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BMW will be travelling to next month's Los Angeles Auto Show with a world premiere in hand, that of the all-new 4-Series Convertible, which like its outgoing 3-Series counterpart, has a dual nature being both a coupe and cabriolet thanks to a three-piece folding metal top.
Speaking about the roof, BMW says it has improved the design and construction stating that the new sound-absorbing headliner reduces wind noise by up to 2 dB in comparison to its predecessor. The top can be lowered or raised in 20 seconds at the touch of a button at speeds of up to 11mph (18km/h).
Other interesting tidbits about the roof mentioned in BMW's release is that the car's air resistance is Cd 0.28 with the steel top up, and Cd 0.33 when it's retracted, while in terms of luggage space, you get 7.8 cu. ft. (220 liters) with the top down and 13.0 cu. ft. (370 liters) when raised above your head – that's a 0.7 cu. ft. (20 liters) increase over the 3 Series Convertible.
A redesigned windblock will be standard in the US, while BMW will offer three-temperature neck warmers as an option.
Even though the new 4-Series Convertible is only an inch (26mm) longer than the outgoing 3-Series model bringing its overall length to 182.6 in (4,638 mm), it has a 2.0 inch (50mm) longer wheelbase at 110.6 inches (2,810mm), while it's also 1.7 inches (43mm) wider at 71.9 inches (1,825mm).
At model launch, the 4-Series Convertible will be available in North American with the same two gasoline powertrain options as the 4-Series Coupe, both linked to a standard 8-speed automatic. The 428i, offered with both standard rear wheel drive and optional all-wheel drive (xDrive) is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four delivering 240hp and is priced from $49,675. The 435i, available only with RWD at launch, comes with a 300hp 3.0-liter turbo'd six and starts at $55,825. Both prices include $925 destination and handling, with U.S. sales to begin in the first quarter of 2014.
In Europe, customers will have the option of three models, the 428i with a 242hp (245PS) 2.0L turbo gasoline unit, the 435i with a 302hp (306PS) 3.0L turbo gasoline engine and the 420d featuring a 2.0-liter turbo'd four-cylinder diesel producing 181hp (184PS). All European versions are fitted with a standard six-speed manual, with the 8-speed auto offered as an option.
There will be three available trims in North America, Sport, Luxury and M Sport, while Europe also gets a fourth grade named Modern. The most interesting edition is the M Sport that gains an aerodynamic package, bigger 18-inch (or optionally 19-inch on the 435i) alloy wheels, unique interior trims and a sports suspension.