A Class of Its Own: The Pros and Cons of the 2022 BMW M4 Competition Convertible

    The All-New BMW M4 Convertible: A Segment of One

    The BMW M4 Convertible has entered the market at a time when its rivals are bowing out. Audi has chosen not to offer an RS5 Convertible, and Mercedes has discontinued the C63 Convertible. This leaves the BMW M4 Convertible as the only option for customers seeking a high-performance, 500-horsepower droptop.

    One might think that BMW could have taken a lazy approach to developing the M4 Convertible, considering the lack of direct competition. However, that is not the case. The attention to detail and craftsmanship put into both the M4 and the 4 Series Convertible separately has proven to be a winning combination when they are brought together. Even if there were alternatives in the market, it would still be difficult to resist the allure of this impressive droptop M4.

    One standout feature of the 4 Series Convertible is its new fabric roof. Apart from its quick 18-second operation, the roof contributes to a remarkably quiet and isolated cabin. Even when driving at highway speeds on a blustery day, wind noise is surprisingly minimal. With the roof down and the windows lowered, the M4 maintains its composure, ensuring a comfortable experience even when enjoying open-top driving.

    The interior of the M4 Convertible is equally impressive. The ultra-high-performance sport seats not only provide exceptional support during spirited driving but also add a touch of elegance with their carbon fiber backing. The contrast of black and beige upholstery creates a visually appealing aesthetic, especially with the top down, making a statement to onlookers.

    While convertibles often come with a sacrifice in performance, the M4 Convertible retains its impressive powertrain. It features the same twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter straight-six engine, eight-speed automatic transmission, and xDrive all-wheel-drive system as its hardtop counterpart. With a 0-60 mph time of just 3.6 seconds, it proves that it can hold its own despite the additional weight from the convertible structure. It also boasts sharp handling, thanks to its quick steering response and responsive chassis.

    However, the M4 Convertible does have its drawbacks. One notable issue is the lack of engine sound with the roof down. If the drive mode settings are not precisely configured, the engine can sound rather muted, depriving drivers of the full auditory experience typically associated with an M car. Although refinement is a positive attribute, it seems that BMW may have gone a bit too far in this regard.

    Another issue lies with the overcomplication of the drive mode settings. While the M1 and M2 customization buttons on the steering wheel are great features, they come at the expense of pre-set drive modes like Eco, Comfort, and Sport. It feels unnecessary to eliminate these pre-set modes entirely when introducing new customization options. Similarly, the My Mode button, which appears to be another customizable drive mode option, only alters the instrument cluster layout and some active safety systems, rather than affecting suspension stiffness or steering weight. It would have made more sense to link such a system to the pre-existing drive modes.

    Lastly, the decision to offer the M4 Convertible exclusively as an all-wheel-drive, automatic-only vehicle may disappoint purists. BMW has always been known for championing rear-wheel drive and manual transmissions as essential components of the Ultimate Driving Machine. While the all-wheel-drive configuration and automatic transmission enhance performance, it does deviate from the traditional BMW ethos. However, this choice may have been influenced by the fact that the M4 Convertible represents a small segment of the M4 production.

    In conclusion, the all-new BMW M4 Convertible has entered a unique position in the market, without any direct rivals. Despite this, BMW has not compromised on the quality and performance of the vehicle. The convertible’s fabric roof, luxurious interior, impressive powertrain, and engaging handling make it a compelling choice for enthusiasts. While there are some minor criticisms regarding engine sound and drive mode complexity, overall, the M4 Convertible remains an exceptional option for those seeking a high-performance droptop. Only time will tell if BMW’s decision to offer it exclusively with all-wheel drive and an automatic transmission will resonate with their loyal fan base.

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