The fabric soft-top makes a return with the premiere of the latest BMW 4 Series Convertible, following the debut of the 4 Series Coupe earlier in June this year. This succeeds the previous-generation 4 Series which has employed the folding hard-top arrangement that has been used since the E93-generation 3 Series Convertible.

Here, BMW has launched the 4 Series Convertible range in four model variants; the 184 hp/300 Nm 420i which does 0-100 km/h in 8.2 seconds and a top speed of 236 km/h, the 430i with a 0-100 km/h time of 6.2 seconds and a 250 km/h top speed, the 3.0 litre inline-six M440i xDrive with 374 hp/500 Nm including 48-volt mild-hybrid assistance that contributes 11 hp, and does 0-100 km/h in 4.9 seconds and a 250 km/h top speed.

The launch line-up is completed by the sole diesel at launch, the 420d with a 190 hp/400 Nm 2.0 litre inline-four turbodiesel, which does 0-100 km/h in 7.6 seconds and a top speed of 236 km/h. A further two diesel variants will join the Convertible range later.

The 430d will join from July 2021 with a 286 hp/650 Nm 3.0 litre inline-six that does 0-100 km/h in 5.9 seconds and a 250 km/h top speed, along with the M440d xDrive that joins in November 2021 with 340 hp/700 Nm, attaining the 0-100 km/h run in 5.1 seconds and a top speed of 250 km/h. Like the petrol-powered M440i xDrive, all diesel 4 Series Convertible powertrains incorporate a 48-volt mild-hybrid assistance that contributes 11 hp.

The new fabric roof arrangement for the G23 4 Series Convertible represents a 40% weight saving over the folding metal roof layout of the F33 4 Series Convertible, while at the same time liberating more luggage space; the new car’s 300-litre capacity is an 80-litre improvement over its predecessor when both roofs are lowered, and the G23 accommodates 385 litres (15 litres more than the F33) with their respective roofs up.

Opening and closing the fabric roof takes 18 seconds, says BMW, and can be operated at speeds of up to 50 km/h. The latest 4 Series Convertible also has a folding rear backrest and a through-loading facility.

Further convertible creature comforts include an optional wind deflector that can be stored within the rear backrest, while optional neck warmers are integrated into the front head restraints. The optional auxiliary heating system can be accessed via the onboard iDrive, the optional Display Key or the My BMW smartphone app.

The soft-top – available in either black or Anthracite Silver – makes the G23 marginally taller than the G22 4 Series Coupe (1,384 mm for the Convertible, against 1,383 mm for the fixed-roof car), and is otherwise identical in other dimensions, measuring 4,768 mm in length, 1,852 mm in width and a wheelbase of 2,851 mm, which is also identical to the wheelbase of the G20 3 Series sedan.

The distinct 4 Series upright kidney grille is carried over to the Convertible bodystyle, and its front end similarly gets full LED headlamps as standard. Optionally available are adaptive BMW Laserlight units, which include adaptive cornering and variable illumination functions.

The 4 Series Convertible naturally adopts the dashboard architcecture of its Coupe twin, which itself is derived from that in the G20 3 Series. Like in the fixed-roof car, the driver of the soft-top gets a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel, paired with a 10.25-inch Control Display for infotainment that runs on BMW Operating System 7. Smartphone integration includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.

Like on the G22 4 Series Coupe, the G23 Convertible can be optioned with the Driving Assistant Professional suite that adds Steering and Lane Control Assistant, which can be used at speeds of up to 210 km/h. These are joined in the advanced driver assistance systems suite by Lane Keeping Assistant, Emergency Stop Assistant, Evasion Assistant, Automatic Speed Limit Assist, wrong-way driving warning, junction warning with city braking function and front cross-traffic warning.

The G23 4 Series Convertible range is set to make its sales launch in March next year, and the latest colour to join the 4 Series palette is San Remo Green Metallic as seen here, along with Dravite Grey metallic and Tanzanite Blue metallic from the BMW Individual selection. Available matte-finish colours include Frozen Portimao Blue metallic and Frozen Deep Grey metallic.