaming eyes of enthusiasts. The days of using precise scalpels opposed to massively endowed hammers around canyon roads or racetracks are sometimes debated no to end due to the astounding amount of horsepower coming off of the production lines. Still, BMW remains a consistent force at retaining the perfect balance of luxury, sport and exceptional style when it comes to their prided ///M Motorsport vehicles, and the all-new M4 Convertible is nothing short of those expectations.

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The all-new BMW M4 has already been dissected in many forms by a variety of my journalist counterparts. In their conclusions it is safe to assume the new BMW M4 Convertible is among an elitist group when it comes to a hard-top convertible with the goods to serve multiple duties in delivering razor-sharp handling, strong acceleration reaching 60 mph from a standstill in about 4.4 seconds. The new M4 Convertible does all of this and still exudes the ultimate luxury appointments within the confines of a true sports car with two doors. The new 2015 BMW M4 doesn’t disappoint.

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The new 2015 BMW M4 Convertible attempts to keep many of its M4 Coupe sibling’s good looks with the newly sculpted lines that differentiate the M4 from the rest of the 4 Series line. The M4 does a good job and keeping things as close as possible to its motorsport roots with a remarkable drivetrain that attempts to overshadow those extra few pounds gained by the chassis reinforcements and its power hardtop.

If you are wondering about the difference between the M3 and the M4? You are not alone! This M3 Vs M4 guide is exactly what you need.

Under the aluminum hood lies the heart of the M4, the much-talked-about 3.0-liter 425 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque twin-turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine. This engine is a marvel, filling power all through the band and never waning all the way up to its screaming 7,600 rpm redline.

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Turbo lag is kept to a minimum where you hear subtle burbles from the exhaust reaching 2,000 rpm and beyond. The familiar sound from the exhaust and valvetrain of the twin turbo inline 6-cylinder engine brings back memories of the raspy note that the E46-generation M3 was known for in its S54 inline 6-cylinder engine. Only the new M4 brings a serious turbo whistle coupled with a thunderous clatter from the wastegate on full-boosted shifts. Part of this sound overshadows the relatively quiet engine noise pumped into the cabin by way of audio electronics. Put the hardtop down and there is a live symphony of ear intoxication from the exhaust out back and intake manifold up front with a pair of turbos singing backup with a high-pitch. The music from the engine is just as good as, if not better than, the Harmon Kardon surround sound audio system.

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Driving the new BMW M4 on the road is an obvious delight. Letting the top down does show some cowl shaking but it seems to be well managed with a reinforced underbody. With the top up, there seems to be not much of a difference in its coupe counterpart, other than some added weight to the tune of just over 500 pounds. On the fuel economy side you will expect to get the EPA estimated 17 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway, as I matched during a civil drive around town and local highways getting an overall average of about 21 mpg.

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My new BMW M4 Convertible is equipped with the latest 6-speed manual transmission, probably the best variation I have experienced in a BMW M vehicle. To add to its delight, the rev-matched downshift blips will make one think they are a professional driver, taking the extra efforts of heel & toe double-clutching out of the equation.

Use of the nicely weighted clutch (pressure plate) and smooth manual shifter makes driving all the more enjoyable for enthusiasts. The new M4 even has some ECU mapping to add to its hill-hold assist feature enabling the engine to automatically rev slightly upon you slowing engaging the clutch. I found this feature useful for those times picking up my daughter in the mile-long car pickup loop at her school. Creeping along in the M4 Convertible with its manual transmission becomes a much easier task of only letting up on the clutch pedal while the M4 does the revving for you. It’s the small things like this that add value to such a vehicle.

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Putting some extra thought into the true M experience, BMW’s selectable drive systems are quite competent allowing the rev-match system to engage in Efficient and Sport drive modes. Putting the drive mode into Sport Plus disables the downshift rev-matching, leaving your rowing and foot action in a full manual take.

