MUNICH – Having followed the hard-top fad for two generations, BMW’s 4 Series Convertible is now reverting back to the soft-top format, which not only saves weight but also gives the designers more freedom to do their thing.
BMW says that the new fabric roof is 40 percent lighter than the previous hard-top, and the carmaker has also managed to make the vehicle four percent more torsionally rigid than before. Of course, the convenience factor is still there, with the roof opening or closing in 18 seconds at the push of a button, and at speeds of up to 50km/h. To keep you comfortable when the top is down, BMW has also integrated neck warmers into the front headrests, and there’s a wind deflector to keep things serene inside.
In terms of boot space, customers can expect 380 litres when the roof is up and 300 litres when it’s stowed away.
Like its coupe counterpart, the new 4 Series Convertible boasts a daring design, with a huge vertical kidney grille that is dividing opinion among car enthusiasts. It’s also larger than before, with the overall length having grown by 128mm versus the previous Convertible, while width grows by 27mm.
BMW hasn’t announced the South African line-up as yet, but with the recent tendency to only offer base and top models, the most likely engine candidates are the 420i, with a 2-litre turbopetrol good for 135kW and 300Nm, and the M440i xDrive six-cylinder variant with 285kW and 500Nm. Both are paired with an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
The range-topping M440i also receives an M Sport differential with electronically controlled, fully variable locking function in the rear differential, and adaptive sports suspension.
As per the 4 Series Coupe, the Convertible upgrades to BMW’s latest 7.0 operating system with Intelligent Personal Assistant, and also receives digital instrumentation and a heavily revised Head-Up Display with a projection area that’s now 70 percent larger.