Another look- 2015 BMW M4 Cabriolet
Is the end of December a good time to grab the keys to a seriously high performance drop-top? No, it isn’t, a fact that should surprise exactly no one. What is surprising is how good the BMW M4 Cabriolet fares as a winter car- it’s amazing. After getting dumped on with 20-plus centimeters of accumulation and bone chilling temps, I was gleefully shocked that the M4 performed so well, even as CUV’s around us with jaw-clenched pilots promptly turned generic all season rubber into wheel spin and smoke.
BMWs all have always been inherently blessed with good balance, and their chassis bits try to make the most of their job in flattering the driver, especially in vaunted M trim. Throw a good set of snow tires into the mix, turn off stability control entirely and you have the makings of a vehicle that will get you to and from the office no matter what’s going on outside. It was great fun steering the car effortlessly with the throttle (the Active M Differential really earns its value here too) and we even put the top down for a few moments, much to the startled glances of fellow motorists.
The basic recipe that makes the M3 Sedan and M4 Coupe such tantalizing dishes is fully accounted for in the Cabriolet: rip-snorting turbo inline-six, blink-of-an-eye shifting and seriously capable brakes and suspenders. If you look at the spec sheets of the tin topped versions versus this alfresco model you may be easily convinced that the Cab will crack off the same 0-100km/h times and manhandle a road course as easily as its closed roof cousins. Sadly, you’d be wrong. The same trick folding hardtop that imbues the car with true all-weather and all season capability also saddles it with a shade under 200 kilograms of extra weight. That may not sound like an awful lot, but it’s enough added mass to dull the precision of every performance stat there is and isn’t- for example, how the car’s willingness to change direction will suffer a split second of indecision compared to the instantaneous reflexes of the non-convertible stablemates. It feels just a tad bit more cushy and imprecise as well.
Wearing the coveted M badge on your Bimmer tells the world you are just a bit more extreme than the next enthusiast, and that presumably you relish driving as one of life’s most important tasks. I do feel for the engineers assigned to this project- made to sweat each detail of weight savings down to a lowly gram only to add a whole bunch of weight in the name of allowing occupants access to the great outdoors. Cool, yes, but not absolutely paramount to drinking in the undistilled joys of driving. So instead of a laser focused apex carver, the M4 Cabriolet should find happier pursuits in life under the guise of high-strung GT car. Sure, you can’t take too much stuff on long road trips and the suspension, even in the plushest Comfort setting still offers up too much starch. I suspect none of that will matter one iota to the type of customer who seeks open motoring with a healthy zing of performance to boot. For them, the M4 will fit the bill perfectly.
2015 BMW M4 Cabriolet – Specifications
- Price as tested: $98,750
- Body Type: 2-door folding hardtop convertible
- Powertrain Layout: Front engine/rear-wheel drive
- Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged inline six, DOHC, 24 valves
- Horsepower: 425 @ 5,500 rpm
- Torque (lbs.-ft.): 406 @ 1,850 rpm
- Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch automatic
- Curb weight: 1,865kg (4,111 lbs.)
- Fuel consumption, Observed: 13.6L/100km (17 mpg)