New 4 Series drop-top swaps predecessor's hardtop roof for a lighter fabric soft-top, here in the first quarter of 2021
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  • New 2021 BMW 4 Series Convertible revealed, trades hardtop for lighter soft-top
  • 4 Series coupe’s controversial kidney grilles carry over to the convertible
  • Three engines on offer in Australia, headlined by 285kW, six-cylinder M440i
  • Australian launch in the first quarter of 2021

The 2021 BMW 4 Series Convertible has been unveiled today, slicing the top off the German car maker's divisive new two-door.

In a move mirroring that of the latest Z4 roadster, the ‘G23’ 4 Series Convertible ditches its predecessor’s folding hard-top roof in favour of a fabric soft-top.

BMW claims the new ‘panel bow’ design allows the roof to be considerably quieter and retain heat “far” better than a traditional soft-top, while being 40 per cent lighter than the outgoing 4er’s metal hard-top.

Available in black or Anthracite Silver, the soft-top can be electrically raised or lowered in 18 seconds at speeds of up to 50km/h – 2 seconds and 32km/h faster than its predecessor.

Boot space ranges from 300 litres with the roof open to 385 litres with it closed – up 80 litres and 15 litres respectively, compared to the previous F32-generation model.

Chassis tweaks to maintain coupe-like body stiffness sans a fixed roof include “convertible-specific bracing”, an aluminium shear panel beneath the engine bay, unique side skirts with “high torsional rigidity” and additional rear end bracing. These additions combined, grant the new 4 Series Convertible an overall torsional rigidity figure 4 per cent greater than its predecessor.

Dimensionally, the drop-top 4er measures in at 4768mm long, 1852mm wide and 1384mm high (with the roof closed), all riding on a 2851mm wheelbase – 128mm longer in overall length, 27mm wider and 41mm longer in wheelbase than the outgoing 4 Series Convertible. Track widths are up 28mm up front and 18mm at the rear.

BMW claims a drag coefficient of 0.27Cd – 0.02Cd greater than the 4 Series coupe.

Engines and specifications

While an assortment of diesel engines are on offer to European buyers, Australian customers will be presented a choice of three turbocharged petrol engines shared with the coupe: the 135kW/300Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder 420i, 190kW/400Nm 2.0-litre 430i, and the flagship 285kW/500Nm, 3.0-litre inline-six-powered M440i xDrive.

A hi-po M4 Convertible has been spied testing on multiple occasions and is expected to make its public debut later this year, powered by the same 353-375kW 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged inline-six as the recently-revealed M3 sedan and M4 Coupe.

All initial engine options are mated exclusively to eight-speed torque-converter automatic gearboxes. The 420i and 430i send drive to the rear wheels only, with the M440i xDrive (as its suffix suggests) bringing the front axle into the mix for all-wheel-drive.

Standard performance features on the M440i xDrive include adaptive dampers, 19-inch alloy wheels, variable sports steering and an M Sport locking rear differential, with M Sport performance brakes with blue or red calipers are available as an option. Lesser 430i models shift the adaptive dampers and locking differential to the options list, with fixed-rate dampers instead being standard fit.

Aside from the aforementioned roof, there’s little to differentiate the 4 Series Convertible from its fixed-roof sibling, with both body styles sporting the same LED (or laser) headlights, smooth side body lines and pair of tall, conjoined kidney grilles that divided enthusiasts at the coupe’s debut back in June (see 4 Series Coupe pricing here).

The sportier M Sport styling package will be standard-fit Down Under.

The similarities continue inside, where the coupe’s 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen and array of premium materials and surfaces carry over to the drop-top. Available interior features include three-zone climate control, ambient LED cabin lighting, electrically-adjustable sports seats trimmed in Vernasca or Merino leather, a wind deflector for top-down motoring, and ‘neck warmer’ climate control vents integrated into the seat headrests.

Available active safety technologies include adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, lane-keep assist, traffic sign monitoring, autonomous emergency braking, automatic parking, front and rear parking sensors, and more.

The 2021 BMW 4 Series Convertible will enter production in Germany in March 2021.

When will the BMW 4 Series Convertible come to Australia?

The 2021 BMW 4 Series Convertible will launch in Australia in the first quarter of 2021.

Pricing and specifications will be announced closer to launch.

Rendered: the upcoming M4 Convertible

That was quick: rendering artist X-Tomi has crafted a look at how the 4 Series Convertible will look in its inevitable M4 form. For all details on the M4 (and new M3), see our coverage here.


Below: the outgoing 4 Series Convertible