TodayOctober 21, 2021

The New 2021 BMW 4 Series Convertible

All new 2nd generation of BMW’s 4 Series Convertible.

Thirty-five years after the first 3-Series Convertible was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show, BMW shows off the all-new, second-generation 4 Series Convertible. The new four-seater continues the tradition of exhilarating open-air motoring, rightfully deserving “The Ultimate Driving Machine” moniker with its modern styling, low-slung shoulder line, cutting-edge technology, and performance.

  • More style, power, torque, and performance.
  • The latest safety, driver assist, and infotainment technologies.
  • MSRP starting at $53,100 for the 430i Convertible plus $995 Destination.
  • Market launch set for March 2021 for RWD variants and July 2021 for xDrive models.
  • The most noticeable change from the previous generation is the switch from the hardtop to newly designed soft-top, which brings many benefits, including weight reduction, more generous cargo space, and a lower center of gravity for improved handling.

MSRP is $53,100 for the new 430i Convertible, $55,100 for the 430i xDrive Convertible, $64,00 for the M440i Convertible and $66,000 for the M440i xDrive Convertible. Pricing does not include $995 Destination.

New convertible soft-top

The new 4 Series Convertible’s top uses large panel bow elements with a honeycomb-design construction, a flush-fitting glass rear window, multiple layers of insulation, and a fabric cover available in two colors. The fabric pulls taut when the roof is closed, giving the car a coupe-like appearance with a classic fabric top convertible feel.

The soft-top roof color choices include standard black and an optional Moonlight black, which gives the fabric a classy metallic shimmer, especially in direct sunlight.

The soft-top is also approximately 40 percent lighter than the previous generation’s hardtop. The smooth surface, when closed, improves the 4 Series Convertible’s aerodynamics and reduces wind noise. The effective insulation allows for quicker heating of the cabin in colder temperatures. Another benefit of the fabric top is an extra 0.2 inches of headroom compared to the previous hardtop.

Opening and closing the soft-top takes 18 seconds and can be done at up to 31 mph. The three bow panels fold neatly into a compact Z configuration, which can also perform via the remote key thanks to the Comfort Access system, which is standard on the M440i models and optional on the 430i models.

The folded soft-top compact dimensions increase cargo area to 9.0 cubic feet, an increase of 1.2 cubic feet over the previous 4 Series Convertible. The top features a safety mechanism that prevents it from being lowered if the trunk area is filled. A pass-through door in the rear seat allows for longer items to be carried inside the car.

A standard wind deflector with two mesh elements can be fitted in the rear to reduce both wind noise and air turbulence. The deflector can be stored either within easy reach behind the rear backrest or in its fitted bag in the cargo compartment.

Exterior Design and Improved Aerodynamics

The new 2021 4 Series Convertible is 5.2-inches longer (5.3-inches for M440i models), 1.0-inches wider, and 0.1-inch higher. It also has a 1.6-inch longer wheelbase than its predecessor. The front track has grown by 1.5-inches, accentuating the wider and more aggressive stance of the low-slung open-top cars. The new 4 Series Convertible’s aerodynamic properties are also improved over those of its predecessor (by 0.02 Cx) thanks to the sleek new soft-top, a nearly sealed underbody, and numerous improved aero aids such as air curtains and air flap control.

The striking front end of the 4 Series features a new BMW kidney grille design, which provides adequate airflow to meet engine cooling requirements. The grille is angled forward and extends to the bottom of the front bumper cover. Surfaces frame the kidney grille with a three-dimensional mesh structure. The hood’s arrow-shaped lines come together at the grille while the air curtain intakes at the front bumper edges highlight the 4 Series’ width.

The new 4 Series Convertible profile shows the new model’s clean and minimalist classic lines – a notchback silhouette with the roof up or the wide, low muscular appearance with the roof down.

The new 4 Series Convertible width is reinforced in the rear by slim, darkened L-shaped LED taillights that extend into the quarter panels. Vertical apertures at the corners of the rear bumper mimic the front’s air breather openings.

The M Sport Package includes a uniquely styled front bumper with larger air intake openings and a restyled rear bumper with Shadowline inlays. The rear diffuser panel, front air intake trim, side window moldings, and lower exterior mirror housings are all finished in high-gloss black.

Selecting the optional Shadowline Package provides a high-gloss black finish to the kidney grille, exhaust tip trim, and a black finish to the mirror caps.

