The new BMW 4 Series convertible will be offered in the U.S. in two version, a 428i featuring BMW’s award-winning two-liter turbo four and a 435i with the familiar N55 turbo three-liter inline six. Both will feature a standard eight-speed automatic transmission; no word on whether the drop-top can be had a six-speed manual.
The 428i convertible will be offered with a choice of rear-wheel drive or with optional xDrive, BMW’s intelligent all-wheel-drive system, while the 435i convertible will be available at launch only with rear-wheel drive. The 2014 BMW 428i convertible will have a base MSRP of $49,675, and the 2014 BMW 435i convertible will have a starting price of $55,825. Both prices include $925 destination and handling. The 2014 BMW 4 Series convertible will arrive in U.S. showrooms in the first quarter of 2014.
The new BMW 4 Series Convertible is larger than the outgoing BMW 3 Series Convertible, and sits lower. The car’s double-kidney grille, four round headlights and a large air intake in the front apron – display its family ties with the BMW 3 Series. New elements of the BMW 4 Series Convertible are the Air Breathers, behind the front wheel arches, to reduce drag.
The three-piece retractable hardtop is distinguished by advanced soundproofing with its “noise- absorbing” headliner. The interior roof is fully lined and features integrated lights. When the top is down and stored in the trunk, the standard load and unload assistance function moves the folded roof and the trunklid upwards to provide ample storage space and easy access.
All of the controls are arranged ergonomically around the driver to provide optimum access. If desired, the standard seats and the optional sport seats with recessed head restraints can be equipped with neck warmers for the driver and front passenger for the first time, as part of the available Cold Weather Package.
In addition to the standard model, two specially equipped lines and M Sport are available in the US. The Sport Line and Luxury Line versions can be selected to personalize the new convertible with special interior and exterior accents..
The new BMW 4 Series Convertible also offers outstanding fuel efficiency. The car’s groundbreaking Air Curtains and Air Breathers – also help to maximize efficiency. Other features including Auto Start-Stop and on-demand operation of ancillary units. Use of ECO PRO mode can cut fuel use by as much as 20 percent.
The new BMW 4 Series Convertible uses a combination of driver assistance systems and mobility services (available as standard or optional under the BMW ConnectedDrive banner) to increase safety, comfort and access to infotainment features. Among the optional highlights are a new generation of the BMW Navigation System, which offers extra capability, sharper graphics and 3D elements for the map display, the full-color BMW Head-Up Display; Active Driving Assistant, which warns the driver of a potential collision with a pedestrian, the intelligent LED High Beam Assistant and the latest iteration of BMW Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go. As far as infotainment is concerned, Bluetooth offers the driver the option of a dictation function with full speech recognition.
The proportions of the new BMW 4 Series Convertible differ significantly from those of the outgoing BMW 3 Series Convertible. Although only an inch has been added to the car’s length (182.6 in), a 2-inch longer wheelbase (110.6 in) enhances the stretched Convertible’s profile. These dimensions combined with the BMW 4 Series Convertible’s characteristically short overhangs, long hood and set-back passenger compartment produce a visually balanced silhouette. The athletic appearance of the BMW 4 Series Convertible is particularly emphasized by its 1.7 inch increase in the width (71.9 in). Notably, the rear wheel arches mark the car’s broadest point, at 62.7 inches.
A push of a button transforms a dynamic coupe into an elegant, athletic convertible in a mere 20 seconds. The top can also be lowered when the vehicle is travelling at speeds of up to 11 mph. The vehicle’s air resistance with the steel top up is Cd 0.28 – and it is just Cd 0.33 when the hardtop is retracted. The redesigned windblock is standard in the US. The available three-temperature neck warmers allow for comfortable open-air driving at high speeds and low temperatures.
