Demand for convertibles is not what it used to be 10-15 years ago, but BMW is confident a new droptop 4 Series still represents a viable business case. Much like the all-new Z4 roadster has reverted to a fabric roof, the larger convertible will also ditch the metal top in favor of a lighter and less complex roof setup. The major transformation should pay dividends in terms of cargo capacity with the roof folded since it will take up less space in the trunk.
Our spies have caught the new 4 Series Convertible in traffic by immortalizing a fully camouflaged prototype on a sunny day. Since spring is finally here, the test driver lowered the roof and raised the wind deflector for the most enjoyable experience behind the wheel. The car appears to have the full production body and the final lights, but the thick disguise gets in the way.
Gallery: 2020 BMW 4 Series Convertible new spy photos
Despite the camo, we can notice the sporty decklid spoiler with the built-in third brake light. Also at the back, the dual trapezoidal exhaust tips are similar to those of the new 3 Series, specifically the hotter M340i. That’s not a coincidence since the new convertible from BMW will be largely based on the sports sedan by inheriting the same CLAR platform.
We can’t quite see what’s going on inside the cabin, but that’s not an issue since the dashboard design will also be basically taken from the 3 Series Sedan. We actually have an older spy shot (attached below) from a previous batch showing the interior of the new 4 Series Convertible, which confirms the similarities between the two models.
Underneath the hood, the U.S.-spec model in its base form will likely have a turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine developing 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet (400 Newton-meters) of torque in the 430i / 430i xDrive. Step up to what will probably be an M440i version and you’ll be rewarded with a larger 3.0-liter inline-six rated at 382 hp and 369 lb-ft (500 Nm). In the M340i sedan, it’s good enough for a sprint to 60 mph (99 kph) in 4.4 seconds for the RWD model and in as little as 4.1 seconds for the xDrive version. However, the 4 Series Convertible will surely be a tad slower to do its higher weight.
Arm yourself with patience as it will be a while before BMW is going to remove that annoying camouflage taking into account the 4 Series Coupe will be the first to come out. The droptop could follow within a year, and eventually a new 4 Series Gran Coupe.