• 4 Series Convertible revealed ahead of LA Auto Show
  • Offered as 428i or 435i; shares many 4 Series Coupe features
  • Sales start early next year; pricing starts around $50,000

The BMW 4 Series Convertible has been officially revealed ahead of its debut at this year's Los Angeles Auto Show. BMW recently showed the first pictures of the hardtop convertible, which replaces today's 3 Series Convertible.

On the outside, the 4 Series Convertible's styling is no great surprise. The 2-door drop-top shares much of its look with the 4 Series Coupe, which was revealed earlier this summer. That means you can expect a wider track than the outgoing 3 Series, an increased length and unique styling traits, such as an aggressive front air dam and vents behind the front wheels.

Inside, the 4 Series Convertible also keeps a lot of standard 4 Series materials. Shared items include the center stack and dashboard, four analog gauges and a 6.5-inch screen above the center air vents. The screen is controlled by a center-mounted iDrive knob, or by voice command.

Of course, the 4 Series Convertible's big news is its roof. Like the outgoing 3 Series, the 4 Series Convertible uses a retractable hardtop. BMW says it folds in just 20 seconds. And you don't have to stop in order to raise and lower the top. Instead, you can be driving at speeds up to 11 miles per hour.

Unfortunately, the retractable hardtop decreases the 4 Series Convertible's luggage space. With the top in place, cargo volume stands at 13 cu ft -- a figure that drops to just 7.8 cu ft when the top is down.

Like the standard 4 Series, the convertible will come with two engine choices. The base-level 428i uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that makes 240 horsepower and 255 lb-ft of torque. Stepping up to a 435i gets drivers a turbocharged 3.0-liter 6-cylinder with 300 hp and 300 lb-ft. Zero-to-60 times are 6.2 seconds for the 428i, or 5.5 seconds with the 435i.

An 8-speed automatic is the 4 Series Convertible's only transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard, though drivers can order the 428i Convertible with BMW's xDrive all-wheel drive.

According to BMW, the 4 Series Convertible will reach U.S. dealers in early 2014. The 428i Convertible will start at $49,675 with shipping, while the 435i Convertible will start at $55,825.

What it means to you: The 2014 BMW 4 Series Convertible follows a tried-and-true formula that's created many successful 3 Series Convertible models.

author photo

Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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