This is the BMW 4-series Convertible that’s due in showrooms in 2014. '4-series' is the new name given to two-door variants of the BMW 3-series to underline the ‘sportiness’ that will set them apart from their four-door siblings. So the 4-series Convertible takes on the Audi A5 Cabriolet and Mercedes C-class, and will offer everything from a frugal four-cylinder diesel and petrol models through to the headline act, the 444bhp M4 that replaces the M3. If the saloon is anything to go by, this will be the new class benchmark.
So what’s new about the BMW 4-series?
Everything, including the name. The 4-series may not look so new because you’ve been looking at the all-new BMW 3-series saloon for more than 12 months now, but it will follow the look of the 4-series coupe that was recently revealed including the more aggressive bumper designs.
All the praise lauded on the saloon should translate into a better convertible in terms of driving dynamics, refinement, comfort and practicality. There’s the 93mm increase in length and wider front and rear tracks that provide better stability and more rear passenger space, the increase in stiffness and around 40kg less weight to carry which bodes well for a decent drive and also mean it should also use less fuel and be marginally quicker, too.
What about the roof?
The current version’s metal roof folds in 23 seconds, so the new car should shut out the weather slightly faster while cosseting passengers even more effectively. It’s already a better car with the roof up than the C-class and A5 Cabriolet in terms of refinement, so it’ll be hard for BMW to lose out here. There should also be more luggage space than the current car’s 350-litres (with its roof up) thanks to the larger footprint.
What’s the model line-up and how much will it cost?
Dominated by turbocharged four-cylinder engines, the 4-series Convertible range will mirror that of the coupe, which means that it kicks off with the 420i with its 181bhp/199lb ft four-cylinder turbo. The 420d also has 181bhp, but the diesel offers 280lb ft of torque for more linear throttle response. Entry-level cars should come with LED headlamps, 17in alloy wheels and leather trim, with M packs offering firmer suspension, larger rolling stock and sports seats.
The first six-cylinder will be the 3.0-litre 435i, delivering 320nhp from its superb 3.0-litre and capable of 0-62mph in the mid-five-second range. Crowning the range with be the M4 with a twin-turbo six developing 444bhp – 30bhp more than the current M3 –with less weight and a lightning fast eight-speed M-DCT double-clutch gearbox.
Prices are expected to rise marginally, which means that the 420d should start at more than £34,000 with the flagship M4 priced around £60,000.