The M440i and M440i xDrive Convertibles’ exterior styling is set apart by a Cerium Grey finish to the kidney grille, front air intake trim, exterior mirror caps, and rear trapezoidal exhaust tip trim.

Interior Design

A premium driver-centric cockpit is the focus of the new 4 Series Convertible’s interior design. Newly designed front power Sport seats and leather Sport steering wheel are standard. The upswept center console creates individual space for the front seat passengers. The M Sport Package and M440i Convertible models offer additional soft knee padding on the sides of the center console and an M Sport steering wheel and door sill plates with the M logo.

The center display screen flows into the instrument cluster area to form a harmonious unit. The light functions operate from a panel of buttons to the left of the steering wheel.

Rear seating with integral head restraints is designed for two passengers and features a center armrest with storage and cupholders and a pass-through section to the cargo area.

The interior of the new 4 Series Convertible features lighting for the front and rear interior, glove box, center armrest storage compartment, sun visor mirrors, trunk area, and door courtesy lights. The optional interior ambient lighting provides adjustable lighting for the contour lines across the instrument and door panels. The lighting’s distribution, brightness, and color scheme can be configured via the iDrive menu to suit the driver’s taste and mood.

The cover at the front of the center console opens with a fingertip push to reveal two cupholders, a 12V socket, and a USB port. A second USB port is in the illuminated storage compartment under the center armrest.

Convertible-specific noise reduction measures have taken in the areas of the intake system, engine cover, and underbody to dampen engine noise and thereby increase acoustic comfort when driving with the top down. Measures to divert wind noise effectively around the body further enhance comfort levels.

Power and Performance

All new 4 Series models enjoy a boost in horsepower and torque over the models they replace.

Powering the new 430i and 430i xDrive Convertibles is an updated B46 2.0-liter 4-cylinder BMW TwinPower turbocharged engine delivering 255 hp @ 5,000 – 6,500 rpm (an increase of 7 hp) and 295 ft-lbs. of torque @ 1,550 – 4,400 rpm (an increase of 37 ft-lbs.). The 430i Convertible accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds (tbd for 430i xDrive) and reaches an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph or 130 mph.

The new M440i and M440i xDrive Convertibles are powered by the B58 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder BMW TwinPower turbocharged engine producing 382 hp @ 5,800 – 6,500 rpm (an increase of 62 hp) and 369 ft-lbs. of torque @ 1,800 – 5,000 rpm (an increase of 39 ft.-lbs.). The M440i Convertible accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 5.0 seconds (tbd for M440i xDrive). It can reach an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph or 130 mph, depending on the selected wheel and tire combination.

Both 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder engines use a single, twin-scroll turbocharger, high precision fuel injection (operating at over 5,000 psi), valvetronic fully variable valve timing, and Double-VANOS variable camshaft timing.

The 3.0-liter 6-cylinder motors in the M440i and M440i xDrive Convertibles also benefit from weight-optimized pistons and connecting rods and from an exhaust manifold integrated into the cylinder head, allowing for better thermal efficiency from the integrated water-cooling passages.

Drive systems and 8-speed transmission with new Sprint function

The new BMW 4 Series Convertibles are available in a choice of either traditional rear-wheel drive or with BMW’s latest intelligent xDrive all-wheel-drive system offering additional traction during both performance driving and in varied weather conditions.

All 4 Series models deliver their drive torque to the road through a standard 8-speed sport automatic transmission with launch control. The M440i and M440i xDrive Convertibles also include a standard rear M Sport differential (optional on the 430i and 430i xDrive), which helps improve traction by equalizing drive torque between the left and right rear wheels under acceleration. It also works in conjunction with the DSC Stability control system to reduce unwanted understeer.

Besides standard Launch Control, the 8-speed Sport automatic transmission on the M440i and M440i xDrive Convertibles feature a brand-new Sprint function. Pulling on the left shift paddle for at least a second engages the Driving Experience Control switch’s SPORT settings for the accelerator response, exhaust note, and gearshift characteristics. At the same time, the transmission will drop straight into the lowest possible gear for maximum acceleration. SPORT mode displays appear in the instrument cluster, and the word SPRINT flashes up.

Intelligent connectivity enables the 8-speed automatic transmission to adapt its shift strategy according to the route and driving situation. The 8-speed Steptronic transmission uses data from the optional Active Cruise Control system’s radar sensor.

