• Apr 25th 2008 at 8:04PM
  • 31
Click above for a high-res gallery of the 2009 BMW M3 convertible.

To signal the beginning of sales of the M3 convertible in the UK, BMW decided to release two-dozen more photos of its drop-top super coupe, and that's enough of a reason for us to include them in a gallery with its white counterpart. Everything remains the same, including the choice of either a six-speed manual or six-speed DCT gearbox, all without that pesky roof to keep you from enjoying the 420 hp, 4.0-liter V8 when you're sending it up into its 8.400-rpm redline.

BMW's UK press release is posted after the jump.


The new BMW M3 Convertible

The new BMW M3 Convertible, the third derivative and concluding chapter in the current M3 line-up, adds a new dimension to the BMW M ownership experience.

Not only is the new open-topped M3 the first M car to feature a Retractable Hard-Top, it's the first M3 Convertible to be powered by a V8 engine and the first BMW to feature an all-new seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission (M DCT) as an alternative to the standard six-speed manual gearbox.

Although it possesses the same 4.0-litre, 420hp V8 engine as its M3 Coupé and M3 Saloon siblings, the fourth-generation M3 Convertible is very much a model in its own right. It has been designed from the ground up to be a four-seat convertible with supercar performance that showcases market-leading technology.

BMW M3 Convertible (manual gearbox)
Power (Hp) 420 Torque (Nm) 400 Zero to 62mph 5.3 Combined mpg 21.9 Emissions (g/km) 309 Price OTR £54,760

BMW M3 Convertible (with M DCT gearbox)
Power (Hp) 420 Torque (Nm) 400 Zero to 62mph 5.1 Combined mpg 23.0 Emissions (g/km) 293 Price OTR £57,350

The new M3 Convertible produces more than twice the power of the original 1988 model, yet the spirit and design philosophy remains the same. With outputs of 420hp and 400 Nm, and following the precedent set by its forebears, the M3 Convertible engine comfortably breaks the all-important 100hp per litre barrier. What's more, the new model has a power to weight ratio that is over 10 per cent higher than the outgoing E46 M3 Convertible – itself the previous benchmark open-top sports convertible.

EfficientDynamics at the performance end of the market
The new M3 Convertible is both more fuel efficient and produces less C02 than its predecessor, despite this breathtaking performance. The introduction of BMW's EfficientDynamics programme – which features Brake Energy Regeneration, Optimum Shift Indicator and lightweight materials – ensures that both running costs and emissions are kept to a minimum. The M3 Convertible returns 21.9 mpg on the combined cycle – a five per cent improvement over the previous generation model.

Transmission champ
A new option for all M3 buyers is BMW's new seven-speed M DCT gearbox. Offering drivers the chance to enjoy seamless gearshifts with no interruption in power delivery, this state-of-the-art transmission is so efficient that it outperforms the manual gearbox car in terms of acceleration, fuel economy and emissions.

Lifting the lid
The new BMW M3 Convertible is the first M car to feature a Retractable Hard-Top as standard. The electro-hydraulic roof is fully automatic and can be lowered in
22 seconds. The M3 Convertible is fitted with SunReflective leather, allowing owners to leave the top down for extended periods without the risk of the seat leather overheating. With SunReflective leather, which was initially developed by BMW Motorrad to keep motorbike riders cool in hot climes, the surface temperature remains up to 20 degrees Celsius lower than conventional leather.

Underneath the M3 Convertible's muscular torso lies a chassis and suspension system tailor-made for the demanding requirements of an open-top car. Torsional rigidity has been significantly improved over the previous model, while the suspension has been fine-tuned to take into account the specific weight distribution of a convertible.

The combination of a strong structure and advanced occupant restraint systems means the BMW M3 Convertible offers the highest possible standards of passive and active safety for occupants. Like the standard 3-Series Convertible, the M3 version is equipped with a rollover sensor system that constantly monitors the vertical and horizontal movement of the car. If the sensors (which are located in the centre of the car, on the B pillars and in the doors) detect that a rollover is imminent, roll bars located behind the rear headrests pop up. At the same time, the front seatbelt pre-tensioners are activated and the head/thorax airbags are deployed.

Klaus Kibsgaard, the new Managing Director of BMW (UK) Ltd, said: "To be stepping into BMW's third largest market just as brand shapers such as M3s and the X6 are launched is a rare treat. Throughout my time at BMW I have been aware of the strong lure that the M badge has on our UK customers. This latest car underscores our competitive advantage in the market place. It is the only performance car of its type to feature innovations such as energy saving technology and a folding metal roof.

"I believe the M3 Convertible is a sublime product and one of the best from M. It will be hugely satisfying for both our existing M3 Convertible owners looking to buy the new generation as well as prospects who, as yet, have not had the pleasure of hearing an M engine on full song."

The M3 Convertible goes on sale in the UK on 26 April 2008, priced at £54,760 OTR. BMW expects to sell approximately 900 M3 Convertibles in a full year. This compares to 1,900 M3 Coupés and 400 M3 Saloons.

M3 Convertible key facts:
• First M3 Convertible to feature a Retractable Hard-Top roof.
• The only high-performance convertible in the sector to incorporate specialist environmental fuel-saving and emissions-reducing technology.
• First M3 Convertible to be powered by a V8 engine.
• The eight-cylinder engine is lighter than the outgoing six-cylinder unit.
• First M3 Convertible to feature M Double Clutch Transmission. Available as a £2,590 option. And it's cleaner, faster and more frugal than a manual transmission.
• 0-62mph time of 5.1 seconds* makes it the fastest M3 Convertible ever.

