The BMW M440i xDrive Cabriolet at a glance
M440i with high suitability for everyday use
Is it blasphemy to criticize an M-product? Maybe. But the new BMW M4 is certainly not beyond reproach, polarized and of course also delivers (combined fuel consumption: 10.1-9.8 l / 100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 230-224 g / km²). Sometimes a lot too much. Because it is tuned too hard for normally bad roads, not suitable for everyday use and in the end too thirsty and too expensive.
Sounds like measured cunning, even though I consistently praised the M4 Competition a few weeks ago? Might be. At that time, however, I didn’t know the new BMW M440i Cabriolet (combined fuel consumption: 7.4-6.9 l / 100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 169-159 g / km²).
Strong six-wheeler, lots of traction
Fortunately, this is not a shrunken 8, luckily not a rock-hard M4 copy. Rather, with the open M Performance 4 Series, the Munich-based company has succeeded in what is probably what is currently the best product. So to speak, the egg-laying woolly milk pig of the automotive industry, apart from the measly trunk volume (300 liters).
But the 4 Series Cabriolet with the third most powerful engine primarily wants to touch the senses, makes me feel the joy of driving again and has the great advantage of always giving its power to all four wheels. As an advocate of rear-wheel drive, such a four-wheel drive has to be able to do something to please. And truly, the rear-biased xDrive knows how to actively drive the extremely powerful 275 kW / 374 horsepower of the M440i Cabriolet, not least thanks to the standard rear axle differential lock.
Great sound, a good 10 liter consumption
374 PS… that’s a whopping 136 PS less than the M4 Competition has to offer and yet, thanks to the turbine-like acceleration behavior, you feel anything but underpowered. The standard sprint to 100 km / h succeeds in 4.9 seconds, which is still feasible for the mind, and is governed by an electronic wall unit at 250 km / h , meanwhile also sounds pretty good and is currently playing the song of the good old days turned around 6,500 tours.
They even have thrust bubblers built into BMW, which can be experienced with the right feeling in the accelerator between 3,000 and 4,000 tours. Meanwhile, the standard 8-speed automatic converter works more quietly and secretly in the background and only allows a small weakness in S-gear and when cornering hard. Because here the automatic does not always “think” when braking and shifts down too late. A Porsche Doppelkuppler, for example, is much more agile in such situations. When asked about consumption, the on-board computer recapitulated a little less than ten liters per 100 kilometers during our journeys.
Extensive vehicle settings
As usual with BMW, the vehicle settings can be varied according to personal taste. We recommend the individual sport mode, which, like the other two sporty driving experience programs, deactivates the automatic start-stop. Since the current model year there is no longer a dedicated button for this. The adaptive sports suspension, the steering and the transmission are set to “Comfort”, the engine to “Sport” and the BMW M440i Cabriolet delivers that great everyday pleasure that the M4 Competition, at least in my personal opinion, did not bring to the chain.
So finally a sporty BMW with excellent suspension, with which you like to drive 600 kilometers at a time and whose front axle reports you in detail about the road conditions. The steering may have turned out a bit too nervous, but it is less synthetic than that of the first-born brother, the current 3 Series. The M Sportbrake then brings the total work of art, which weighs a good 2,000 kilograms, to an adequate stop again, but squeaks more frequently like a freight train in shunting operations.
Neck heating yes, seat cooling no
In general, the noises that our test car made when parking are of an unhealthy nature, although the creaking and whining in the steering gear was difficult to assign. It is easier to make out an exterior mirror that clearly creaks when it is folded in. Otherwise, however, the M440i is manufactured in an exemplary manner, the fabric roof with a real glass pane keeps outside noise quite well away from the interior and the belt feeders noticeably facilitate the lashing work.
In terms of driving comfort, neck heating is available as an option, which actually has added value to offer. Cooled leather seats like those offered by the competition would also have added value. Unfortunately, BMW continues to refrain from using them on the 4 Series.
High quality workmanship, windless convertible pleasure
At this point, however, the overall design of the cockpit should be emphasized. The materials used, the ergonomics and the multimedia operation are right here. Where others are slowing down, BMW seems to have really picked up speed in terms of quality. Perhaps for the next facelift a sensible instrument cluster will make it into the newer vehicles of the Munich-based company, if the playful speedometer design still does not look like the last word in wisdom.
Oh, and before I forget it: the soft top of the BMW M440i xDrive Cabriolet can be opened and closed at speeds of up to 50 km / h in a good 20 seconds – when the vehicle is stationary, the folding spectacle can also be achieved with the key. Just in case the 4er is parked right in front of an ice cream parlor. Incidentally, even those who like to drive open hardly have to worry about a storm hairstyle; If the windows are up and the wind deflector is up, there is almost no wind on the two front seats.
Chapeau BMW! Despite its weight, the new M440i xDrive Cabriolet impresses with its active driving character, offers high-quality workmanship and comes up with a great in-line six-cylinder. There is plenty of traction, and consumption is also limited with a decent driving style. Although the open M Performance 4 Series is a proud 22,600 euros cheaper than the new M4 Cabriolet, 75,900 euros before any extras are still not a stick. (Text and image: Thomas Vogelhuber)