- the 2022 bmw m4 lineup will include this convertible with all-wheel drive, which will be available in the u.s. this fall.
- it will be available only in competition trim and, with 503 horsepower, offers 59 hp more than previous competition models.
- the 2022 m4 competition convertible xdrive will start just under $90,000.
bmw is launching the next iteration of a favorite. the droptop m4 returns, with more power, all-wheel drive, and a clumsy model designation: meet the 2022 bmw m4 competition convertible xdrive. competitively priced at $89,295, it will come to the u.s. shortly after production starts this september.
while the m4 coupe and the m3 can also be ordered with a six-speed manual transmission and a slightly detuned engine, the convertible comes exclusively as the uplevel competition version, which bumps the power rating of the s58 3.0-liter straight-six to 503 horsepower. maximum torque is rated at 479 pound-feet, served up from 2750 to 5500 rpm. the engine redlines at 7200 rpm, down from the previous model's 7600 rpm.
the power is channeled to all four wheels via a zf-sourced 8hp eight-speed automatic transmission; sixth gear is the direct drive. this gearbox replaces the previous model's seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. the sprint from zero to 60 mph takes just 3.6 seconds. top speed is rated at 155 mph and can be raised to 174 mph, both electronically limited. there is no more manual transmission; the row-it-yourself box is mated to the less powerful m4 and m3 versions that are not available as a convertible.
while all-wheel drive is standard, the rear-biased system can shift the torque with extreme swiftness, and it is also possible to disconnect the front axle altogether, turning the m4 convertible into a pure rear-driver. like on the m3 and the m4 coupe, the m4 convertible receives massive upgrades from the regular 3- and 4-series, including interlinked strut towers, a strengthened front subframe, a unique front axle, and specific steering and braking systems. altogether, the changes from regular 4-series to m4 are less radical than on the predecessor. bmw claims this is because the base model is better. we also suspect it saved some money.
six-piston front and single-piston rear compound brakes are standard, and a ceramic brake system is optional. the m4 convertible is fitted with 275/35zr-19 front and 285/30zr-20 rear tires. there is an interesting optional m drive professional package which, according to the press release, "helps the driver to make consistent progress in pursuit of the ideal line and the perfect lap." t basically allows you to stay on the throttle during a drift, but we found it unhelpful and actually needed to "unlearn" the throttle modulation we typically use to keep a drift. skip the option if you are a pro.
another option we'd skip is the driving assistant professional package, helpful only if you tend to divert your attention from driving to your phone, et cetera. it is an unnerving bundle of nanny systems that thankfully is not mandatory on the m4. (the active driving assistant with its lane-departure warning is bad enough.) the optional head-up display, on the other hand, is a very welcome feature. we'd also opt for the fantastic m carbon bucket seats.
big news on the m4 convertible is the new fabric top, which offers virtually all advantages of the previous model's weather-tight, four-season retractable hard top but weighs less and looks better. and the other news is the front-end styling, abhorred by some but (secretly) approved by others. we think it fits the aggressive character of the m4, and we sure hope you live in a state without a front-end license plate requirement.
the imminent demise of the mercedes-amg c63 cabrio and the fact that there is no audi rs5 cabriolet means that the m4 convertible occupies a rather solitary position in the market, since the porsche 911 cabriolet is significantly more expensive.