Could the next M3 convertible be a retractable hardtop after all, or are we just seeing a theatrical prop over a cloth Jimmy hat? That's the mixed message from this new set of images, caught by the Hans Lehmann wet team. Previous word was that BMW was doing a soft top for the M3 as a weight-saving measure. We're not sure what rigidity gains might come from a retractable hardtop — or how they would balance against the increase in weight. Maybe it's made from lutetium or radioactive iridium instead of regular old metal. Nonetheless, spies say the droptop will drop in spring 2008, cloth, metal or otherwise.

Spied! BMW M3 Sedan And Convertible [Winding Road]

Geneva Premiere: BMW M3 Concept; Weight for It: New M3 Convertible Could Be a Soft Top, Says Bikini Babes [internal]