The BMW 4 Series Convertible also has plenty of space in the trunk, even when the retractable hardtop is lowered. The new convertible offers wider access to the luggage compartment, and an electro-hydraulic loading assistance system raises and positions the folded hardtop in the trunk as needed to ensure maximum utilization of the 7.8 cu. ft. of storage space available. The loading assistance feature makes sure that there is always ample access to the boot whether the top is up or down. When the top is up, the luggage compartment has a volume of 13.0 cu. ft. – that is 0.7 cu. ft. more than the BMW 3 Series Convertible. The load-through feature, which is standard in the US, makes even more space available: Either a wide opening between the rear passenger compartment and the trunk, or a smaller opening, for skis.
As well as the basic trim level, customers have a choice of two BMW Lines as well as the popular M Sport to add individual touches to the car’s exterior and interior. The Sport Line and Luxury Line embody different takes on the car’s character, adapting the design and color scheme for the kidney grille and air intakes, exterior mirror caps, Air Breathers, trim strips in the front and rear apron, door sill strips and range of wheel rims to set the car apart externally from the basic trim level.
Sport Line: The Sport Line adds extra depth to the BMW 4 Series Convertible with a selection of exterior body features in high-gloss black. A sport suspension is included for rear-wheel drive models, setting an exciting tone for the driving experience. 18-inch or optional 19-inch light-alloy wheels (435i only) in twin-spoke design provide a more performance-oriented look. From the rear, the BMW 4 Series Convertible with Sport Line can be identified by the black trim strip level with the rear apron and the black exhaust tips. Inside the car, black and red accents provide a pronounced contrast. Sports seats are included. The available Coral Red interior includes Coral Red leather sport seats, red door panel trim and a red lower section for the instrument panel.
Luxury Line: High-gloss chrome touches give the exterior of the BMW 4 Series Convertible an exclusive appeal. 11 kidney grille slats with chromed fronts and matte black sides, two high-gloss double bridges in the front apron’s outer air intakes and chromed Air Breathers offer elegant touches. Special 18-inch or optional 19-inch light-alloy wheels (435i only) available. The BMW 4 Series Convertible Luxury Line is recognized from the rear by a high-gloss chrome strip in the rear apron and the chrome exhaust tips. The interior also stands out with various chrome elements. High-gloss wood strips, leather seats and a choice of two upholstery variants in four colors highlight the Luxury Line. Ash Grain anthracite fine wood trim surfaces and a Pearl Gloss Chrome metal inlay round off the Luxury Line features.
M Sport: Customers wishing for much of the traditional Ultimate Driving Machine may opt for M Sport. It includes an M aerodynamic package including front apron with large air intakes, rear bumper with diffuser, side skirts and high-gloss Shadow Line trim. The exterior paint Estoril Blue Metallic is available only with M Sport on the 4 Series Convertible. M Sport is further distinguished by 18-inch or optional 19-inch light-alloy wheels (435i only) in M design. Inside, features such as M door sill finishers, an M leather steering wheel and an M driver’s footrest. Technical features include M Sport suspension (rear-wheel drive models only) and M Sport Brakes (an option on all 435i Convertibles and an optional upgrade on 428i Convertible when M Sport is chosen) which includes calipers painted in blue.
The new BMW 435i Convertible is equipped with High Precision Direct Injection and Valvetronic fully variable valve control, the 3.0-liter engine with aluminum crankcase develops 300 hp between 5,800 and 6,000 rpm. Peak torque of 300 lb-ft is generated from at 1,200 rpm to 5,000 rpm. The six-cylinder engine allows the 435i Convertible to accelerate from 0-60 in about five-and-a-half seconds, on the way to an electronically limited 155 mph top speed.
The four-cylinder engine in the BMW 428i Convertible offers high revs and low weight from the 2.0-liter four- cylinder turbocharged engine. Engine technology includes High Precision Direct Injection, twin-scroll turbocharging, Double-VANOS variable camshaft control and Valvetronic throttle-less intake technology – offers high performance potential combined with low fuel consumption and emissions. The new BMW 428i Convertible generates 240 hp at 5,000 – 6,500 rpm and peak torque of 255 lb-ft, which the driver can access between 1,250 and 4,800 rpm. This allows the 428i to sprint from 0 to 60 in about 6.2 seconds and it is limited to 155 mph.
