Registry Tampa Bay

Here’s a little Trivial Pursuit teaser for you. When did BMW come up with that catchy advertising mantra “Ultimate Driving Machine”? If you said 1974, as in half a century ago this year, go straight to the top of the class.

Arguably, no other advertising slogan has been so effective in defining a brand, stirring-up emotions, and creating demand. Toyota’s “Oh What A Feeling”? Not so much.

And when, for some strange reason, BMW decided to ditch the line in 2006, in favor of the touchy-feely “The Joy of BMW”, sales bombed. I mean, who could get excited about “The Dish-washing Liquid of BMW”?

Fifty years on, BMW is still using the line with great effect. Didn’t you just love that whacky “Talkin’ Like Walken” Superbowl commercial, with cranky thespian Christopher Walken touting BMW’s latest all-electric 5-Series? The sign-off line: “There’s only one Christopher Walken. There’s only one Ultimate Driving Machine”. Inspired.  

Ultimate Driving Machine perfectly describes BMW’s newest slingshot drop-top, the 2025 M4 Competition xDrive Convertible I’ve been driving. Here’s a blunt-instrument four-seat roadster packing a he-man 523 horsepower, all-wheel drive, and the ability to carve curves like a Hot Wheels slot-car. 

While that oversized, swollen-kidney grille design has been around since 2021, the car has just had a nip, tuck and jab of Botox to keep things fresh. 

Nothing as radical or polarizing as that crazy grille; the headlights have been redesigned, there are new funky laser-accented taillights and new 20-inch M-sport forged alloy wheels at each corner.

The bigger news here is the addition of 20 extra horseys for the M4’s wonderful twin-turbo 3.0-liter straight-six, taking max power up from 503 hp, to 523 hp. That’s a hefty bump, but strangely the engine’s torque, or muscle, stays the same at 479 lb-ft. As does the car’s 0-to-60 mph sprinting time of 3.6-seconds. 

While “Ultimate Driving Machine” purists will likely opt for the coupe version of the M4, for me, the wind-in-the-hair, sun-on-your-face, gaze-up-at-the-stars joy of a convertible will always have the greater appeal.

And the M4 still makes an awesome drop top. Toggling a switch triggers a choreographed ballet of panels, hinges and fabric that sees the roof descend in a mere 10 seconds. And at speeds up to 30 mph. The beauty here is that with the top raised, the cabin is as hushed as a library at midnight, with not a hint of wind noise.

Settle into the wonderfully-supportive driver’s seat, press the racy-red start button, and hear that big M TwinPower straight-six exhale through its quartet of tailpipes. The Three Tenors hitting the high notes in O Sole Mio never sounded this stirring.

This is one of the world’s great engines. Silky-smooth, eager to rev, and with more muscle than Chris Hemsworth in Thor, it delivers true, rock-out-of-a-catapult acceleration. And it’s paired with ZF’s eight-speed automatic that’s almost as quick-shifting as the best dual-clutch transmissions on the market. 

Where the BMW M-for-Motorsport DNA shows through is when you fire the M4 down a sinewy backroad. There’s a lot of racecar technology here, with adaptive M suspension, an M electronic rear differential, rear-biased xDrive all-wheel drive, and beautifully-weighted steering as surgically precise as McDreamy’s scalpel. 

It all comes together to make this M4 one of the most fun, most agile, most thrilling sportsters on the market. No, you won’t be able to reach its handling limits on your local freeway on-ramp, but you’ll have a ton of fun trying. 

The downside is a ride that’s pretty firm, even in cushier Comfort mode. But plenty of body strengthening has dialed out any shimmy and shake, even over the gnarliest of surfaces. 

Of course the price of all this performance, technology and BMW M Motorsport massaging doesn’t come cheap. A base Competition xDrive Convertible will set you back $96,295, or around $115,000 nicely loaded. 

As for taming the Ultimate Driving Machine? Priceless.

Planning an Event?

Join The Charity Registry!

Promote your events on our website, membership directory and social media accounts.

One Response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *