?2014 BMW 4-Serties Convertible?
Two models to choose from
It seems that German auto manufacturers have more models in a greater number of types and configurations than any other group, leading the global market in terms of vehicle offerings. BMW recently drew a new line in the sand, by introducing of a totally new model line with the 2014 BMW 4-Series Coupe, which is available with two different power sources in two different available drive configurations, and offering two transmission choices. The 2014 BMW 4- Series Coupe heralded the beginning of a new era for Coupes at BMW. The lineup represented a step above its 3-Series siblings. Now there is yet another all-new model ? The 2014 BMW 4-Series Convertible.
The all-new rear-wheel drive BMW 4-Series Convertible will be available in two models: the BMW 428i powered by a TwinPower Turbo 2.0-liter, inline four-cylinder engine, which will actually come in two variations with differing emissions ratings; and the BMW 435i, which draws its motive force from a Twin Power Turbo 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder mill that delivers 302 horsepower from 5,000-6,000 rpm while developing 296 pound feet of torque from 1,200-5,000 rpm.
A six-speed manual gearbox comes as standard fare, while an 8-speed automatic or 8-speed Sports automatic are optionally available, with the latter allowing the dirver to manually change gears with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. All transmissions are equipped with an Auto Stop Start function, and BMW?s intelligent four-wheel drive technology ? BMW xDrive will become available shortly for the 428i Convertible.
The 2014 BMW 4 Series Convertible offers drivers the ability to change between sporty, eco or comfort settings, depending on mood or preference. Using the Driving Experience Control switch with ECO PRO mode on the center console, drivers can select between ECO PRO, COMFORT, SPORT or SPORT+ (most models). Each of these selections activates different settings for the powertrain and suspension componentry.
The top is a three-piece retractable hardtop that raises or lowers within 20 seconds at speeds up to 11 mph at the push of a button. The Convertible provides plenty of boot space, even when the top is lowered, and an electro-hydraulic loading assistance system pivots, positioning the folded top assembly in the boot (trunk) as needed to ensure maximum utilazation of the space.? The rear bench seat back may be folded flat if the vehicle is equipped with the optional load-through feature.
Individual equipment lines will be available? for both the interior and exterior, and consumers may choose the Sport, Modern or Luxury Lines as alternatives to the standard specification, while M Sport will provide yet another alternative, allowing for visible individualization. The Sport, Modern and Luxury Lines deliver different takes on the car?s character, adapting the design and color scheme for the kidney grille and air intakes, exterior mirror caps, Air Breathers, trim strips in the front and rear fascias, door sill strips and range of wheel stylings to set the car apart externally from the basic trim level.
The design language displayed by the new 4-Series Coupe is even more pronounced in the second model of the Series. – the BMW 4-Series Convertible, which sets itself apart from the 3-Series models while establishing loftier standards in terms of its driving dynamics, visual appeal and sheer motoring pleasure. The 4-Series Convertible visibly showcases an increased width, track and wheelbase than the 3-Series ragtop.
The car?s front end is striking? displaying characteristic BMW design features, such as the slightly forward-angled twin-kidney grille, flanked by four round headlights and large air intake in the front fascia with integrated fog lamps, clearly showcases its family ties with the 3 Series family. New design elements of the BMW 4 Series Convertible are the Air Breathers, that are positioned aft of the front wheel arches to reduce drag. Both the Convertible?s muscular wheel arches and wide track serve up an aggressive stance, with prominent horizontal lines.
The roofline creates a smooth transition into the rear, while accentuating the sporty profile of the flanks. The frameless glass side window and the signature slim-line BMW Hofmeister kink at the trailing edge of the C-pillar (there is no ?B? pillar) create a dynamic visual tension, while below the windows, the double swage line ? made up of two character lines running alongside each other ? familiar from the BMW 3 Series along with the door sill line strengthen the body?s wedge shape. The small, shrinking shadow below the swage line above the rear wheel flows directly into the flared rear wing, emphasizing the car?s sporting potential and hallmark BMW rear-wheel drive.
