2022 BMW M4 Convertible revealed solely in Competition xDrive form

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BMW is finally taking the wraps off the 2022 M4 Convertible, which sidles up alongside the previously unveiled new M4 coupe. The droptop version will be offered exclusively in the M4's more extreme, higher-horsepower Competition form with standard all-wheel drive, so its full name is the 2022 BMW M4 Competition Convertible with M xDrive.

Skipping over the base M4's 473-hp twin-turbo straight-six, the new convertible instead gets the full-fat 503-hp version of the S58 engine, which also makes 479 lb-ft of torque, unchanged from the M4 Competition coupe. They represent increases of 59 hp and 79 lb-ft over the previous M4 convertible with the Competition package. BMW says the new convertible will rocket from zero to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds and, with the higher speed limiter that comes with the optional M Driver's Package, it will top out at 174 mph. You may want to strap your ball cap to your head.

Because the convertible comes only in Competition form, it will not be available with a manual transmission, which is offered only with the standard version of that engine. Instead, all 2022 M4 convertibles come with an eight-speed M Steptronic automatic transmission. The convertible also comes standard with xDrive all-wheel drive, which is optional in the M4 Competition coupe. The system incorporates an Active M electronically-controlled limited-slip rear differential and offers three drivetrain modes: 4WD (rear-biased all-wheel drive), 4WD Sport (further-rear-biased all-wheel drive) and 2WD (true rear-drive that requires the DSC to be switched off).

Compared to its predecessor, the new M4 Convertible is 4.6 inches longer and rides on a 1.8-inch longer wheelbase. The M4 Convertible shares the 1.4-inch wider body design of the M4 coupe, relative to the standard 4 Series.

It also comes with an Adaptive M suspension and staggered, 19- and 20-inch alloy wheels. M Compound brakes with blue calipers are standard, while black or red calipers are optional. So, too, are Carbon Ceramic brakes (with gold calipers). In addition to the usual BMW Comfort, Efficient, Sport and Sport Plus modes for various elements, there are configurable Road, Sport and Track modes accessed via the M Mode button.

Like the already-introduced 430i and M440i convertibles, the new M4 cabrio ditches the previous generation's retractable hardtop in favor of a soft top. BMW refers to the roof design as a "panel bow soft top", as it uses wider panel-like support elements rather than traditional metal top bows, creating a smoother appearance. The top can be opened or closed when driving at speeds up to 31 mph or remotely via the key fob. Of course, the soft top is lighter than the previous retractable hardtop (by 40 percent) and stows more compactly, allowing for 9 cubic feet of luggage space versus 7.8 in the previous M4 convertible.

The cabin features aluminum Tetragon trim or option carbon fiber. Merino leather-upholstered M Sport seats are standard, while lighter-weight (but still power-adjustable) M Carbon bucket seats are optional. Both include illuminated M logos. A digital instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch central display are standard, and a head-up display is optional.

Pricing for the 2022 M4 convertible opens at $87,295, a roughly $12k premium over the M4 Competition coupe (although part of that is the standard xDrive). Buyers will likely spend more, however, depending on how deeply they delve into the options sheet. Among the temptations are the M Driver's Package, the Driving Assistance Professional Package, the Executive Package and the Parking Assistance Package. Individual options include: M Drive Professional, M Carbon Ceramic brakes, M Carbon bucket seats, ventilated seats, and various trim elements. The 2022 M4 Competition Convertible launches this October.

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