The 8-speed Sport automatic transmission permits powerful acceleration and short bursts of speed possible with no additional fuel consumption. The 8-speed automatic’s intelligent control technology enables quick shifts and direct downshift capability. Drivers may also use the paddles on the steering wheel. Drivers can choose between Normal and Sport transmission modes using the gear shift lever or the Driving Experience Control switch.
As an alternative to rear-wheel drive, the 428i Convertible can also be specified with BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive. Sharing all the virtues of all-wheel- drive systems – such as increased traction, safety and the optimum transfer of engine power to the road – BMW xDrive can also reduce oversteer or understeer.
The 4 Series Convertible comes with the Auto Start Stop function and Brake Energy Regeneration, to ensure power for the vehicle’s electrical system is generated during braking and coasting. Average fuel consumption can be cut by up to 20 percent in ECO PRO mode, with a corresponding boost to the car’s range.
BMW Assist will be standard on the new 4 Series Convertible. It will include 10 years of eCall emergency calling and enhanced Automatic Collision Notification as well as BMW Teleservice. BMW Assist eCall includes enhanced Automatic Collision Notification, which includes the groundbreaking Urgency Algorithm, developed in cooperation with the William Lehman Injury Research Center in Miami.
The vehicle’s exact position and direction of travel, details of the vehicle model and data gathered by the sensors in the car are relayed to the call center. This indicates the nature and severity of the collision, while the deployment of the car’s restraint systems reports the number of people injured and allows frontal, rear, side or even multiple collisions to be identified. The Urgency Algorithm transmits the likelihood of severe injury so the call center can decides which emergency services are required at the accident The call center will stay in contact with the vehicle’s occupants until the emergency services arrive, speaking in their native language where possible. The system also allows the driver or front passenger to trigger the emergency call manually.
TeleService tells the driver if and when maintenance is required. Fixed service intervals become a thing of the past, because Condition Based Service, constantly monitors your vehicle's service needs. When necessary, the vehicle communicates service-relevant data to the nearest BMW Service Center by making an Automatic BMW TeleService Call.
The 4 Series Convertible gets the latest version of BMW’s groundbreaking iDrive. On the heels of its most recent update, iDrive will see significant enhancements for model year 2014. The system will get enhancements that improve navigation, Advanced Real Time Traffic Information, connectivity, entertainment, online access and voice commands. One example is that time setting will automatically adjust for Daylight Saving or Standard time, as well as time zone changes.
Also available is full-color Head- Up Display. HUD projects key information onto the windshield directly in the driver’s field of view. Depending on the vehicle specification, not only is the current speed displayed, but speed limits and passing restrictions are also flashed up, along with navigation instructions and warning messages.
Active Driving Assistant warns the driver of a possible collision with pedestrians. A camera fitted to the rear-view mirror scans in front of the vehicle and detects people or vehicles within its field of vision. When it recognizes a risk of collision, the system produces an audible warning and a visual signal appears in the instrument cluster or the optional Head-Up Display. Should a collision be unavoidable, automatic moderate hazard braking is actuated.
The latest development stage of the familiar Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function (ACC Stop & Go) uses a the same camera in addition to the full-range radar sensors to interpret the traffic situation ahead. When driving in slow-moving traffic or traffic jams, the driver is able to let the vehicle’s automatic systems handle the tasks of stopping and, pulling away again. Active Cruise Control with automatic distance control is now available at speeds between 20 and 130 mph. The intelligent cruise control function remains active at speeds above 130 mph.
Among convenience and safety systems on offer are Active Blind Sport Detection and Lane Departure Warning, with the latter available as part of the Active Driving Assistant option. In addition to the rear view camera and Park Distance Control, customers can get the Surround View function with Side View and Top View, which provides a bird’s-eye view of the 4 Series Convertible and the area around it. It enables the driver to carry out precise maneuvers in tight spaces. If the car is moving under 12 mph, the Side View function can allow the driver to keep an eye on cross-traffic.
Another convenience system is the Parking Assistant system, which is able to maneuver the car into parking spaces parallel to the direction of travel. All the driver has to do is operate the accelerator and brake pedal while the Parking Assistant takes care of the steering.––Paul Duchene
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