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BMW’s Porky New 4-Series Convertible Makes Us Sad As Car Lovers

October 17 2013 00:00  1605 views
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If you haven’t guessed by now, this is the latest version of the two-door, convertible 3-series that isn’t really a 3-series any more. BMW’s new naming structure gives even numbers to coupé and convertible versions of existing cars, so we’ll also have a 2-series along soon, based on the five-door 1-series.

On the surface of the new convertible here, little has changed. The styling is the same, the tech is the same and if you were sitting in it, looking at the interior, you’d be stumped as to which BMW it was.

On top of that you get engines that are as familiar as Sunday afternoons with Grandma. There’s the 180bhp, four-cylinder 420d, the equally four-pot 241bhp 428i and the flagship 302bhp 435i six-banger. The petrols are good for a limited 155mph while the diesel can allegedly hit 146mph.

But despite the familiar spec sheet it’s actually longer, lower and wider than the old drop-top 3-series, which is good news. It helps lower the centre of gravity by 19mm, even though that still can’t completely compensate for the heavy three-piece electric folding roof. Thanks to that and more bracing than you’ll find in a track car, the cabriolet is a fairly epic 305kg heavier than the 4-series Coupe. That’s a lot, and that makes us sad as car lovers.

The roof lags behind the latest standards if we’re honest, taking 20 seconds to raise or lower fully, and you can’t be going faster than 11mph while you’re doing it. Try to make the manoeuvre at the wrong set of traffic lights and you’ll end up looking like a full-fat n00b.

And the price for all this wonderment? About £6000 (prices start from £36,675), says BMW, if you want to upgrade from a Coupe to a Cabriolet. We’re not sure we’d bother.

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