In 2014 BMW decided to rebadge two-door coupes and convertibles with even numbers, M4, and four-door sedans with odd numbers, M3. So for the first time in the model’s illustrious history, if you wanted an M3, it had to come with four doors. As the owner of two prior generation 2-door M3s, an inline 4 cylinder 1996 E36 M3 coupe, and an inline 6 cylinder 2006 E46 M3 Cabriolet, we were really looking forward to sampling the 2020 M4. We weren’t disappointed.
The 2020 BMW M4 has an M TwinPower turbocharged inline 3.0 litre 6 cylinder engine that generates 425 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque from 1,850–5,500 rpm. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a 6 speed manual transmission. An optional 7 speed M Double Clutch Transmission (M DCT) with Drivelogic is available as a $3,900 option. The M4 Cabriolet can sprint from 0-100 km/h in 4.4 seconds when equipped with the M DCT and 4.6 seconds with the 6-sp manual. The M4 coupe can achieve runs from naught to 100 km/h in 4.1 seconds with the M DCT, and 4.3 seconds with the manual transmission. BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive is not available on the current generation M4.
Our test car has a base price of $89,000. It is equipped with the Ultimate Package which is a $26,000 27-item option that includes everything but the kitchen sink. To put this into perspective, the base price of the 202 hp Toyota Camry is $26,620. This is what you get for the price of that new car:
Ultimate Package – $26,000
1. 20″ M Light Alloy Wheels, Star-Spoke 666M, Black, Perf. Non-RFT
2. Active Blind Spot Detection
3. Adaptive Full LED Headlights
4. Adaptive M Suspension
5. Black Side Skirt
6. BMW ConnectedDrive Services Professional
7. Carbon Fibre Front Inserts and Black Lower Lip
8. Carbon Fibre Rear Diffuser
9. Carbon Fibre Side Mirrors
10. Competition Package (incudes Adaptive M Suspension)
11. Head-Up Display
12. High-Beam Assistant
13. High-Gloss Black Kidney Grille with Extended Contents
14. High-Gloss Black Kidney Grills
15. High-Gloss Black Side Grill
16. M Driver’s Package
17. M Performance Titanium Exhaust with Carbon Tips
18. M Seat Belts
19. Metallic Paint
20. Park Distance Control, front and rear
21. SiriusXM Satellite Radio Tuner
22. Speed Limit Info
23. Storage Compartment Package
24. Surround View
25. Universal Remote Control
26. Wi-Fi Hotspot
27. Wireless Charging with Extended Bluetooth and USB
Add $3,900 for the M DCT 7-speed transmission and you end up with an M4 Cabriolet that costs $121,380, plus fees and taxes.
The BMW M4 Cabriolet is an understated performance machine. With its hardtop retracted, and its elegant Silverstone Merino Leather interior glistening in the sunlight, it looks more the part of a boulevard cruiser. But when you fire up its 425 hp engine, and listen to the very vocal exhaust note emitting from the M Performance Titanium Exhaust via the Carbon Tips, you know this car intends to deliver on its M promise of performance. The Titanium Exhaust with Carbon Tips is part of the Ultimate Package but is also available as a standalone options for $4,900.
To say the ride is firm would be a bit of an understatement. One of the 27 options in the Ultimate Package is the Competition Package which includes the Adaptive M Suspension. The Adaptive M suspension’s shock absorbers continually adjust to the road conditions and the driver’s driving style. Switching from Comfort, to Sport, then Sport Plus really firms up the ride, which would be great on a race track, we assume. It is very firm for daily driving. The Competition Package is available as a standalone option for $5,500.
There are individual buttons, each with three settings, to adjust the throttle response and exhaust (efficient, sport and sport plus), suspension (comfort, sport and sport plus), steering (comfort, sport and sport plus), and speed of the gear shifts (1, 2 and 3 bars). We loved being able to adjust each one of the performance and handling adjustments individually, simply with the touch of a button.
Be forewarned that Dynamic Cruise Control is not Adaptive Cruise Control. Once set, it will keep you at a contestant speed and not react to the traffic around you. If the car picks up momentum going down a steep hill it will slow the car down to maintain the desired speed. In some cases, it will slow the car down if it feels that it is cornering too quickly. But it will not slow you down if there is an object, i.e. another vehicle, in your path.
The current generation M4 has Apple CarPlay, but shows no love to users of Android smartphones as Android Auto is not available. And for those of us who want everything just so, you cannot sync the driver and passenger dual climate setting. You must change each temperature control individually. And when you refuel this rather thirsty premium drinking performance car, your fuel gage will not indicate which side of the car your fuel filler is on. You have a fifty/fifty change of getting it right and we got it right about half the time. A simple arrow on the fuel gauge would solve that.
The 2020 BMW M4 Cabriolet is a very versatile performance machine. It can be a coupe when the hardtop is firmly fitted in place, and it can be a wide-open convertible when the hardtop is stowed away in the trunk. In cabriolet mode, the optional M Performance Titanium Exhaust will put a smile on the driver’s face with every flaming paddle gearshift. We’re not sure about what passengers or onlookers will think, but the snaps, crackles and pops are music to the driver’s ears, as is the car’s overall level of performance. Plant your right foot into the carpet and be prepared for a vigorous response from the M tuned drivetrain. If it was possible to configure the M4 Cab with xDrive all-wheel drive, you might be able to edge even closer to the ultimate Ultimate Driving Machine.