As the first performance-built BMW to feature a retractable hardtop, the new M3 convertible offers the best of two worlds—blistering performance and the pleasure of wind-in-your-hair acceleration. With its front-mounted 4-liter V-8 engine, the BMW M3 nearly matches the V-8-powered Audi R8’s power ratings—for half the cost. Producing 414 horsepower and 295 foot-pounds of torque, the latest coupe from BMW Motorsports division requires a bulbous power-dome hood to fit all eight cylinders into the engine bay. The car often receives criticism from M3 fan boys for the added weight of the V-8 power train (previous generations were equipped with only six cylinders), but all trivial matters tend to dissipate at the first press of the throttle. Torque abounds in every gear and—in true BMW fashion—the steering response is practically unparalleled. The M3 also offers an impressive Double-Clutch Transmission (DCT) that provides extremely smooth downshifts and minimizes any loss of power in gear changes during acceleration. BMW also offers the M3 in convertible and sedan variants for performance enthusiasts who are interested in soaking up the sun or need room for four.
Pros: The car is fast, fun, and driver friendly.
Cons: Watch the speedometer. It’s really easy to get carried away behind the wheel of this car.