The lengthened tail lights and horizontal lines positioned at the outer edges of the car?s rear end draw further attention to the flared wheel arches and wide track. The L-shaped taillights flow into the car?s overall design, continuing the path of the flank?s swage line.
Inside, the BMW 4 Series Convertible?s interior blends sporty styling along with purity and quality. In the forward cabin, the utilization of space through the structuring of lines and surfaces into layers gives the cabin a driver orientation without excluding the front passenger. All controls central to driving are arranged ergonomically around the driver providing ready access to all functions. Front seat belts are integrated into the seat backs, a Sport steering wheel, circular instruments in black-panel look and the free-standing, flat-screen iDrive monitor all combine top provide a sense of functional elegance. The iDrive Controller ? properly located for easy reach on the center console ? and the armrest between the front seats serves to give the cabin comfort and functionality.
The horizontal lines of the instrument panel are dynamic, extending into the optional two-tone door and side panel trim and wrapping around the driver and front passenger. In the rear of the cabin, contoured seats deliver the sportiness of the 4 Series Coupe to all occupants. Recessed head restraints and continuously molded side supports give the rear bench the appearance of two separate seats.
During the International media launch, I was able to experience wheel time in the BMW 435i Convertible with a Mineral White metallic exterior and Tan and Charcoal interior. The 435i?s base price was set at $54,900. which? came to $55,825. after adding the Destination and Handling charge.
SUMMARY: For BMW fans desiring more than the 3-Series has to offer, the 4-Series lineup is definitely the way to go, with the convertible being my top pick.
The all-new 2014 BMW 4-Series Convertible represents an ideal fit between the 3-Series and 5-Series lineups. The 435i obviously kicks out more power with its inline 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder motor than its sibling 428i with its 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Both engines feature Twin scroll turbochargers with High precision direct injection.
The 435i Convertible is a delight to drive, with excellent acceleration capability and ideal on-center feel Serotonin system steering (Variable Sport steering is optionally available. The ride quality is planted, but compliant, and may be adjusted either up or down to suit driving conditions and styles. Braking is positive as well. Handling characteristics are also adjustable through the Driving Experience Control switch. The M Sport package will unquestionably add an even higher level of dynamicism for the performance aficionado.
For the safety conscious, the new 4-Series Coupe comes with a full suite of both active and passive safety systems and equipment. Connectivity isn?t forgotten either ? hook up with a variety of informational and entertainment sources via BMW?s improved iDrive interface.
Bottom line, the 2014 BMW 4-Series Convertible is a delightful fresh air tourer that delivers on the ?Ultimate Driving Machine? slogan.
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[wptabtitle] SPECIFICATIONS: 2014 BMW 4-Series Convertible [/wptabtitle]
|$54,900. – 435i
|Price as Tested:
|$55,825. – 435i
|Engine Type and Size:
|3.0-liter, DOHC, 24-valve inline six-cylinder with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology with twin-scroll turbocharging, High Precision Direct Petrol Injection.
|302 @ 5,800-6,000 rpm
|Torque (ft./ lbs.):
|295 @ 1,200-5,000 rpm
|8-speed automatic as well as an optional 8-speed Sports automatic with manual shift capability.
|Longitudinally mounted front engine / Rear-wheel drive.
|Front – Aluminum double-joint spring strut axle with displaced camber.
Rear – Five-link axle in lightweight construction.
Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel vented discs with DSC incl. ABS and DTC, CBC), DBC, Dry Braking function, Fading Compensation, and Start-Off Assistant.?Tires: Bridgestone 225/50 R17 94W mounted on 7.5×17 ” 20- spoke (with a series of 5 “V”?, 1-long, 1-short spoke light alloy wheels.?Wheelbase:?110.75 inches?Length Overall:?182.50 inches?Width:?71.75 inches?Height:?54.50 inches?Curb Weight:?3,836 lbs.?Fuel Capacity:?15.0 gallons?EPA Mileage Estimates:?Not yet?certified.?Drag Coefficient:?0.31?0 – 60 mph: 5.5 seconds