22/01/2008 New BMW M3 Convertible First M car with a retractable hard-top
BMW’s new M3 Convertible, due to go on sale in April, will be the first M car with a retractable hard-top. It joins the Coupé and Saloon as the third new M3 derivative and boasts the option of a brand-new seven-speed M ‘Double Clutch Transmission’, with gearshifts via either the paddles on the steering wheel or the gearlever. The DCT transmission gives cleaner, more frugal motoring – plus a quicker 0-62mph than the standard six-speed manual (5.1 seconds against the standard model’s 5.3 seconds).
The V8 engine develops 414bhp at 8300rpm and 400Nm of torque at 3900rpm from its 3999cc block (more than twice the power of the original 1988 M3 Convertible). Yet BMW’s EfficientDynamics programme ensures that economy is not compromised with the standard car delivering 21.9mpg on the combined cycle. Opt for DCT transmission and this improves by 1.1mpg, while CO2 emissions drop 16g/km to 293g/km.
Other reasons to pay the extra £2590 for the optional M DCT gearbox is the familiar Drivelogic feature, which allows the driver to fine-tune the gearchange. There’s also a gradient detection system to ease hill-starts, and a Low Speed Assistant for city driving.
Meanwhile, Brake Energy Regeneration is featured as standard on all M3 derivatives.
But it’s that electro-hydraulic retractable hard-top that’s really going to pull in the punters. And if we’re lucky enough to enjoy a good summer, fear not: we’re told that BMW’s ‘Sun Reflective’ leather technology means the roof can be left down for prolonged periods without the seat leather overheating.
Come April, the new BMW M3 Convertible can be yours for as little as £54,655 OTR.