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by Tim Beissmann

CarAdvice’s spy photographers have snapped the upcoming BMW 3-Series-based roadster – set to be called the BMW 4-Series Convertible – ahead of its launch in 2013.

Although the lights, bumpers and grille are obscured, the spy shots confirm the new Audi A5 and Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet rival will retain similar proportions to the current E93 convertible, with a short front overhang, heavily raked windscreen, a long body and a larger rear overhang to accommodate the folding hardtop in the boot.

While we expect the Convertible and Coupe models to wear a different badge to the 3-Series sedan and Touring wagon variants – similar to the German brand’s naming convention with its 5-Series sedan/Touring and 6-Series Convertible/Coupe family – new 4-Series Convertible should share its basic design with the sedan.

Features like the piercing headlights; prominent kidney grille; long, low bonnet; and 5-Series-inspired red tail-lights should all make the transition from 3-Series to 4-Series.

With the prototype’s top down, our photographers have also given us our first look at the Convertible’s interior. The basic features are all the same, including the steering wheel and instrument cluster, large central touchscreen, audio and climate controls, iDrive wheel and the eight-speed automatic transmission’s stubby gearshift.

The upcoming 4-Series, expected to hit the market in the second half of 2013, will borrow its engines from the 3-Series, including a range of four-cylinder turbocharged petrols and diesels and a six-cylinder turbo.

The anticipated M4 Coupe and Convertible models are rumoured to sport a high-performance six-cylinder engine shared with the upcoming M3 sedan.

In the meantime, BMW continues to sell the Coupe and Convertible models based on the platform and design of the previous 3-Series. BMW Australia recently added more features to improve the value of both two-door ranges. In the first four months of the year, BMW sold 273 3-Series Coupe/Convertible models across the country, down 32 per cent from the same period in 2011.




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