The new 2014 BMW 4 Series Convertible is a replacement for the outgoing 3 Series Convertible and shares its design and platform with the recently introduced 4 Series Coupe. Equipped with a longer wheelbase and a wider track, the 4 Series Convertible is larger than the car it replaces. It also rides lower to the ground and boasts a reduced center of gravity, according to BMW.
Upon the 4 Series Convertible's arrival in BMW showrooms, it will be offered as the 428i or the 435i in standard, Luxury Line, Sport Line, or M Sport Line trim levels. Luxury Line 4 Series convertibles have extra chrome trim, unique wheel designs, and bespoke wood and upholstery selections. Sport Line versions get a sport suspension, sport seats, blacked-out exterior trim, red interior accents, and twin-spoke wheel designs. M Sport Line versions are equipped with M Sport suspension and brake upgrades, blue-painted brake calipers, M-design light alloy wheels, Shadowline exterior trim, and an aerodynamics package.
As was the 3 Series Convertible, the new 4 Series Convertible is equipped with a 3-piece power-retractable hardtop roof. BMW says the roof opens and closes in 20 seconds, at speeds up to 11 mph, and when it is stowed in the trunk creates what the company calls a "boat deck" appearance.
With the roof raised, the 4 Series Convertible offers 13 cu. ft. of trunk space. The new 4 Series Convertible is also equipped with a folding rear seat and a rear-seat pass-through designed to carry skis.
When the roof is folded, the trunk measures 7.8 cu. ft., enough to carry luggage or golf clubs, according to BMW. A new load and unload assistance feature moves the folded roof out of the way when loading or unloading the trunk.
BMW has installed what it calls a "noise-absorbing" headliner that helps make the 4 Series Convertible's cabin quieter than the outgoing 3 Series Convertible. The front seats also feature an integrated seat belt design to ease rear-seat entry and exit. A windblocker is standard equipment and stows behind the rear seats when it is not in use. When the top is down, the car's automatic climate control system automatically adjusts settings to account for outside temperatures and vehicle speed.
The 4 Series Convertible offers 3-setting neck warmers for front-seat occupants, a feature included in the optional Cold Weather package. Selected additional upgrades for the new 4 Series Convertible include a next-generation navigation system, full LED headlights, LED high-beam assistant, full-color head-up display, Variable Sport Steering, Active Driving Assistant, and Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go capability.
Under the Hood
The 2014 BMW 428i Convertible is equipped with a turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine making 240 horsepower between 5,000 rpm and 6,500 rpm, and 255 lb.-ft. of torque between 1,250 rpm and 4,800 rpm. BMW says this version of the 4 Series Convertible accelerates to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds, and can reach a governed top speed of 155 mph when equipped with performance tires.
The 2014 BMW 435i Convertible has a turbocharged, 3.0-liter 6-cylinder engine. This power plant is rated to generate 300 horsepower between 5,800 rpm and 6,000 rpm, as well as 300 lb.-ft. of torque between 1,200 rpm and 5,000 rpm. The 435i Convertible model's zero-to-60 acceleration time is an estimated 5.5 seconds, and top speed is limited to 155 mph with performance tires.
An 8-speed Sport automatic transmission is standard, offering the driver manual control with a shift gate and paddle shifters. Normal and Sport driving modes adjust powertrain calibration accordingly, and a standard Driving Experience Control switch gives the driver a choice between Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport, and Sport + vehicle settings. According to BMW, using Eco Pro mode can improve fuel economy by as much as 20 percent.
All 4 Series Convertibles have automatic engine start/stop technology and a brake-energy regeneration system that further squeezes every mile possible from each gallon of gas. BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive (AWD) system is optional for the 428i Convertible.
In order to protect occupants in the event of a rollover accident, the 4 Series Convertible is equipped with two steel roll bars that deploy from behind the rear seats when sensors determine that a rollover accident may be imminent.
BMW Assist is also standard, and includes 10 years of eCall Emergency Calling with enhanced Automatic Collision Notification. BMW calls the system "enhanced" because it employs an Urgency Algorithm that transmits key information about the severity of the crash, the number of additional vehicles involved, likely injuries and their severity, and tells emergency responders how many rescue personnel might be required on the scene.
Active Blind Spot Detection is optional, as is an Active Driving Assistant system. The latter feature employs a camera to monitor for potential collisions with vehicles ahead or with pedestrians. When a threat exists, the system issues audible and visual warnings, and primes the braking system for emergency braking. If the warnings go unheeded, the system engages automatic hazard braking. The Active Driving Assistant includes a lane-departure warning system.
The new 2014 BMW 4 Series Convertible is equipped with a next-generation version of iDrive 4.2, with a new navigation system available as an option. The new navigation system offers route tailoring, enhanced real-time traffic display, and touch-pad atop the iDrive controller for manual input of letters and numbers.
For 2014, BMW's Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go system is upgraded, now employing both a camera and full-range radar for improved traffic detection and response times. The 4 Series Convertible can also be optioned with a Surround View with Top View camera system, and a Parking Assistant that automatically steers the car into parallel parking spaces while the driver operates the pedals and transmission.