BMW has been spotted testing its next-generation 4-series Convertible, revealing that the next four-seater cabrio will eschew the current car’s folding metal roof for a fabric top. As with the current model, the next 4-series will be based on the 3-series saloon, the all-new version of which is about to be revealed at this year’s Paris motor show.
The 3-series Convertible first picked up a three-piece folding hard-top back in 2007 in its E93 generation. Following the hard-top convertible trend that was raging then, the BMW’s impressive space efficiency and increased visibility seemed a worthy compromise for the added weight and expense associated with it. The following 4-series Convertible kept a similar set-up, which this car will directly replace.
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Times have changed, though, and the folding hard-top fad is well behind us, so BMW has decided to join its core rivals from Audi and Mercedes in offering a fabric top, just like the larger 8-series Convertible that is also moments away from release.
Due to arrive a year or so after the incoming 3-series saloon and estate, the 4-series will continue in the same vein as its predecessor in offering four-seater coupe, convertible and Gran Coupe models, bringing extra variety to the range.
The early body-on prototype in these images doesn’t give much else away, although we do know that it will adopt BMW’s modular CLAR platform, and feature a combination of four- and six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines. Electrification will also play a large role in the 3-series’ future engine range, but its adoption in the 4-series remains to be seen, although we wouldn’t be surprised to see some form of plug-in hybrid model under the iPerformance moniker. A future M4 Convertible will inevitably top the range.