30 years ago, BMW M GmbH complemented its model range for the first time with an open-top high-performance vehicle. Just in time for the summer of 1988, the BMW M3 Convertible offered motorsport fans the possibility to enjoy the fascination of an open topped sports car designed for everyday use, but with racetrack-proven engine and suspension technology.
The current successor, the BMW M4 Convertible, is the latest interpretation of this vehicle concept.
Limited to 30 vehicles in the UK, this limited edition model builds on the M Competition Package available for the BMW M4 Convertible. The open-top four-seater has a maximum output of 450hp, an M exhaust system, adaptive M suspension with specific SPORT mode and a sports configuration of the stability control system DSC and the Active M differential.
With a choice of two body colours for the BMW M4 Convertible Edition 30 Jahre - the Macao Blue metallic pays tribute to the open-top high-performance car’s debut over three decades ago and the Frozen Dark Grey Metallic boasts a rich sporting heritage and is available exclusively in the UK.
Standard features for the edition model include BMW Individual High Gloss Shadow Line trims for the BMW kidney grille surround, the M side gills, the model lettering and the forged M light alloys boasting a star-spoke design. The 20-inch wheels come in the colour Orbit Grey matt offered exclusively for the edition model.
The Merino full leather trim, the colour scheme of which matches the desired vehicle body paintwork, characterises the interior of the BMW M4 Convertible Edition 30 Jahre. In conjunction with the exterior colours Macao Blue or Frozen Dark Grey Metallic, there is a choice of the two-tone colour combinations Black/Fjord Blue and Black/Silverstone.
Other interior features include contrast stitching on the headrests as well as M floor mats with piping in the respective contrasting colour. The interior trim is finished in carbon fibre which comes as standard for both edition model variants.
The logo “30 Jahre Edition” is imprinted both on the doorsills and the headrests. Additionally, the wording “30 Jahre Edition 1/300” on the passenger side dashboard to give an indication of the exclusiveness of the model.
The BMW M4 Convertible Edition 30 Jahre reflects the combination of sportiness and open-air driving that has now seen across the past five model generations. A racetrack-proven vehicle concept and technology derived directly from motorsport had already formed the basis for open-top driving pleasure in the first BMW M3 Convertible.
The original model used a 2.3-litre, four-cylinder engine with four-valve technology, catalytic converter offering 195hp. Unique suspension technology and an aerodynamically optimised body including prominent wheel arches were derived from the two-door Saloon, which had been developed explicitly for use in touring car racing. Roberto Ravaglia, Wilfried Vogt and Eric van de Poele had won the World, European and German Touring Car Championships with their BMW M3 as early as during the 1987 season.
When the first BMW M3 Convertibles launched in the summer of 1988, more than 10,000 Saloon models had already been sold instead of the 5,000 originally planned for homologation purposes. With 786 units built, the BMW M3 Convertible of the first generation was the most exclusive variant of the successful model. It was produced until 1991, ultimately with an engine output that had been increased to 215hp, rendering the open-top four-seater one of the fastest vehicles of its kind.
The second generation of the BMW M3 Convertible followed in 1994 and an advanced safety system. A 286hp straight six-cylinder power unit provided for a refreshing open-air driving experience. Two years later, the further developed version of the straight six-cylinder engine delivered an output that had been increased to an impressive 321hp.
This generation of BMW M3 Convertible featured an innovative rollover protection system. Two protection bars, which were located at the rear behind the headrests, extended automatically if the sensors had detected the danger of a possible rollover and, together with the extremely stiff windshield, offered optimized passenger protection.
The BMW M3 Convertible entered the 21st century with the third model generation and a new straight six-cylinder engine. The high-performance convertible launched in 2001 appeared noticeably wider and was accelerated by a 343hp power unit. In addition to the high-revving engine concept, the variable M differential lock, compound brakes and sports seats with integrated seatbelts provided for an authentic open-air racing feeling.
For the power unit of the fourth BMW M3 Convertible launched in 2008, BMW M GmbH engineers had transferred the high-revving concept to a V8 engine. Despite a maximum output of 420hp, the sustained power delivery of the new engine proved most impressive. This was complemented by the unmistakable sound of the eight-cylinder power unit, which was clearly perceivable particularly when driving with the top down.
The BMW M3 Convertible of the fourth generation featured an electro-hydraulically retractable hardtop. The new roof construction made it possible to further enhance not only the racetrack suitability of the open-top high-performance sports car, but also its suitability for everyday use all year round.
The launch of the fifth generation in 2014 was also associated with a change of the model designation to BMW M4 Convertible. Power of the current model generation is delivered by a straight six-cylinder engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology and high-revving characteristics. Its spontaneous thrust, which is available right up into the high engine speed range, and its reduced weight compared to the predecessor model, is perfectly complemented by the optional seven-speed M dual clutch transmission with Drivelogic and the Active M differential. Hence, the BMW M4 Convertible offers the ideal prerequisites for maximum performance on the racetrack and everyday usability.
The new BMW M4 Convertible Edition 30 Jahre represents the latest incarnation of a model with a rich heritage. It goes on sales in February 2018 with prices starting from £76,675 OTR.