RAC Cars News


BMW 4 Series Convertible

By raccars Published

Manufacturers are preparing themselves for next month's LA Motor Show by teasing us with goodies due to be unveiled there. BMW will be bringing its new 4 Series Convertible to the party, a replacement for the 3 Series model.

The slightly larger BMW 4 Series will feature an updated version of the previous model's three piece folding steel roof, that can retract electronically within 20 seconds. The roof mechanism is functional on the road up to 11mph. Based on the earlier design, this new and improved model is more sound proof and aerodynamic than before, for a quieter ride. BMW has also made a new air blocking system, available as an option, along with a completely new neck warming system for the front seats.

Boot space has also benefited from a redesign, resulting in an extra 20 litres and a handy space saving function that moves the stored roof up and down to the most convenient space.

The initial launch will see a choice of three engines, a diesel and two petrols, used in the 4 Series Coupe. The range opens with a 181bhp 420d, for which BMW claims 55mpg and 133g/km in CO2 emissions. Performance figures include 8.2 seconds from 0-62mph and a 146mph top speed.

Also on offer are a 242bhp 428i with a 2.0 litre petrol unit and the range topping 435i, powered by a turbocharged 3.0 litre petrol engine for 302bhp. The 428i will take you to 62mph within 6.4 seconds and is electronically limited to 155mph, at a cost of 42mpg and 159g/km in CO2 emissions. The top-spec 435i is also limited to 155mph but is quicker off the mark, at 5.6 seconds to 62mph, with a corresponding effect on efficiency at 35mpg and CO2 emissions of 190g/km.

The standard transmission on offer is a six speed manual, but the optional eight speed paddle shift automatic is expected to be more popular and is more efficient.

BMW has managed to shave 20kg off the kerb weight of the earlier convertible, while ensuring a 40% more rigid chassis for sharper handling. Features include low rolling resistance tyres, air curtains and air breathers to up the aerodynamic performance, plus the economic EfficientDynamics fuel management system with ECO PRO setting.

Equipment levels are bounteous, with standard kit including xenon headlights, heated electric seats in the front and rear parking sensors. LED headlights can be specified as an option.

The 4 Series Convertible arrives in the UK in March, in good time for summer cruising, with prices starting at £35,650, some £4,075 more expensive than the Coupe version.

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