BMW 4 Series Convertible Puts On Brave New Face for 2021

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
bmw 4 series convertible puts on brave new face for 2021

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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  • Roberto Esponja Roberto Esponja on Oct 05, 2020

    1970 Catalina and Bonneville want their face back.

  • JRobUSC JRobUSC on Oct 05, 2020

    "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".

  • Kwik_Shift A nice stretch of fairly remote road that would be great for test driving a car's potential, rally style, is Flinton Road off of Highway 41 in Ontario. Twists/turns/dips/rises. Just hope a deer doesn't jump out at you. Also Highway 60 through Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario. Great scenery with lots of hills.
  • Saeed Hello, I need a series of other accessories from Lincoln. Do you have front window, front and rear lights, etc. from the 1972 and 1976 models
  • Probert Wow - so many digital renders - Ford, Stellantis. - whose next!!! They're really bringing it on....
  • Zerocred So many great drives:Dalton Hwy from Fairbanks to the Arctic Circle.Alaska Marine Highway from Bellingham WA to Skagway AK. it was a multi-day ferry ride so I didn’t actually drive it, but I did take my truck.Icefields Parkway from Jasper AB to Lake Louise AB, CA.I-70 and Hwy 50 from Denver to Sacramento.Hwy 395 on the east side of the Sierras.
  • Aidian Holder I'm not interested in buying anything from a company that deliberately targets all their production in crappy union-busting states. Ford decided to build their EV manufaturing in Tennessee. The company built it there because of an anti-union legal environment. I won't buy another Ford because of that. I've owned four Fords to date -- three of them pickups. I'm shopping for a new one. It won't be a Ford Lightning. If you care about your fellow workers, you won't buy one either.