• Jan 26th 2007 at 5:01PM
  • 4
Winding Road's adding credence to the belief that the new M3 convertible coming from BMW will be a ragtop. As in cloth instead of a retractable hardtop, which seems to be de rigueur these days. Even though the 330i and 335i E92 platform mates have a retractable hardtop, the extra weight is considered anathema to the M Group philosophy. The extra 440 pounds of that folding top is a big sacrifice for the noise and safety benefits. So a soft top seems to be plausible. If a soft top is used, however, it will need to be pretty strong. The added speed promised from that new V8 is going to require extra work from the Bavarian engineers. If the cloth can't stay quiet and sealed at speed, another option apparently being considered is a carbon fiber version of the hardtop. Sounds expensive. But cool.

[Source: Winding Road]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      This is the stupidest thing I've heard in a while. Building a droptop M3 already means compromises in terms of structural integrity and added weight. The M3 convertible no matter which route they go (softtop or hard top) will be a compromise
      between sporty driving and luxury so WTF is the point of cutting a corner here when they'll already be slightly diluting the performance of the car by removing the roof in the first place? Once you chop the roof off of a car and turn it into a convertible you've just made a compromise unless it was engineered as a roadster from the get go. Why would BMW waste their time on something as stupid as this? What's their slogan for the car going to be, "we only made a small compromise
      regarding the roof. "Stupid. Focus on removing weight from the only M3s that matter anyway (the 2 door coupe and the 4 door sedan) as they're the ones that'll have their numbers quoted all over the
      place once the cars are in production. The convertible is already a compromise... deal with it.
      • 8 Years Ago
      It's not like this would be the first very fast convertible.

      Does the retractable top add 440 pounds to what a soft top would weigh, or to the coupe? I'm guessing the latter. So going with the soft top would save a lot of weight, especially up high where you least want it, but wouldn't save 440 pounds.

      Come to think of it, 440 pounds = 200 kilos. That number seems suspiciously neat.
      • 8 Years Ago
      First, buying an e46 M3 vert is like dating Tyra Banks after she's broken 170 lbs. She's still Tyra but you're getting the version that's not quite super model material.

      The e9x series of BMWs are ungodly heavy. I own one. It's a tank! The e9x M3 will be a chubby bastard - easily breaking 3600 lbs. The idea of a convertible one, regardless of the dorky hardtop on the new e92s is laughable. They'll be pushing 4000 lbs no matter if they go softtop or hardtop.

      Here's a wacky idea, BMW, shed about 300-400 lbs from your vehicles across lineup. The e9x 3 series is seriously overweight. Like Tyra it's fun to play with still but it could use a little flashback to 1995 when it was leaner and more athletic.
      • 8 Years Ago
      this would have to be the first time that someone has taken a convertible designed for a folding hardtop and reinstituted a cloth top... wait, my bad... there was the chrysler crossfire, which was a softtop, designed on the SLK chassis, which was a hardtop, but those were pretty different cars overall, whereas the m3 is really a specially modified 3 series in general... I honestly think that the kind of buyer who decides they want a m3, but don't quite get the "M"s philosophy wholesale are going to prefer a hardtop unless it made a dramatic difference, whereas the buyer who might say "oh, it should be cloth" will be buying the coupe anyway. In general, since BMW has been doing carbon fiber roofs on a few models... m6, m3csl, it might as well go with carbon. Especially unpainted... that would definitely satisfy the m3 poseur who is considering the new m3, but absolutely will be buying the convertible.