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With automakers doubling down on EVs, they’re looking to cut non-essential models to streamline their lineups in a bid to reduce costs and have the money to fund ambitious electric portfolios. Therefore, we’re actually still a bit surprised BMW is developing a new 4 Series Convertible taking into account demand for cars with folding roofs has taken a hit in recent years. On the other hand, such a model makes a lot more sense than the VW T-Roc Cabriolet

Two prototypes have been spotted this week by our spies, one racking up the miles at the Nürburgring and the other having fun in the snow somewhere in northern Europe. The test vehicle caught in Germany is the more interesting BMW of the two because it appears to be a high-end version judging by the angular exhaust tips leading us to believe it was an M Performance variant, namely the M440i. It also appears to have fancier headlights and slightly less camouflage at the front where we can take a good look at the you know what.

Gallery: BMW 4 Series Convertible new spy photos

The other one is also worth a closer look to check out its wind deflector and get an idea of how much space the rear passengers will have. As with just about all convertibles of this size, the back seat looks tight, but you’re not buying a BMW 4 Series Convertible if rear legroom is a priority. The switch from metal to fabric for the roof should pay dividends in terms of practicality as we’re expecting a more spacious rear seat and better cargo capacity since the soft top will occupy considerably less space when folded. It will also be lighter than the outgoing model’s metal roof, but I think we can all agree it won’t look as nice.

All of the oily bits should be carried over from the 3 Series, all the way up to a new M4 Convertible we spotted last October flaunting a quad exhaust system. BMW has already confirmed it will sell the new M3 and M4 models with a choice between manual and automatic transmissions as well as with rear- and all-wheel drive. However, you won’t be able to buy them with xDrive and a three-pedal setup as the AWD-equipped models will come exclusively with the automatic.

The new 4 Series Convertible should debut later this year after the Coupe, but before the Gran Coupe coming in 2021 when it will be joined by an electric equivalent in the i4.

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