This one is still under quite a bit of camouflage.
These new spy shots provide the best look yet at the next-generation BMW 4 Series Convertible by catching the droptop testing on the road. The engineers keep quite a bit of camouflage on this one, but we can still pick out a few details from the shots.
The front end of this 4 Series test mule (above left) has lots of camouflage in comparison to BMW's recently officially released teaser images of the next-gen 3 Series – the two models share the CLAR platform. We can expect the pair of them to look similar up front, including the sensor for the driver assistance system in the center of the lower fascia.
Farther back, the latest 4 Series adopts a soft top, rather than the existing hard roof. The change should let the convertible lose weight. The new underpinnings should also shed some pounds, which means the new model could be quite a bit lighter than the current one.
At the rear, BMW's team also keeps this 4 Series under heavy camo, but once again, we can use the upcoming 3 Series as a rough guide. Even in these photos, the two models appear to share the same bumper with matching cutouts for the dual exhaust tips.
The 3 and 4 Series should share some of the same engine options. BMW already confirms that the sedan is getting the company's most powerful four-cylinder powerplant ever, which puts the output in excess of 252 horsepower (187 kilowatts). Inline six and plug-in hybrid choices should join the lineup eventually, too.
The new 3 Series debuts soon at October's Paris Motor Show, but don't expect to see the 4 Series there. The coupe, including its droptop counterpart, could arrive next year or as late as 2020.