BMW promises more cargo space and better handling than before.
The BMW 4 Series family keeps growing. Following the arrival of the second-generation 4 Series Coupe and the more recent reveal of the dramatic M4, the drop-top 4 Series Convertible has now shown its face, and what a face it is. Yes, the contentious elongated grille is here to stay, and it's just as brash on the roofless 4 Series.
Speaking of the roof, the biggest change for the latest 4 Series Convertible is the transition from a hard-top to a soft-top roof. The latest BMW Z4 also has a soft-top, and in the larger 4 Series, BMW promises that it offers reduced weight, more cargo room, and superior handling.
To ensure that the soft-top 4 Series Convertible evokes the premium driving experience expected of a BMW, it features multiple insulation layers and a flush-fitting rear window in glass. The roof is around 40 percent lighter than its predecessor's hard-top and has freed up another 0.2 inches of headroom. At the touch of a button, the roof can be opened or closed in 18 seconds at speeds of up to 31 mph.
The cargo capacity now stands at nine cubic feet, an improvement of 1.2 cubes over the current 4 Series cabrio. A rear-seat pass-through and a wind deflector are standard. There are no other great surprises appearance-wise, with the same swoopy rear lights as the coupe. However, the overall length is up by at least 5.2 inches, which is quite significant. We wouldn't be surprised to see the 4 Series Convertible dressed up in M Performance parts soon.
Under the hood are two of the same powerplants found in the 4 Series Coupe. The 430i and 430i xDrive use the B46 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine with 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, with the RWD version taking 5.9 seconds to reach 60 mph, four-tenths off the pace of the equivalent coupe. The M440i and M440i xDrive use the B58 3.0-liter inline-six turbo with 382 hp and 369 lb-ft. In RWD guise, 60 mph comes up in exactly five seconds.
All versions use an eight-speed automatic transmission, with the gearbox in the M440i featuring a new Sprint function, engaging Sport settings for the exhaust note, throttle response, and gearshifts with a simple tug on the left shift paddle. Both M440i versions also feature a 48-volt mild-hybrid system for energy recuperation and storage.
BMW claims that static torsional rigidity has been increased by four percent thanks to changes such as a rigid rear floor plate and a reinforced transmission tunnel. The use of aluminum for the doors, front fenders, and the hood has saved 44 lbs.
Inside, the familiar dashboard is virtually identical to the one in the 4 Series Coupe and 3 Series Sedan. The iDrive 7 infotainment system comes as standard, with an 8.8-inch central touchscreen and an available 12.3-inch digital driver's display. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, navigation, and the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant are all standard.
Pricing begins at $53,100 for the 430i Convertible in RWD guise, which is $7,500 more than the 430i Coupe. The 430i xDrive costs $55,100, the M440i is $64,000, and the M440i xDrive goes for $66,000.
The market launch for the 4 Series Convertible is slated for March 2021 for RWD models and July 2021 for xDrive versions.