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by Daniel DeGasperi

The BMW 4 Series Convertible will command a $17-18,000 price premium over its recently-launched coupe sibling when it arrives in Australia in March.

Unlike the four-tier BMW 4 Series coupe range, however, the 4 Series Convertible won’t be available in an entry petrol 420i specification – only the $88,800 420d, $97,500 428i and $126,600 435i will be available locally.

A three-piece retractable hard-top is fitted to the new 4 Series Convertible, based on the previous design but with claimed enhancements including “more noise absorbent” headlining. It electrically folds in a claimed 20 seconds and at speeds up to 18km/h.

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The retractable roof does reduce boot space compared with the coupe, however, with volume reduced from 445 litres to 370L with the roof up or just 220L with the top down.

Compared again with the coupe, the convertible roof mechanism and structural improvements also add more than 210-215kg to the kerb weight, reducing performance and increasing consumption.

The 1680kg 420d 2.0-litre turbo-diesel produces 135kW of power and 270Nm of torque, with 8.2-second 0-100km/h and 4.8L/100km combined consumption claims – 1.1 seconds slower and 0.2L/100km thirstier than the equivalent coupe.

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The same-size, but turbo petrol, engine in the also-1680kg 428i makes 180kW and 350Nm, for 6.4-second 0-100km/h and 6.7L/100km claims, down 0.6 second and up 0.3L/100km respectively.

As the range flagship, the 1740kg 435i gets a 3.0-litre turbo petrol six-cylinder with 225kW and 400Nm, its 5.5-second 0-100km/h and 7.7L/100km claims being 0.4 second and 0.3L/100km off the coupe.

Convertible equipment levels closely mirror that of the coupe, with the only exceptions being the addition of a wind deflector and heated front seats standard on all 4 Series Convertible grades. Standard on 435i, and otherwise optional, an Air Collar function utilises vents in the headrest that can blow warm air down the necks of front passenger – mimicing the Mercedes-Benz air scarf.

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Other standard features include 18-inch alloy wheels, bi-xenon headlights, climate control, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, front and rear parking sensors with rear-view camera, leather trim with electrically adjustable front sports seats, and professional navigation.

The 428i gets 19-inch alloy wheels, adaptive dampers, auto-dip rear-view mirror, premium audio, internet functionality and lumbar support, while the 435i further includes an exterior M Sport package with aerodynamic package, unique alloy wheels and steering wheel, auto keyless entry and start, black roofliner, Harman Kardon audio and variable Sport steering.

With identical measurements to the coupe, the 4638mm-long 4 Series Convertible also stretches 26mm beyond the 3 Series Convertible it replaces, while the wheelbase has been extended by 50mm. The 1825mm-wide new car expands 43mm further than before.




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