I felt so naughty after driving the M4 that I should have had a cigarette. It looks like it will cut a diva and has the engine to serve stinging rebuke to serious muscle cars. What once was the M3 has become the M4, a convertible engineered to make drivers chortle like they just ingested a bottle of Jack while scorching a Cohiba. It's pretty good.
It almost snarls just looking at it. An aggressive front facia, clean underbody and integrated rear spoiler optimize fuel economy while reducing lift at high speed. Press a button in the console and the upper half flips and folds into the lower halfa stunt that would make Cirque du Soleil twist in the wind. All of this angry acrobatics sits over 19" black light alloy wheels.
A softer approach is taken inside with stitched leather on the dash and doors, carbon fiber trim, and comfy leather seats that cushion your rump and grip your sides. A tri-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel and multi-color head-up display give drivers the right tools. Two people fit better than four, but the rear seats are habitable for fast ice cream runs. The heated steering wheel, heated seats and neck warmers tame fall chills while blind spot detection and around-view camera enhance safety. Crank the Harman Kardon audio system, flip the lid and enjoy a drive.
Open the muscular hood and peer past the gorgeous carbon fiber tower brace for the car's jewel. Accelerative glee is dispensed by a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six-cylinder engine conjuring 425 horsepower and 406 lb.-ft. of torqueenough to move the convertible from 0-60 mph in 4.4 s and on to a final velocity north of obnoxious. Gas mileage rates just 17/24-MPG city/hwy, but why concern ourselves? An M4 demands to be thrashed.
Tromp the throttle and the exhaust note goes from tepid to torrential as forward momentum gathers at a pace that would please a rocket jockey. As the seven-speed dual clutch transmission with paddles upshifts through the gears, the exhaust lets out a loud crack before tossing your cookies back for the next stage. Launch control gets the car off the line cleanly.
You can adjust the steering and suspension for COMFORT, SPORT and SPORT+. In none of these settings does the car take on a light and airy feel. It's a powerful German sport machine and always drives as such. I'd prefer actual comfort in the COMFORT settinglighter steering and more compliance from the suspension over rough pavement. The car should be able to do both well. Ah heck, just stick it into a corner and giggle.
As a time-bending bonanza, the M4 is proficient. But, it's not perfect. There's no reason why the suspension has to crash over every bump. I've learned to use the iDrive infotainment system, but it still requires levels of menus to accomplish simple tasks. And, what minion eliminated a "P" setting for the gear selector ( goes into Park when the ignition button is pressed )? It's complication without distinction.
All of this debauchery comes at a pricea steep one. While you can get an M4 Coupe for $64,200, the M4 Convertible starts at $72,500. All in as-equipped, bring $87,941 to the signing. For that, you can get a Corvette Z06, Porsche Boxster Spyder, Mercedes E550 Cabriolet, or TWO Mustang GT Convertibles. But I wouldn't feel half as naughty driving them.
2015 BMW M4 convertible
Powertrain: 425hp 3.0-liter Turbo-I6, 7-spd. auto trans
Suspension f/r: electronic Ind/Ind
Wheels: 19"/19" alloy f/r
Brakes: disc/disc fr/rr
Must-have features: Turbo power, Naughty style
0-60 mph: 4.4s
Fuel economy: 17/24 mpg city/hwy
Assembly: Munich, Germany
Base/As-tested price: $72,500/$87,941