The 2014 BMW 4-series convertible will feature a three-piece hard top, both four- and six-cylinder engines and an eight-speed automatic transmission when it arrives in dealerships in the first quarter of next year. The BMW 428i Convertible will start at $49,675 including destination while the 435i Convertible will start at $55,825.
The new 4 series, which replaces the 3-series coupe and convertible but not the sedan, is larger in width and wheelbase than its predecessor. It features the company's double-kidney grille, four round headlights and a large air intake in the front fascia. The 4-series features "air breathers," which are positioned behind the front wheel arches, to reduce drag.
The folding hardtop is soundproofed and has interior lights, adding to the ambiance, while the trunk will fit a set of golf clubs, even with the roof folded down. An electro-hydraulic loading system raises and positions the folding roof when the trunk is open to assist in getting cargo in. It can open and close in 20 seconds, at vehicle speeds up to 11 mph.
The base engine in the 4-series is a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 in the 428i. It makes 240 hp at 5,000-6,500 rpm and 255 lb-ft of torque. The 428i can sprint to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds, with a top speed of 155 mph. Those looking for the true Bimmer experience will go for the 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six in the 435i. It makes a nice, round 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. Zero-60 takes about 5.5 seconds, and top speed is the same. Both use an eight-speed automatic transmission to send power to the rear wheels. All-wheel drive is optional on the 428i, and paddle shifters are also available.
The front suspension uses aluminum struts, wishbones and swivel bearings, with an additional strut between the front-axle subframe and body sill for added stiffness. A five-link rear with extra-wide mounts and supports will button things down in back.
Three trims will be offered including sport, luxury and M Sport. The Sport line adds a sportier suspension for rear-drive models, black B pillars, black intakes, black-exhaust tips, sports seats and some other interior trimmings. The Luxury line adds high-gloss chrome on the accents with wood on the inside, in addition to two exclusive upholstery variants, Ash Grain and Pearl Gloss Chrome.
The M Sport line includes an M aero package and high-gloss trim. The exterior color of Estoril blue is available only on the 4-series with the M Sport package. M Sport brakes and an M Sport suspension are also included.
Like all the new BMWs, the 4-series cars will offer different drive modes depending on your preference. Each offers different parameters for the powertrain and suspension components. Eco Pro will make use of the stop/start system aggressively and Comfort makes the throttle a bit more sensitive, while Sport and Sport Plus should turn up the wick considerably.
The 4 series is offered with BMW's latest version of iDrive, which will control the aforementioned drive modes, navigation, entertainment and phone connectivity.
A few other cool features include Active Driving Assistant, which warns the driver of any potential collision with pedestrians. The Active Cruise Control with Stop and Go function allows drivers to keep the cruise control engaged when in a traffic jam. The 4-series also gets blind-spot indicators and lane-departure warnings.
We drove the BMW 435i coupe back in July; check out our review of the 4-series hardtop, and stay tuned for a drive in the 4-series convertible as soon as we can get our hands on one.