BMW is confident convertibles still make sense in today's SUV-obsessed market.

If you’re longing for the good ol’ days of the 3 Series Convertible E46, you’ll be glad to hear BMW is bringing back the fabric roof with the next installment of the droptop 4 Series. Our spies managed to get up close and personal with a prototype while it was feeding at a gas station near the Nürburgring before heading to the track. As you are about to see in the video attached above, BMW was testing more than just one prototype that day at the Green Hell, and all of the vehicles were dipped in camouflage to hide the design secrets.

It goes without saying that reverting from a hardtop to a lighter and less complex fabric top will come along with some significant changes at the back, while the cargo capacity should increase since the roof will take up less space in the trunk when folded. The diet enabled by the new roof will be further enhanced by the switch to the CLAR platform, which in the case of the 3 Series Sedan has shaved off up to 55 kilograms (121 pounds) despite a visible growth in size.

Gallery: 2020 BMW 4 Series Convertible new spy photos

It would be wrong to draw any conclusions regarding the car’s styling since the prototypes we’re seeing are far from being ready for production. For example, they’re missing the final taillights and one of them doesn’t even have the fuel cap. In addition, BMW is an expert when it comes to disguising its cars, so it would be wiser to wait for more evolved prototypes with the final bits and less camo to get an idea about the cabrio’s appearance. Nevertheless, we’re not expecting any big surprises taking into account we’re dealing with what will essentially be a roofless, two-door 3 Series.

Speaking of surprises, we’re still rather intrigued by the fact BMW keeps testing the 4 Series Convertible but with no signs of the coupe whatsoever. Surely the fixed roof version will be the first to come out? That’s how it’s usually done in the automotive industry, and we’re expecting the 4 Series Coupe to be unveiled several months before its cabrio counterpart.

Should you want a fancier 3 Series Sedan, BMW will likely add a new Gran Coupe to the 4 Series family to join the two-door variants.

Video: Automedia