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2021 BMW 4 Series loses its roof, due Downunder early next year

John Law

BMW has unveiled a Convertible 4 Series which is set to arrive in Australia early in 2021 after the October arrival of the Coupe. The drop-top will come around the same time as the all-new M3 and M4.

As seems to be the trend at the moment; BMW has transitioned back to a soft-top for the new 4 Series, eschewing the origami-like folding hard top of the previous generation car, the brand citing a fabric roof is 40 per cent lighter.

When it arrives next year, the 4 Series Convertible will mirror the engine choices offered in the Coupe, which makes it all nice and straightforward. BMW will announce pricing closer to the car’s arrival.

2021 BMW 4 Series Convertible
It’s new, and it’s got no roof. In this picture, at least.

It’s safe to presume an M4 convertible will break cover shortly, perhaps to arrive in tandem with the first-ever M3 Touring teased earlier in the year.

Throughout the history of the 4 Series Convertible – and previously the 3 Series Convertible – BMW has kicked goals with the proportions of the drop-tops, at least with the roof down.

A long bonnet and gently upward-sloping rear deck continue to be key features of the new 4 Series convertible. In profile, at least, we reckon BMW has nailed the proportions of the new vehicle – it reminds us of the sleek E36 3 Series convertible of the ‘90s.

2021 BMW 4 Series Convertible Mountain
From here, we love it…

Around the front, though, those divisive grilles are still present. Pictured here in luxury line trim they are softened by a less aggressive front lip, and chrome surrounds, but in pictures, we think they’re just as unfortunate as those found on the 4 Series.

We certainly hope that when we see the 4 in person, we’ll be proven wrong, because otherwise, as previously mentioned, those proportions look bang on.

Compared to the outgoing F33 Convertible, the new car has grown in every direction. It’s longer by 128mm, wider by 27mm and the tracks have increased by 28mm up front and 18mm at the rear, which should provide sharper handling. Inside the classic four-seat arrangement remains.

2021 BMW 4 Series Convertible Grilles
…But those grilles haven’t grown on us yet.

BMW also claims a four per cent increase in torsional rigidity, despite the move to a cloth roof which, incidentally, can be raised and lowered at speeds up to 50km/h. The extra stiffness is down to added underbody bracing over the 4 Series Coupe.

As with the Coupe, the Convertible will be offered with three engine permutations starting with the two-litre turbocharged petrol 420i. That car has outputs of 135kW, and 300Nm sent to the rear wheels only.

Above that, the 430i produces a handy extra chunk of power and torque – 190kW and 400Nm – again from a two-litre turbocharged four-cylinder.

2021 BMW 4 Series Convertible Dreamy
But owners will be able to take full advantage of coastal adventures.

There is a sole turbocharged six-cylinder offered in the M440i xDrive, producing 285kW and 500Nm from the three-litre capacity. That car gets all-wheel-drive and a rear limited-slip differential which is optional on the 430i.

The M440i xDrive also sees adaptive dampers, M Sport brakes, 19-inch alloy wheels and a premium harman kardon sound system.

Additionally, BMW will offer neck-warmers and seat-heating depending on the model to make top-down motoring comfortable all year round.

2021 BMW 4 Series Convertible Good side
Pricing will be revealed close to the Convertible Australian launch.

Inside owners will also find Vernasca leather-appointed seats – up-spec Merino leather is optional – a 10.25-inch touchscreen, 12.3-inch digital driver’s display, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and multifunction steering wheel.

BMW will reveal exact pricing nearer the launch of the 4 Series Convertible in early 2021, but we expect the drop-top to command around a 10-15 per cent premium over the Coupe.