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First Drive: 2015 BMW M4 Convertible by Henny Hemmes +VIDEO

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2015 BMW M4 Convertible

By Henny Hemmes
Senior European Editor
The Auto Channel

       • SEE ALSO: BMW Buyers Guide

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2015 BMW M4 Convertible

MUNICH - September 1, 2014: The BMW M4 Coupe has only just arrived on the markets, and here is the Convertible, too! It is expected at worldwide dealerships on September 6th. Therefore, the Germans had to be fast, and they organized the first driving event right after the summer holidays.

Last week, we started from the BMW Driving Academy at Maisach, not far from the company’s headquarters in Munich. BMW bought the land that formerly was the Furstenfeldbruck airfield: more than 320 acres of meadows, grass covered bunkers and asphalt. In 2012 BMW opened the Academy, which offers enough space for a (small) media event, without disrupting the Driving Experience ‘classes’.

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2015 BMW M4 Convertible

However, we did not spend long in Maisach, as I soon took off together with my German colleague Ute Major. We looked up at the sky, and decided to ignore the huge dark cloud moving in over our head. “If we drive fast we will not get wet,” is what I used to say, when driving a convertible. And indeed, there were just some big sprinkles on the windshield of the M4 Convertible. In the shortest time, the sky broke open and the sun came through.

We drove on the country roads around Munich, covered a long stretch of freeway to Garmisch Partenkirchen across the German-Austrian border into Tyrol. There the country roads led us to Moesem, close to Seefeld. Before we started our trip we wondered if we could make it back in time to catch our end of the afternoon flights, as the total drive was more than 320 miles and we were expected for lunch…

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2015 BMW M4 Convertible side mirror

There is no surprise when you get into the M4 Convertible. The interior of the topless model is the same as in the Coupe. Neither is the bodywork much different from the topless 4 Series that we drove early this year in and around Las Vegas. It speaks for itself that, being an M-model, the hood has the typical so-called power dome that we see on the Coupe. Also the extended wheel arches and the aerodynamically shaped rear view mirrors on the double posts are the same. That reminds me to stress the fact that the shape of the mirrors offer some look-through on the road. Nowadays, many of the new cars have a huge blind spot because of the bold A-pillar and the huge side view mirrors, the latter thanks to regulators in the European Union. You really have to look twice to make sure there is no car hidden in that area when you have to give way to somebody approaching from the left.

Back to the foldable steel top, that can be closed or opened in 20 seconds when driving at speeds below 18 mph. Whether the roof is closed or hidden in the luggage compartment, the M4 Convertible always looks attractive. With the roof stored in the luggage compartment, the four head rests clearly shows the BMW’s seating capacity and with the roof closed, the Convertible could easily be mistaken for a coupe.

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2015 BMW M4 Convertible rear seat

After hitting some heavy traffic around Munich, we flew over the Autobahn at full speed. The stretch to Garmisch has no speed limit, excepted for a few miles of road work and we felt completely at ease to push the throttle. The powerful twin turbo easily deals with the additional weight of the foldable hard top. It adds no less than 550 pounds to the vehicle weight, but it is 132 pounds lighter than that of the outgoing model.

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2015 BMW M4 Convertible divider

The six-cylinder rumbles softly and we can still hear each other talking when driving at 140 mph. That is until you step on the gas and hear the exhaust blasts, especially in sport or sport+ mode. The optional wind deflector, mounted behind the front seats, works properly as our hair remains pretty much in shape, which, I have to admit is quite a surprise.

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2015 BMW M4 Convertible dash

Our test car has the optional M DTC, an M-specific 7-speed double clutch transmission ($ 2,900), which works together with the 431 hp under the hood. It is easy to cruise along the road works at 35 mph as it is to push the throttle all the way up to 155 mph when the limiter prevents the engine to show what it can really do. The engine reaches such high speed so easily, that you have no doubt that it is willing and able to reach 186 mph (the magic 300 km/h).

Besides racing on the Autobahn, an exercise that you just do because you are allowed to, driving on the country roads into the Alps is also a joy. The M4 offers a comfortable feeling with the knowledge that all those the horses are available when you quickly want to pass a slow-driving sight-seeing tourist, or one of the many trucks. From as low as 1800 rpm, the huge amount of torque is always available until 5,500 rpm!

The M4 Coupe has already proven its track capabilities, so there is no need to try to copy that on the road. Of course, if we were on the race course, the extra pounds would count, but that is something that is compensated for by being able to drive with your head in the sun and the typical smell of the green forest in you nose. Buyers who opt for the Convertible will hardly notice during their daily use that the handling of the drop-top M4 is not exactly as sharp as that of the Coupe. But on a sunny day, the new M model offers much more than fantastic performance.

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2015 BMW M4 Convertible cargo
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2015 BMW M4 Convertible cargo space

When the top is up the truck holds 13 cu. ft of cargo, when the is down there's still 7.7 cu. ft of cargo space.

By the way, we made it to the brand new "For Friends Hotel" for a very short lunch. But the short break with the beautiful view and the test drive itself made our day!

Please check the technology of the M4 at my previous story by CLICKING HERE.

Technical details: BMW M Convertible M DCT

Engine 6 cylinders in-line

Capacity 2,979 cc

Power 317 kW/431 hp @ 5,500-7,300 rpm

Torque 550 Nm/406 lb-ft @ 1,850-5,500 rpm

Transmission M 7-speed Double Clutch Tranmsission

L/w/h 183.9/74.6/54.6 inches

Wheelbase 110.7 inches

Curb weight 4.110 lbs

Tires fr/rr 255/40 ZR18/275/40 ZR18

Acceleration 0-62 mph 4.4 sec

Top speed 155 mph (limited)

Fuel cons. city/highw/comb.(est.) Eu cycle: 8.7 liter/100 km, or 29 mpg

CO2-emission 203 g/km

Price (msrp) $ 73,425