The other drive programs, separated for steering effort for the communicative electro-mechanical rack, and adjustment of the optional Adaptive M Suspension dampers, can all be grouped in the M1 or M2 steering wheel buttons for quickly dialing up your desired drive modes. You can even tie in the stability/traction control systems for the MDM (M Dynamic Mode) to allow a little slip in the rear end. Fully disabling stability and traction control, where it’s just you and the car, puts you at the mercy of your driving skills to hone the twin-turbo Bavarian with its beefy Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires, optional carbon ceramic brakes and active M limited slip differential continually varying torque between the two rear wheels as needed.

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It would be pertinent to mention that the new M4, upon ignition start, will default to the Efficient drive mode, whereas the optional M sport suspension dampers are set to Sport as is the steering wheel effort setting. As a misnomer, the default Efficient setting for the drive mode really hampers power delivery in an effort to save fuel in conjunction with the brash start-stop system. In lieu of this annoyance for enthusiast, the ECU seems to limit power output even during brief 100% throttle inputs, which is such a shame for those who may forget to change the setting. Perhaps you can easily make the switch to Sport or Sport-Plus mode on the fly use of your configurable M steering wheel buttons.

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BMW’s new M4 Convertible is a thrill machine that retains the do-it-all attitude with a lavish luxury-laced cabin that exudes a serene setting by way of its soft-touch interior. The various trim, featuring carbon fiber, black chrome strips, and plush yet supportive 10-way M sport heated leather seats with an added neck warmer as part of the M4 Convertible’s optional Executive Package. The major pitfall of the BMW M4 Convertible’s accommodations is its limited trunk space when the top is folded, which is one of those sacrifices that must be made for a hard top convertible, one that takes about 20 seconds to fold or fully open.

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Optimal seating positions up front are easily found as the M4 fits you like a glove no matter the size of your posterior. The beefy leather wrapped heated steering wheel is made to be manhandled. The 6-speed manual shifter greets you with perfectly executed shifts in the palm of your hand with an assuring feel with each cog selection.

Controls through the latest iteration of iDrive and its rotary touchpad control dial all fit your brains inner thoughts after going through a brief learning curve. It’s the best iDrive yet. Everything about the M4 Convertible’s interior is where it should be. Even reading the color heads-up display while in the M View setting manages to keep your eyes on the road and perform shifts right at redline by way of a progressive and synchronized array of shift lights.

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The new 2015 BMW M4 Convertible, with all of its finely tuned instruments, power hardtop, and mastered twin turbo inline 6-cylinder engine, comes at a price. The famous saying, “you must pay to play” seems to be an appropriate connotation here.

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2015 BMW M4s at local Automotive Addicts Cars and Coffee event

My 2014 BMW M4 Convertible, loaded up with an Executive Package, M Carbon Ceramic Brakes, Adaptive M Suspension, a Lighting Package including adaptive LED headlights up front and automatic highbeams, staggered 19-inch wheels wrapped in 275/35R19 rear and 255/35R19 fronts, and the Silverstone Metallic exterior paint, comes to an as-tested price of $90,625.

Shocker? Well, yes and no. Regarding the sheer performance, versatility and feature sets of the new BMW M4 Convertible in my possession, the base price of $72,500 seems quite justifiable. However, $90K may be a slight stretch in my opinion. Still, this is the ultimate luxury sports convertible at the upper echelon of the performance food chain, and I am totally inclined to suggest it to those who want what the M3/M4 is known for all in a drop-top form.

Copyright: 2015 AutomotiveAddicts.com

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Price: Base M4 Coupe $64,200 / Base M4 Convertible $72,500 / As-Tested M4 Convertible $90,625
  • Vehicle layout: Front-engine, RWD, 4-pass, 2-door convertible
  • Engine: 3.0-liter DOHC 24-valve twin-turbocharged inline-6-cylinder 425 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm / 406 lb-ft @ 1,850 rpm
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual / optional 7-speed DCT (Dual-Clutch automated manual)
  • Curb weight: 4,055 lbs.
  • Wheelbase: 110.7 in
  • Length x width x height: 183.9 x 73.6 x 52.6 in
  • Headroom: f/r-40.4 in./37.1 in.
  • Legroom: f/r-42.2 in./33.7 in.
  • 0-60 mph: 4.4 sec
  • EPA city/hwy fuel econ: 17 mpg / 26 mpg (6-speed manual transmission)
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 15.8 gallons
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