Official pics and details of BMW's drop-top M3
16 January 2008

You're looking at the BMW M3 convertible, the third version of BMW's 414bhp, 4.0-litre V8 mid-range M car.As you'd expect, fitting a folding hard-top to the M3 coupé has added a few kilos, with the car now weighing in at 1790kg – or 135kg more than the coupé. Consequently, the cabriolet loses out 0.4sec on the 0-62mph time, with BMW stating 5.3sec, and average mpg is down from 22.8mph to 21mpg. But none of that is likely to make a difference outside of your local circuit, and provided the M3 cab drives as well as it looks, BMW is onto a winner.The suspension, taken from the coupé, has been redesigned to cope with the extra weight and the car's body structure has been reinforced to avoid body flex.You even get a 'convertible mode' as standard on this M3's air-conditioning, which means that the air-con reacts automatically to the outside conditions, rather than the temperature of the car's interior.Significantly, BMW has also announced the introduction of its new seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox, which is called M-DCT (for M Double Clutch Transmission). The new drivetrain will be available as an option on the M3 cabriolet from launch later this year, priced at around £2500. It will also be made available on the rest of the M3 range, and on various other BMW models, before the end of 2008.Other than that, the M3 cab is simply that – an M3 with the ability to drop its roof in a mere 22sec. No prices have been announced yet, but expect them soon. With the M3 saloon due on sale in March priced at £49,210, and the coupé on sale now at £50,625, expect the convertible to top the range at around £55k.

Vicky Parrott

Our Verdict

BMW M3 Coupé

The latest generation BMW M3 isn't as thrilling as the original E30 M3, but it's still mighty

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