This week, our European spy photographers trained their lenses on this prototype of the 2014 BMW M4 convertible. As was the case last time we spotted the performance drop-top, the M4 convertible had its power-folding hardtop raised, and only subtle camouflage over the rest of the bodywork.
There are several dead giveaways that this car is a prototype for the 2014 BMW M4 convertible: the quad exhaust tips that are a signature of M products, five split-spoke wheels, enormous cross-drilled brake discs, a "power bulge" hood, and enlarged air intakes in the lower fascia. The lack of camouflage tape over the roof reveals the joints where the multi-piece folding hardtop pivots; as on the outgoing BMW M3 convertible, the powered roof will likely stow inside the trunk.
We expect the 2014 BMW M4 (as well as the M3 sedan) will use a twin-turbo inline-six engine, likely with about 450 hp, replacing the 414-hp, 4.0-liter V-8 engine of the previous BMW M3. The hood and trunklid may be made from carbon fiber to save weight, and in addition to other weight-loss methods, reports say the BMW M4 coupe could be as much as 220 pounds lighter than its predecessor. The convertible, however, will be heavier owing to the weight of the convertible top mechanism, and the fact that its roof will not be made from carbon fiber, as is the case with the M4 coupe.
Based on BMW's promise in its teaser video that we should "stay tuned," we expect the M4 will be fully revealed later this year -- possibly at the Los Angeles auto show in November.
Update: Our spy photographer sent us more shots of the BMW M4 coupe and BMW M3 sedan. You can see both cars in the gallery below.