The plan was to visit the Moonlight Cinema in Melbourne's scenic Botanical Gardens with the other half. It was only fitting that we went in style, dropping the roof of the BMW M4 Convertible on a warm Melbourne night — you tend to savour these rare events in Melbourne.
Yep, it was amazing. I'm a huge fan of the BMW M3 Sedan, so one of those without a roof makes perfect sense to me. Like a classy — and expensive — date, the M4 Convertible's Mineral White exterior perfectly matched the Sakir Orange (more a red than an orange) interior. It looks great with the roof up or down, so no complaints there. It was also great to see BMW's version of the Mercedes-Benz AIRSCARF system that blows warm air on to the driver and front passenger's necks when the outside temperature is less than ideal.
Yes, absolutely. The standard 4 Series convertible looks great. The M4 Convertible — with its scallops, jagged edges and quad-exhaust pipes — looks stunning. When we collected this car from BMW there was also a Yas Marina Blue one on display — the white looked classier and matched the vehicle's split-personality a little better. There are also a host of interior colours to choose from when buying, so the customisation options are almost unlimited.
Beautiful. It's a functional BMW interior that works well as a convertible. With the roof down, there is a secret storage space behind the rear passenger seats, along with zip-down cavities for ISOFIX seats. Let's not forget BMW's brilliant iDrive system. It's easily the best in the business. When coupled with optional ConnectedDrive functionality, it takes vehicle remote control to new levels.
There is plenty of room in the cabin and four can comfortably be seated. It's a big convertible and that's why it's a practical performance car as well.
Definitely the BMW ConnectedDrive suite of features. Using BMW's ConnectedDrive application you can find your car remotely, you can activate cooling, honk the horn or even flash the lights.
The best application of this technology is the interlinking between other BMW ConnectedDrive vehicles. Let's say, for example, you are stopped in a new traffic jam that hasn't registered on the main traffic network. Your BMW will communicate the traffic jam to BMW's traffic server and distribute this to other BMW ConnectedDrive vehicles in the area, warning them of the traffic jam.
The other cool feature is finding your car. If you're like me and are hopeless with directions, you would have lost your car countless times (and probably can't remember where it is as you read this). The application allows you to find your car and it will direct you to its location. You can then honk the horn or flash the lights to narrow down its location.
The roof is incredibly slow. It takes around 20 seconds to open and close, but it can be operated at speeds of up to 18km/h, which is somewhat handy.
The other annoying part is installation of the wind deflector. It's incredibly fiddly and can't be done in a hurry. The air turbulence in the cabin isn't too bad, so the wind deflector isn't required most of the time if the windows are up and the roof is down.
Yeah, why not. It's a four seater and a comfortable one at that. While I had the car, I ferried a few guys around in the back seat and it was a little squishy, but overall it was comfortable. Getting in and out is pretty easy too.
When the roof is down, a convenient electric lifting mechanism can be used to shift the stowed roof out of the way to place bags or shopping beneath. It's a handy feature and BMW's particular implementation works well.
No. It's easy to use, easy to clean and can comfortably be used as a daily driver. The engine is tactile enough for highway cruising, but can turn into a sporty and fun car at the push of a button. The configurable 'M' models on the steering wheel can be customised to perform separate functions easily.
As I mentioned earlier, I loved the M3 Sedan, but I didn't fall in love with the M4 Convertible. It felt it a bit too clinical and when the car is in full sports mode (with the engine, suspension and steering in their respective maximum settings) it's too aggressive. The old E93 M3 Convertible was linear and progressive, and produced a genuinely raucous V8 engine note.
I'm also very disappointed with the amount of scuttle shake. I think we have been spoilt by the rigid and firm chassis on offer in the Jaguar F-Type and every 'regular' convertible we hop into afterwards just doesn't feel right.
The M4 is a large car, so it is bound to have some scuttle shake, but there's too much at the moment to consider it a proper bona fide convertible sports car.
I think it's a one night stand. I love the look of the car, I love the interior and the practicality. My wife also loved it, which is pretty impressive (considering she normally doesn't like convertibles).
But the scuttle shake and lack of genuine emotion means that I couldn't own one.
It's still the M3 Sedan for me. I love the understated styling and practicality of a performance sedan. The chassis is also rigid enough to consider it a proper sports car.
The M4 Convertible is for the person wanting the best and most expensive convertible 4 Series on the market. It's a big step up from the 435i Convertible in terms of pace and performance, but also in price, costing some $51,800 more.
If you were happy to sacrifice the rear seats, the BMW Z4 sDrive 35is would be a better performance option at $119,075. Likewise, if you were happy to sacrifice the 'M' badges, the 435i Convertible would be the better performance and practical option at $126,630.