By on October 2, 2020

BMW has applied its new corporate grille to the 4-Series and nixed the retractable hardtop from the convertible in exchange for a ragtop that helps the model dump unnecessary weight. While the softer sunshine rig sounds relatively impressive, this will likely be a lateral move for most fans. The brand’s elongated Hitler mustache grille hasn’t gone over with everybody and a soft top certainly seems less premium. But BMW thinks it can win customers over on practicality and substance.

For starters, the new system offers a smidgen more headroom (just 0.2 inches) and has improved thermal insulation and sound dampening to keep it on par with the outgoing hardtop. It also takes up less space when stowed and only takes 18 seconds to do so at speeds at or below 31 mph.

Weight was the biggest factor for Bavarian brand, however. BMW said the canvas top is roughly 40 percent lighter than its predecessor. Considering there are almost 500 pounds of difference between convertible and standard 4-Series coupes, that’s nothing to sneeze at. But is it aesthetically pleasing?

Eh, kind of.

While your author grew up in and around convertibles, he has never truly understood their appeal when there are sunroofs and motorcycles to be had. However, a contrasting rag top has always seemed more classic and earnest than paint-matching hardtops. It also seems to accommodate the monstrous new grille better than some of the brand’s other models have. Either that or the damn thing is simply becoming more palatable over time  which is not a scenario I am not prepared to entertain just yet.

You’ll have to make up your own mind if you’re mulling a convertible or simply select the standard 4-Series, which likewise has the new grille and the same engine options offering improved output from the 2020 model year. The base turbocharged 2.0-liter four now makes 255 horsepower and 294 lb-ft of torque (up from 248/258) and the 3.0-liter turbo inline-six boasts a maximum output of 382 hp and 369 lb-ft (up from 320/330) with help from its 48-volt mild hybrid system.

Including the obligatory $995 destination fee, BMW has decided to ask $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. Sadly, that does not make it more affordable than the previous model year  despite the automaker going with lighter (and presumably more cost-effective) materials.

[Images: BMW]

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32 Comments on “BMW 4 Series Convertible Puts On Brave New Face for 2021...”

  • avatar

    The perfect vehicle for pulling in to Buc-ee’s, to get some gas, and a bag of Beaver Nuggets.

    • 0 avatar

      Funnily enough, my wife made a similar comment regarding the new BMW grille a few days ago: “Every time I see a new BMW coming towards me, I expect to see the Buc-ee’s mascot driving it.”

  • avatar

    From the side it looks like a Gen6 Camaro.

  • avatar

    This front looks just fine

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Did someone ask for this?

    By my count, BMW USA offers *33* different vehicles, with several permutations under each. That’s a lot of work to do for less than 2% market share. Someone there needs to reign in the madness.

    By comparison, Mazda has 11 vehicles, VW has 13, and Tesla has 4.

    No wonder shows over 200 overpriced, niche versions of new BMWs for sale, from MY 2017-19.

    • 0 avatar

      You can argue some of BMW’s platform permutations are superfluous, but a midsize convertible been a mainstay in the lineup for decades. So yes, someone did ask for this and continues to ask for it.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t understand this argument. Part of the premium experience is choice. If you want to drive exactly what everyone else drives, buy a Camry.

      BMW has invested in flexible platforms that let them spin off variations cheaply and easily.

      • 0 avatar

        “If you want to drive exactly what everyone else drives, buy a Camry.”

        Not sure what part of the country you’re describing, but BMWs are the Camry of So. Cal. There is nothing exclusive, special or unusual about them. They’re everywhere here… sitting in traffic, parking lots, restaurants, even grocery stores other than Whole Foods.

        They used to be a special car, but that hasn’t been the case in at least 20 years.

  • avatar

    I agree, on that convertible body and in that green the front end looks a lot better.

  • avatar
    Michael S6

    In an era where EV are proliferating with no grill, the luxury car makers are racing to claim the title of the biggest ugliest grills for their gas powered cars. Soon the whole front of the car will be a grill with headlights built into it.

  • avatar

    Allow me to chime in since I had an E46 with the cloth drop top and now drive an E93 with folding h/t.

    IMO the soft top is better even though BMW does a good job of making the h/t good looking w top up. The biggest h/t problem is the huge intrusion into trunk space and even w/o a spare and w top up the trunk is minimal and gas tank is small.

    At almost 20 y/o the E46 ragtop could be driven thru a carwash with zero leaks. The only advantage of the h/t top is enhanced rearward vision but now with backup cams that doesn’t impress so much.
    That’s a nice green on the illustrated car but the grilles are awful!

    I think my next BMW flip-top will be a 240iM w a ragtop.

  • avatar

    The front end looks like it hit bicycle running the red light.

  • avatar

    The car’s styling has a prolapsed looking back end and exhaust system. The front has been likened to a mouth looking for something to latch onto. We are now just a kinetic series of mishaps away from creating an automotive Bavarian centipede just like that German doctor did in Tom Six’s medical drama.

  • avatar

    Its amazing that everyone is just fine with these inelegant license plates….

  • avatar

    I keep on hoping the giant grill thing will finally go away, but it continues on. I don’t get what people see in them at all. This car isn’t bad, IMHO, but that grill just messes it up. Like the Lexus “Spindle”, it needs to die.

  • avatar
    Steve Biro

    I honestly wonder about the impact of these “beaver” grills on BMW sales. Do customers really want/need the BMW roundel enough to put up with it? I understand there’s no accounting for taste. But, at some point, a price must be paid for over-the-top ugliness.

  • avatar

    I will say that I want more greens on cars. As for the grille… Looks like it’s two steps away from having cellulite.

    I’d like to think a convertible might be in my future at some point, but having never had one I don’t know how they do during winter in Minnesota.

    • 0 avatar

      My various convertibles have done just fine in Maine in the winter. I park them and drive my other cars. :-) Of course, now I winter in FL do I bought a convertible for down there too – a BMW 128i. Cloth top, grill that isn’t silly.

  • avatar

    Love that green color! That would look great with a saddle/tan color roof and interior.

  • avatar

    I find this to be the best car for a roller coaster ride. It would look good on the rails of any coaster.

  • avatar

    I have a 2018 440i hardtop convertible which replaced my 2008 335i hardtop convertible. I must be in the minority with BMW’s market research, but I love the hardtop. With the new model having a soft top, replacing mine with a new one is no longer an automatic decision. Sadly there are no viable hardtop alternatives. With this terrible front end, I will likely choose another brand if I am willing to have a soft top.

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    1970 Catalina and Bonneville want their face back.

  • avatar

    “a soft top certainly seems less premium.”

    Really? Rolls Royce, Bentley, Aston, Lambo, McLaren, etc. would disagree – there’s nary a hardtop amongst them, and they’re certainly not hurting for “premium”.

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