Charl Bosch
Online Motoring Reporter
3 minute read
30 Sep 2020
9:57 am

BMW drops the top on new soft headed 4 Series Cabriolet

Charl Bosch

Controversial kidney grilles are carried over from the coupe and M3/M4 but the hard-top roof has been softened.

New BMW 4 Series Cabriolet

With the wraps having come off of the new M3 and M4 earlier this month, BMW has now expanded the use of its controversial new grilles to the third member of the 4 Series family, the cabriolet.

Arriving just over three months after its coupe sibling, the drop-top Four, apart from the much debated front facia, breaks from tradition further by forgoing the metal roof for a new fabric top that can be opened and closed in 18 seconds at up to 50 km/h.

A choice that has resulted in a weight drop of 40% and improved, by five millimetres, headroom over its predecessor, the cabriolet is also 128 mm longer in overall length with its wheelbase being increased by 41 mm and width by 27 mm. Together with the roof, which can be specified in black or anthracite, boot space, according to BMW, has increased by 80-litres to 300-litres with the soft-top down and by 15-litres for a total of 385-litres with the lid up.

Aside from the roof, the cabriolet is otherwise unchanged from the coupe with the interior being carried over and resplendent with the same assortment of features, as well as safety and driver assistance systems. In addition, it can also be equipped with the M Sport package that comes as standard on the range-topping M440i xDrive.

Made largely out of aluminium and featuring extensive reinforcements to compensate for the removal of the roof, the cabriolet is motivated by the same selection of petrol and diesel engines as the coupe, all mated to an eight-speed Steptronic gearbox.

On the four-cylinder side, both the 420i and 430i derive power from the familiar 2.0-litre turbo rated at 135kW/300Nm and 190kW/400Nm respectively, while the unit in the 420d cranks out 140kW/400Nm. In terms of performance, the 420i will get from 0-100 km/h in 8.2 seconds and the 430i in 6.2 seconds, while the diesel will dispatch the benchmark sprint in 7.6 seconds. No top speeds were provided.

Slotting-in below the M4, the M440i not only comes with xDrive all-wheel-drive as standard, but also a optimised version of the eight-speed ‘box and like the oil-burners, mild-hybrid assistance for its 3.0-litre straight-six turbo that pumps out 275kW/500Nm.

Able to accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 4.9 seconds, it will be joined at a later stage, July and November, by two six-cylinder diesel models; the 430d that pumps 210kW/650Nm from its 3.0-litre engine, and the M440d which gets a second blower that helps raise output to 250kW/700Nm. While no top speed figures were again provided, BMW has indicated that the former will get from 0-100 km/h in 5.9 seconds and the latter in 5.1 seconds.

Going on sale from March next year, the 4 Series Cabriolet has so far not been confirmed for South Africa but with the coupe arriving in the final quarter of this year, expect the drop-top to touch down not long after its international market arrival in 420i, possibly 430i and M440i xDrive flavours.

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