New 48-Volt Mild Hybrid System

A new 48-volt mild-hybrid system is standard on the 6-cylinder M440i and M440i xDrive Convertibles. The 48-volt starter/generator unit is complemented by a separate 48-volt battery, which allows for energy recuperation, storage, and use during driving. Energy can be recuperated from deceleration, braking, and excess electricity generated while driving in the Sport mode.

The excess energy is converted to electricity by the 48-volt starter/generator and stored in the 48-volt battery. This energy can be used by the starter/generator unit to boost performance during hard acceleration or by providing power for electronic systems, thus reducing the load on the engine and improving overall efficiency.

The 48-volt starter generator also improves efficiency by allowing the stopped engine to be restarted quickly with little vibration. The Auto Start/Stop function can now turn off the engine while the driver is braking for a stop as soon as the speed drops below nine mph.

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)

The 2021 BMW 4 Series Convertible comes equipped with standard assist features designed to deliver peace of mind and improved driving comfort. Included systems are lane departure warning with steering correction, frontal collision; pedestrian warning with braking function; blind-spot detection; rear cross-traffic alert; rear collision preparation, automatic high beams, and speed limit information.

Optional on the new 4 Series is the Driving Assistance Professional Package, which adds Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go. Extended Traffic Jam Assist for limited access highways – a Level 2 autonomous assist system that helps to reduce fatigue in stop-and-go freeway traffic by allowing for extended hands-free vehicle operation. A lane-keeping assistant with side collision avoidance, evasion aid, front cross-traffic alert, and emergency stop assistant can help guide your BMW to the shoulder and bring it to a halt in a medical emergency.
Standard iDrive 7 with Navigation and new BMW Maps

Standard on the new BMW 4 Series Convertible is iDrive 7 with intuitive operation, individually configurable content, and seamless interaction between driver and vehicle. Up to 10 pages can be personalized with two to four tiles of content each. Ways to interact with your new 4 Series Convertible include the touchscreen center control display, the iDrive controller, the multifunction buttons on the steering wheel, and via the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Compatibility

The new 2021 BMW 4 Series Convertible offers standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Compatibility. These benefits already enjoyed by Apple iPhone owners are now available to Android users making it easier to access a large number of digital services from the car in the same way as on their smartphone. These include Google Assistant, Google Maps, music streaming services like Spotify and Amazon Music, and the WhatsApp messaging service.

Exterior colors

The 430i and 430i xDrive Convertibles offer a choice of two standard non-metallic paints and seven optional metallic finishes, three of which are new colors. The M440i and M440i xDrive Convertibles offer a selection of one standard non-metallic color, five optional metallic finishes, and two optional Individual metallic paints.

  • Alpine White (standard)
  • Jet Black (standard on 430i and 430i xDrive only)
  • Black Sapphire Metallic
  • Mineral White Metallic
  • Sunset Orange Metallic (430i and 430i xDrive only)
  • Bluestone Metallic (430i and 430i xDrive only)
  • Portimao Blue Metallic (new)
  • San Remo Green Metallic (new)
  • Arctic Race Blue Metallic (new)
  • Individual Dravit Grey Metallic (M440i and M440i xDrive only)
  • Individual Tanzanite II Blue Metallic (M440i and M440i xDrive only)

Interior Upholstery and Trim

Standard 430i and 430i xDrive models are SensaTec in a choice of Canberra Beige or Black. Vernasca Leather is standard on the M440i and M440i xDrive Convertibles and optional on 430i and 430i xDrive models.

  • Canberra Beige / Black SensaTec (430i and 430i xDrive only)
  • Canberra Beige / Black Vernasca leather
  • Tacora Red Vernasca leather
  • Mocha Vernasca leather
  • Cognac Vernasca leather
  • Oyster Vernasca leather
  • Black Vernasca leather
  • Black Vernasca leather with Blue contrast stitching

Open Pore Fine Wood Oak Grain trim is standard on the 430i and 430i xDrive Convertibles. Aluminum Tetragon trim is standard on the M440i and M440i xDrive Convertibles. Optional on all models is Aluminum trim with mesh effect, Open Pore Fine Wood Maple trim, or High-gloss Fine Wood Ash Grey-Brown trim.

A SensaTec dashboard is standard on the M440i and M440i xDrive models and optional on the 430i and 430i xDrive Convertibles.

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Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.

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