New models - BMW - 4 Series - Convertible
BMW 4 Series Convertible here in March
Drop-top BMW 4 Series priced from $88,800, but cheaper 420i model likely
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24 Jan 2014
BMW has released pricing and specification details for its folding hard-top 4 Series range, revealing a premium of between $17,000 and $18,100 over its coupe twin.
On sale locally from March, the 4 Series convertible is available in three specification levels, kicking off with the diesel 420d from $88,800 plus on-road costs and the petrol 428i from $97,500, both commanding a $17,000 premium over the equivalent coupe.
The 435i – which will top the range until the arrival of the high-performance M4 version in late 2014 – costs $18,100 more than the equivalent hard-top variant with a recommended retail price of $126,600.
Pricing is also up over the outgoing 3 Series convertible, with the 420d up by $5700 and the 435i costing $5255 more than the previous model, while the mid-spec 428i replaces the 325i in the new range and carries a $3155 premium over the E90 model.
BMW Group Australia product communications manager Scott Croaker told GoAuto that a base 420i petrol variant is also being evaluated for the local line-up, but if it gets the green light, it would not arrive until sometime after the initial launch.
“There is a chance but I can’t be absolutely sure. But we will certainly look at it when that model becomes available,” he said.
A 420i was added to the coupe line-up after launch and brought the entry price down to $69,500, with the 420d carrying a slight $2300 premium over the petrol equivalent.
If it is added to the line-up, the 420i convertible would likely mimic the pricing strategy of the coupe.
A number of BMW’s direct rivals undercut the 4 Series drop-top, including Audi’s A5 Convertible ($79,790 to $110,500), the Lexus IS250C ($76,600 to $94,600) and the Infiniti G37 Convertible ($77,900 to $79,990).
Mercedes-Benz does not sell a convertible version of its similarly sized C-Class, but the E-Class Cabrio kicks off from $88,900 and tops out at $142,545, putting it in 4 Series territory.
BMW has used the design of the previous model’s three-piece retractable hard-top roof as the basis for the new-generation model, but the company says it has made a number of key changes to reduce the noise level and improve interior ambience.
Improvements have also been made to the noise-absorbent headliner which features lighting similar to that of the coupe. It takes 20 seconds for the roof to fully retract and it can be operated at speeds of up to 18km/h.
Three engines choices are available at launch, starting with a 2.0-litre TwinPower four-cylinder turbo-diesel producing 135kW/380Nm for a zero to 100km/h sprint time of 8.2 seconds.
Petrol-powered variants include a 180kW/350Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder TwinPower turbo under the bonnet of the 428i, helping the drop-top dash to 100km/h in 6.4 seconds, while the 435i features a 225kW/400Nm in-line six-cylinder unit is the quickest in the range with a 0-100km/h time of 5.5 seconds.
Each variant is matched with BMW’s eight-speed automatic transmission as standard.
Fuel economy ranges from 6.7 litres per 100 kilometres in the 428i, 7.7L/100km for the 435i, while the oil-burning 420d is unsurprisingly the most frugal of the bunch with official fuel consumption of 4.8L/100kmn.
The 4 Series iteration is slightly larger in size than the superseded 3 Series model, with the overall length increasing by 26mm to 4638mm, while the width is also up by 43mm to 1825mm.
The chassis has also been extended, with 50mm added to the wheelbase, while the track is 45mm wider at the front and 81mm wider at the rear. BMW says this was done to improve agility and steering accuracy over the previous model.
Improvements to the suspension set-up include tweaks to the springs and damping, axle kinematics and elastokinematics, while the front section and undercarriage of the car have been fitted with additional strengthening elements.
BMW says the equipment levels match that of the equivalent coupe variants, although convertibles gain a wind deflector and heated front seats as standard, while a neck cooler – or ‘Air Collar’ in BMW speak – is standard on the 435i and an option on other variants.
BMW revealed the 4 Series convertible in all its glory in October last year, following a series of leaks that saw the model hit the internet earlier than the German car-maker had planned.
BMW Group Australia managing director Phil Horton said the 4 Series is likely to build on the success of the outgoing model when it arrives in March.
“With its striking blend of performance, elegance and innovation the new BMW 4 Series Convertible instantly appeals,” he said. “It’s a definite winner and is sure to extend on the worldwide success of its predecessor.”
The hardcore M4 convertible is likely to arrive in Australian showrooms either very late 2014 or early 2015, about six months after the arrival of the M4 coupe.
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