Nine surprising cars that weigh less than the BMW M4 Cabrio | Top Gear
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BBC TopGear

Nine surprising cars that weigh less than the BMW M4 Cabrio

We’ve arrived at the two-tonne M3-variant, folks. Fancy something a bit lighter?

  • Last week, we brought you news of BMW’s new M4 Cabrio. A quick recap for you: 3.0-litre straight-six, 503bhp, eight-speed automatic gearbox, all-wheel drive only. Handy in slippery weather… which is no good for drop-tops. Eh?

    Yep, despite wearing a fabric roof that’s apparently 40 per cent lighter than the old M4’s folding metal roof, this sunseeking version of M Division’s finest is 5kg short of two tonnes. BMW's lightest quoted kerbweight without a driver is a whopping 1920kg. 

    Still, that mass doesn’t seem to have impacted performance: zero to 62mph takes 3.7 seconds, 124mph arrives in 13.1 seconds, while the top speed is reportedly 174mph with the M Driver’s Pack. Ooft. Windy. 

    But what if you fancy something a touch lighter on its feet? Worry not: TG has the answers you need, but didn’t expect…

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  • Tesla Model 3 – 1,844kg

    Tesla’s four-door family saloon, the Model 3 is powered by a great big wad of lithium-ion batteries mounted in the car’s floor. The Long Range, 75kWh version carries 4,416 cells arranged in 96 groups of 46, weighing a total of 480kg. Or, to put it in other words, eight average-weight human beings (pre-lockdown, presumably). Heavy, then.

    You’d feasibly expect, then, that given that this is excess weight BMW’s M4 Cabrio doesn’t have to carry, the Tesla would weigh in heavier. You’d be wrong. Yep, even with that slab of batteries mounted in the car’s floor, the Model 3 comes in about a tonne lighter. Cripes. 

  • Porsche Macan GTS – 1,910kg

    Ah, Porsche’s five-door luxury crossover with hot hatch-like performance. Fixed under the bonnet is a twin-turbo 2.9-litre V6 chucking out 375bhp and 384lb ft of torque. It's connected to a hefty seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and all-wheel drive.

    And there’s not much in the way of weight-saving inside, either. Plenty of high-tech equipment, five seats and a big boot out back too. So it’s more practical than the M4, apart from in terms of headroom. Lighter, though.

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  • BMW 730d xDrive – 1,880kg

    A little sibling rivalry never hurt anyone, right? And up against BMW’s luxury limo, logic would seemingly suggest the M4 Cabrio would undercut the 730d xDrive by some margin. 

    Powered by a 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel with 261bhp and 457lb ft of torque, the 730d has one goal in mind: to provide its passengers with the most relaxing, comfortable and luxurious experience possible. But with limo-like quality comes weight, right? Well, yes. Only, not as much as the roofless M4.

    Our brains hurt.

  • Range Rover Velar – 1,875kg

    It’s the Land Rover to be seen in, rather than head to the hills in. Yet the Range Rover Velar is still a supremely impressive bit of kit: big enough for the entire family and all their luggage, and capable of off-road feats an M4 would only attempt, erm, once. 

    And yet, it weighs (just) 1,875kg with the P250 petrol engine, or 1,928kg with the D200 diesel. A large luxe crossover packing Land Rover’s off-road know-how, weighing less than a two-door sports car? We may need a sit down. 

  • Maserati Quattroporte - 1,860kg

    The Maserati Quattroporte, as its name suggests, has four doors. Two more than the BMW M4 Cabrio, keen fans of counting will note. It also has a lengthy wheelbase of 3.2m and stands at 5.3m long. It’s a limo. For the mafia, not hen nights.

    Engine choices include twin-turbocharged V6 and V8 petrol engines. Inside there's more leather than on Ron Burgundy's bookshelf. Which all makes it sound rather heavy, doesn’t it? But nope, despite its barge-like size the base-spec Quattroporte is an 1,860kg feather. Next!

  • Ford F-150 – 1,824kg

    In Ford’s own words, the F-150 delivers the “most maximum towing, pay load, torque and horsepower of any full-size light-duty pickup”. The Anthony Joshua of pick-ups, then. So you’d naturally expect this heavyweight champton to weigh a fair bit too, right?

    Spec’d with the naturally aspirated 3.3-litre V6, the 6.5ft F150 weighs in at 1,824kg. Yep, America’s best-selling truck significantly undercuts BMW’s latest sunseeker. Maybe the M4 Cabrio should get in on Joshua’s training regime?

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  • Stadium Super Truck – 1,300kg (approx)

    The brainchild of former IndyCar and NASCAR driver Robby Gordon, Stadium Super Trucks sees identical off-road trucks competing in various street and race circuits across America and Australia. There are many jumps, many powerslides, and many crashes. Properly exciting, y’see.

    The mechanically identical trucks themselves – constructed of a steel-tube frame and fibreglass body – are powered by 600bhp Chevrolet LS V8 engines and capable of speeds up to 140mph. Now, obviously, you won’t find many – or any – of the luxuries you’d find in the M4 Cabrio, but a V8 powered monster weighing just 1,300kg? Sign us up.

  • Aston Martin One-77 – 1,630kg

    Meet the million-pound Aston Martin. Or, at least it was back in 2009 when the One-77 was first announced. Probably set you back a fair bit more now, if you could get your hands on one. Just 77 were built.

    Featuring a Cosworth-tuned 7.3-litre, naturally aspirated V12 – making it the most powerful turbo-free car in the world at launch – and good for 750bhp and 553lb ft, it was capable of a claimed top speed of 220mph. Yet the engine’s actual weight was 15 per cent lighter than the DBS’s V12, standing at 260kg, contributing to an overall kerbweight of just 1,630kg, and making the M4 Cabrio seem positively porky in comparison.

    In fairness, the BMW is MUCH cheaper, and doesn't feature a gearbox programmed by a stubborn camel. 

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  • Ferrari 812 GTS – 1,645kg (dry)

    One Ferrari. One great big stonking V12. And one glorious soundtrack. Just ask Ollie Kew, whose eardrums still haven’t recovered from the time he spent blitzing the 812 through a tunnel. In the middle of the night. Sorry-not-sorry, people of Hertfordshire.

    And clearly, the M4 Competition’s weeny-by-comparison 3.0-litre straight-six is no match for the 812’s V12, in both the power and weight stakes. But still, you’d expect a smaller weight delta than that which currently separates them, right?

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