Love it or hate it, but the new BMW corporate schnozz for the 4 Series is here, and the odds are good that you’ll be seeing it regularly pretty soon. We’re not huge fans of it, but we have been curious as to whether lopping the roof off of the 4 Series would do anything to improve its looks. Thankfully, BMW has done just that, and though the results are less than stunning in our opinion, taste is subjective, and you may feel differently.
Beyond the way it looks, there’s plenty to like about the 2021 BMW 4 Series convertible, including its generally spicy powertrains (which we’ve covered elsewhere) and high level of safety and convenience technology — but the coolest part of the 4 Series ragtop is the top itself.
See, historically-speaking, convertible top mechanisms have been relatively heavy and complicated, but BMW’s engineers — being German and all — have decided to take a whack at improving that. The result is a convertible top system that’s 40% lighter than the outgoing model’s hardtop, and in case you’re bad with numbers, 40% is a crapload of weight.
Of course, a large part of that weight comes from the switch to a folding soft top from a retractable hardtop, but that’s just the start of things. The new soft top will do its dance in only 18 seconds and can be done at speeds up to 31 miles per hour.
BMW also says the soft top provides more headroom than the hardtop did (though not much, just 0.2-inch), as well as better sound and thermal insulation — specifically where heating the cabin on a cold day is concerned. These are all pretty cool. Soft tops have come a long way in the last couple of decades.
BMW plans on asking $54,095 for the new 430i Convertible, $56,095 for the 430i xDrive Convertible, $64,995 for the M440i Convertible and $66,995 for the M440i xDrive Convertible (all including the $995 destination fee, natch). The rear-wheel drive models are set to hit dealers in March, while the xDrive versions won’t arrive until July.