BMW have officially released the first images of the new 4-Series Convertible which will debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November. The BMW 4-Series replaces the 3-Series Coupe and Convertible with the aim of setting these more sporting cars apart from the 4 door 3-Series cars. It will initially be offered in the US as the 428i and 435i with a 420d diesel engined alternative added for the European market.
The BMW 4-Series Convertible continues the use of a folding hardtop roof that divides into 3 pieces and is stored in the top half of the luggage space. BMW have increased the sound deadening to further cut wind noise when the roof is up. The roof folds in 20 seconds at speeds of up to 11 mph. BMW have followed Mereceds-Benz with the use of hot air blowers mounted into the front seats to warm the occupants on chilly days, potentially increasing the number of occasions the roof can be dropped.
While it may not look a great deal different from the car it replaces the 4- Series is longer, wider and lower to the road. Like the Coupe the BMW 4-Series Convertible will be offered in a choice of 5 trim levels (SE, Sport, Luxury, Modern and M Sport), but limited to 3 for the US: Sport Line, Luxury Line and M Sport. The M Sport trim seen here gives us some clues to what the up-coming BMW M4 Convertible might look like. The well appointed interior has changed little from the coupe. Luggage space is cavernous with room for large cases or a set of golf clubs even with the roof down. BMW have added a button to electronically raise the roof a little to aid access when folded.
In order to improve emissions and fuel economy BMW are increasingly using turbo-chargers with smaller sized engines and despite impressive performance figures the 4-Series has followed this trend. Unlike the straight six cylinder engine of past 328i models the 428i has a TwinPower Turbo 2.0-litre 4-cylinder while the 435i gets a TwinPower Turbo 3.0-litre inline six. Each will have the 8-speed sport automatic transmission as standard, at least in America and the 428i comes with the option of the XDrive all-wheel drive system. The 435i will manage 0-60 mph in just 5.5 seconds while still offering a combined mpg of 37.7.
As BMWs become more sophisticated and technology-packed the challenge to keep the feeling of a raw, driving machine becomes greater. As a result of the added tech the convertible weighs in at 1,755kg for the 420d and 428i and a hefty 1,815kg for the 435i. BMW promise sophisticated chassis technology and near perfect 50:50 weight distribution but we’ll have to see how it performs when we get the chance to test drive one.
The BMW 4-Series Convertible will be available to buy from Spring 2014 with prices ranging from $48,750 USD for the rear-drive, 428i Convertible and £36,675 GBP for the 420d.