The new drop-top has been spied undergoing testing before, but this is the first time the new M4 Convertible has been spied in near-production trim, and our first shots of it being put through its paces at the infamous German test track. A few changes are noticeable - it now wears larger M wheels, and a new front bumper with revised air intakes has been fitted.
Expected to be revealed later this year - possibly at the Paris motor show in September - the new hardcore convertible will use the same 3.0-litre twin-turbo producing 317kW of power between 5500-7300rpm and 550Nm of torque between 1850-5500rpm. The previous M3 Convertible was powered by a high-revving 4.0-litre V8, and produced 309kW and 400Nm.
As is the case with the 4 Series Coupe and recently added 4 Series Convertible, it is expected there will be a significant weight difference between the M4 Coupe and M4 Convertible. The weight of the folding metal roof equates to about 225kg in the standard range, pushing the current range-topping 435i model's kerb weight to a hefty 1700kg - but the production M4 Convertible may employ some additional lightweight technology - such as carbonfibre panelling - to help keep it relatively trim.
The M4 coupe has a claimed 4.1-second 0-100km/h sprint time when fitted with the optional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, while the six-speed manual claims a 4.3sec time. Depending on the weight difference, the convertible could be up to 0.5sec slower to triple figures.