The 2021 BMW 4-Series certainly made waves when it first debuted thanks in part to its gigantic twin kidney grilles, as well as some of the technology improvements that the model brings to consumers. With the coupe having its time in the spotlight, BMW has decided to address the needs of sun lovers with the unveiling of the 2021 BMW 4-Series convertible.
While the front fascia continues to dominate the narrative with the fore-mentioned grilles (a throwback to vintage BMW offerings) the convertible also makes a big change for 2021, with the hardtop being pitched for a lightweight canvas piece. the soft top is a move to cut weight, and is 40 percent lighter than the outgoing hardtop. The smaller dimensions also help improve trunk space, with the new model now boasting 9.0 cubic feet of space (roughly a foot more than the outgoing convertible.) Headroom also goes up slightly, though we suspect that the only folks to notice this particular change are taller occupants over 6 feet tall.
The roof itself can open and close in 18 seconds, and can operate at speeds up to 31 mph. The higher priced M440i variant allows drivers to control the roof from an all new button on the keyfob (the 430i gets this novel feature as an option) and is one of the first offerings on the market to have this particular ability. The folding top has a standard black hue, but buyers looking for a more stylish alternative can swap it out for a Moonlight black hued top that has a metallic like shimmer effect woven into the fabric.
The exterior styling of the 4-Series convertible is otherwise largely identical to the coupe, though BMW engineers were forced to give the convertible some minor tweaks to help it cope with the new roof. These include added reinforcements, stiffer side skirts, and a stiffer rear floor plate. With convertible models often being louder than their fixed roof relatives, BMW engineers also spent sometime trying to improve sound deadening especially in the engine cover, intake system, and the underbody. It will be interesting to see if these efforts can indeed make a difference in lowering the volume in the 4-Series, and we look forward to seeing for ourselves in the future.
Performance for the 4-Series convertible is shared with the coupe, with the 430i being powered by a 2,0 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine which is good for 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque which is enough to get the Bimmer to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds. This trim can be equipped with all-wheel drive, and drive configuration will affect the top speed (130 mph for rear wheel drive and 155 mph for all-wheel drive.)
However, for those that want more muscle, the M440i is powered by a 3.0 liter turbocharged inline six that is paired with an all new 48-volt mild hybrid technology system to produce 382 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. Like the 430i, this model is limited to either 130 mph or 155 mph depending on what wheels are driven, and can make the sprint to 60 mph in a brisk 5.0 seconds. Both of these engines are paired with an eight speed automatic, but the M440i gets a standard M Sport sourced rear differential, with the 430i only having it available as an option.
The company also revealed the initial pricing ladder for the 4-Series convertible with base models starting at $53,100 before the $995 destination charge is mixed into the equation. xDrive is a $2,000 option and helps boost the price up to $55,100. Meanwhile, the M440i is a far pricier affair, with base rear wheel drive models starting at $64,000, and the xDrive model ringing in at $66,000. The rear wheel drive model will make its way to the U.S first, with the initial batch arriving in March of 2021. Buyers looking for all-wheel drive will have to wait a bit longer, with those models not expected to arrive until the summer of 2021.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.