The 2021 BMW 4 Series Convertible has traded its folding metal hardtop for a fabric soft top and its restrained front end for a, shall we say, prominent new grille.

    The new model will touch down here in the first quarter of 2021, with pricing and spec information released closer to launch. The coupe hits showrooms this November.

    The new fabric roof is 40 per cent lighter than the outgoing model’s roof and is available in either black or Anthracite Silver.

    It can be operated at speeds of up to 50km/h and takes 18 seconds to fully open or close.

    The smaller, lighter roof design means boot space is up from the last generation droptop to 300L with the roof down and 385L with it up. Those are increases of 80L and 15L, respectively, over the outgoing model. The rear seat can be folded to increase cargo space.

    BMW promises a more athletic driving experience, citing a structure with 4.0 per cent greater torsional rigidity and a new aluminium shear panel at the front. It still possesses the coveted 50:50 weight distribution.

    There are also wider tracks, up 28mm at the front and 18mm at the rear. Overall length is up by 128mm, while width has increased by 27mm.

    European buyers will have access to diesel 420d, 430d and M440d xDrive variants, though the local range will consist solely of petrol powertrains like its coupe counterpart.

    That means the range will open with the 420i, which features a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine producing 135kW of power and 300Nm of torque. BMW claims a 0-100km/h time of 8.2 seconds.

    The 430i also uses a turbocharged 2.0-litre, albeit with 190kW of power and 400Nm of torque and a 0-100km/h time of 6.2 seconds.

    The range-topping M440i xDrive adds all-wheel drive and a 48V mild-hybrid system. Its turbocharged 3.0-litre inline six produces 275kW of power and 500Nm of torque, allowing it to do the 0-100km/h sprint in 4.9 seconds.

    All three petrol models use an eight-speed automatic transmission sourced from ZF.

    All 4 Series models locally will include the M Sport package as standard, with a firmer suspension tune, sports seats upholstered in Vernasca leather, and knee pads on the centre console.

    Optional on the 430i are adaptive M suspension and an M Sport locking rear differential. These are standard on the M440i xDrive.

    Other options include adaptive LED headlights with BMW Laserlight, M Sport brakes, the M Carbon exterior package, a head-up display, remote start, heated steering wheel and Harman/Kardon surround sound system.

    Also available are BMW Individual leather upholstery and leather trim for the instrument panel, while open-air comfort can be enhanced by selecting the optional neck warmers built into the front head restraints and a removable wind deflector that sits behind the rear backrest.

    The convertible naturally receives the coupe’s new infotainment system running BMW OS7.0, also featuring Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and 4G LTE connectivity.

    The infotainment system measures 10.25 inches, while the digital instrument cluster measures 12.3 inches.

    Standard safety tech includes autonomous emergency braking with forward-collision warning, as well as blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist.

    While pricing hasn’t been released yet, the outgoing model carried a hefty premium of between $18,000-20,000 over the equivalent coupe variant.

    As a guide, the new 420i coupe costs $70,900 before on-road costs, with the M440i xDrive priced at $116,900 before on-roads.

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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