Just as night follows day, any BMW model offers its owner luxurious looks, a powerful engine and great comfort. The roof-retractable BMW M3 Convertible turbo model adds speed to the list.
According to www.autocar.com, the M3 has clearly been tamed for ambitiously-rapid high-speed cruising with a 431bhp turbocharged, straight six-engine, fat tyres, a front bumper gaping with air-guzzling grilles, and the option of a swift-shifting seven-speed, paddle-triggered transmission.
“I love speed; so, any car I drive has to be swift and elegant for some of us who want to identify with brands,” says Charles Denzel Mwiyeretsi, a TV presenter and former Big Brother Africa housemate.
The M3 convertible has it all; weighs more and is certainly less stiff to potential damage from road manners that are a BMW motorsport model’s priority.
“Despite the poor roads here [Uganda], it is firm on the road, fun to drive and a great day-out car,” says Mwiyeretsi, who drove a VW Golf before acquiring the BMW M3 in 2014.
The M3 has a surprisingly-comfortable ride for a two-seater sports car – it is more comfortable than any other two-seater. The two seats are wide enough for anyone’s size, offering support in all the right places. There is no trouble in finding the driving position that will suit, because there is a lot of adjustment on offer.
FUEL, ENGINE PERFORMANCE
Mwiyeretsi says the M3 convertible 3.2-litre (petrol engine) twin-turbo six-cylinder is an expensive prospect on running costs and would be too thirsty for the local driver’s liking.
“It is eating me up,” Mwiyeretsi says of the BMW M3 fuel consumption. Mwiyeretsi has only driven the M3 as far as Jinja for a picnic outing.
Just like its gearbox, the M3 convertible’s steering has three settings – comfort, sport and sport plus; in all three, the steering feels quick and precise, and you get a good sense of when the front tyres are struggling.
According to www.autocar.com , the adaptive suspension gets the same level of adjustability. In its hardest setting, the sense that you are carrying extra weight around is quite evident, especially in tight corners. Even so, the convertible still manages to control its mass well when sharply changing its direction.
Ultimately, the M3 convertible is a very capable open-top, but if handling poise is a priority, the coupe’s better structural rigidity helps it turn in harder and stay more settled over mid-corner bumps.
SPACE AND INTERIOR
Electrically adjustable, leather sports seats are standard, which feel high- quality and do a great job of holding the driver and front passenger securely in place through fast bends, while the boot space is limited for luggage.
Setting the wheel and seat to a comfortable position is simple work and the M3’s aggressive swell on its bonnet – visible through the windscreen – is a constant reminder of its sporting intent.
“Clearly, it is not a family car or a carrier of luggage. It is just simple with limited space,” Mwiyeretsi says of its carrying capacity.
MAINTENANCE AND SAFETY
Mwiyeretsi, who does his servicing at Nakulabye Auto garage and City Oil for oil changes and lubrication, is yet to experience serious repairs.
“Spares are available, just like for other BMWs,” he says.
The M3 convertible comes with six airbags as standard, while pop-up roll hoops are deployed automatically if the electronics detect that the car is about to roll over. That is highly unlikely though, thanks to the M3’s advanced chassis and stability control systems.
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