Splash on some colour and some forged 19- or 20-inch wheels and you’re looking at the next BMW M4 Convertible.

    Patent images lodged with the European Union Intellectual Property Office were shared by user M Performance on the i4Talk message board.

    They reveal the 4 Series Convertible has received the same visual enhancements as its coupe sibling to become an M4, including a quad exhaust set-up, more aggressive front and rear bumpers, and horizontal bars for the dramatic new grille.

    Like the regular 4 Series drop top, the M4 will also feature a fabric folding roof. This allows BMW to cut some weight and therefore potentially improve efficiency.

    It also allowed BMW designers to pen a slightly sleeker roof line than the outgoing model while also freeing up some boot space.

    In the regular 4 Series convertible, cargo volume is up by 80L with the roof down and 15L with it up for a total of 300L and 385L, respectively.

    The new fabric roof is 40 per cent lighter than the outgoing model’s roof and can be operated at speeds of up to 50km/h, taking 18 seconds to fully open or close.

    It’ll be the first M4 to use a soft-top instead of a retractable hard-top. BMW has used a folding hardtop since the 2007 E93 M3 convertible, the M4’s predecessor.

    BMW has promised a more athletic driving experience with the regular 4 Series drop-top, with 4.0 per cent greater torsional rigidity and wider tracks, and we expect similar enhancements for the hi-po M4.

    The M3 sedan and M4 coupe offer a choice of a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder engine in two states of tune, though BMW has yet to confirm what the convertible will be available with.

    For the base M3 and M4 models, the twin-turbo six produces 353kW of power and 550Nm of torque, and is mated to a six-speed manual and rear-wheel drive.

    In Competition trim, it’s bumped up to 375kW and 650Nm but the manual is replaced with an eight-speed torque-converter. The Competition is available with a choice of rear- or all-wheel drive, and rides on 20-inch wheels rather than the 19-inch rims on the standard car.

    With BMW’s announcement it will finally make an M3 Touring, that leaves just two body styles in the extended 3 and 4 Series family that have yet to get the full M treatment: the long-wheelbase 3 Series sedan for Asian markets and the 4 Series Gran Coupe.

    Of the two, the 4 Series Gran Coupe is much more likely to spawn an M4 variant but this has yet to be confirmed.

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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