*Note: When fitted with M DCT gearbox.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      "when your sending it"

      Did you mean to write "when you're sending it"? Or is it in Engrish? ;-)
      • 7 Years Ago
      To those dissing on convertibles: First, my roommate just put a hardtop on his Miata and the handling difference is negligible. The open top is more visceral and there's a certain thrill to the wind blowing around you. Not to mention you've got a great view of the stars. That's why you buy a convertible, not for the image!
        • 7 Years Ago
        Uh, I'm guessing that his clip on hard top did nothing to enhance the structural integrity of the car.

        That's like saying I become more agile when I strap on a football helmet.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Hah, were you kidding or did you actually say that with a straight face.
      • 7 Years Ago
      1. No Trunk.
      2. No sound system (I like my E46 HK much better. BMW...whassup with those itty bitty 3" drivers. And the sub simply sux)
      3. Hardtop convertible takes up trunk...see #1.
      4. Not ready for prime time. Take two more years, put a ragtop on it, go back to HK or B&O for the sound system, and we'll see.
      5. Oh yeah, too heavy. Put the 3.2L M3 L6 into the one series car.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Love the convertible,it is quite flashy n catchy

      • 7 Years Ago
        • 7 Years Ago
        It'll kill ya deader than the tin top in a roll over.....so there's that selling point.
        • 7 Years Ago
        jg, the X6 is about image only (and a disproportionate one at that). Pretty sure the 4x4 ride height does nothing for driving dynamics.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I never quite understand the appeal of a very high-powered convertible. It is unlikely that a convertible will have as sharp of driving dynamics as a coupe/sedan version. So it ends up being a high-powered image car.
          • 7 Years Ago
          For those that live in "sunny" weather locales, it is nice to have a vehicle that performs well with a top that can go down. It is rare that the limits of these vehicles would be reached performance-wise where you can differentiate between the coupe and convertible.
        • 7 Years Ago
        A convertible M3 is for the sweater around the neck crowd I agree but to say the 1 series is a car focused on image vs driving dynamics is pure stupidity. And what is the X6 all about if not driving dynamics? it serves no other purpose but to be something that's fun to drive.
        • 7 Years Ago
        post x3, 1 series, x6 and current 7 series, yes BMW is now squarely focused on 'image' and not dynamics.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Totally agree! A drop-top M3 definitely reflects a new-found sense of image-consciousness at BMW.

      • 7 Years Ago
      Hey...I'd take a heroin chic supermodel after putting 40 pounds of #i# and hips on her. Why bone yourself with some skinny chick? Those hips BRUISE! The only thing super about supermodels is their birkin bag and checkbook. And bitchy? You'll work every day for the job with her!
      • 7 Years Ago
      M3 convertible is a poseur car. It's like dating a super model but making her gain 40 lbs first.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think the convertible actually looks better than the coupe because it has a flatter roof which gives it more of a classic look.

      This picture especially: http://www.autoblog.com/photos/2009-bmw-m3-convertible/773279/
        • 7 Years Ago
        I agree. This looks pretty sweet.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The current M3 is an ugly sight. Normally, I would defer trust to designers at BMW but this time, they really accomplished a dubious feat: they ruined the guarded antagonistic look that made previous M3's so unique.

      Now, all the M3 is is an alternative to the C63, the RS 4, and the peculiar IS F. As a matter of fact, the M3's design really isn't all that different from the IS F's.

      No matter what you choose from, the coupe, the sedan, or this new cabrio, owning a new M3 really isn't as big of a deal as it was in the past, in my opinion.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Ja, we have engineered a revolutionary new driver aid. Ve call zis "der Naptronic."


      • 7 Years Ago
      All these comments asside, who thinks the 3 series in general, is the better looking over the 1, 5, 6, and 7 series? for me it goes 3Series->6Series->7Series->5Series->1Series->Then all the 4x4 cars and Z4.

      Personally im not a fan of converables, so id take the Coupe or Sedan, but if wind in ur hair is appealing, this wud be a great car, so long as they have made it rigid enough so that the average driver cant feel it flex.
        • 7 Years Ago

        for me, it's like this..

        like: 3, 5, 1, x5, 7

        dislike: x3, x6

        impartial: z4, 6

        yeah, I also think that the 3 is the best one

        especially the sedan
      • 7 Years Ago
      If you drive a powerful car, you have a tiny weener, if you drive a Mini, or other small car you are gay, a minivan and you're stodgy, a regular sedan and you're boring, and on and on.

      You guys just sit around your computer all day ragging on everyone else. I guess that makes up for your feelings of inferiority.

      The best thing is to the buy the car you like, and don't worry what other people think, because most of them don't.

      The new M3 doesn't work for me, because it's gotten a bit overweight, just like a lot of America's drivers. But I'm sure that most of those who buy it will enjoy it a lot. That's all that counts, really.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Finally, one decent comment!
        • 7 Years Ago
        Three cheers for Blackbird! Seems it's hard to express any approval of a car without getting jerked around. I personally think this one looks great. I would never opt to by a M3 convertible but I'm not gonna call any one a "poseur" for buying one.
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