The Valley of Fire on the outskirts of Las Vegas is reminiscent of our beautiful Karoo but richer in its scope of hues. The red rocks contrast vividly with the svelte 4 Series Convertible’s sleek lines. We were unsurprised when a Nevadan told us that the area was used regularly for movie sets as well as photography.
As the road snaked through the rocky environment, the Four’s updated interior provided a welcome environment, especially thanks to minimal wind buffeting with the solid roof stowed away. The warm air in your neck, supplied by an air vent in the headrest, makes driving the open-topped BMW a comfortable and cosy experience.
This 4 Series Convertible is a few centimetres larger than its predecessor, but the newcomer’s designers penned it in such a way that it actually looks slightly smaller – and sleeker.
The three-piece folding hard top can be folded away in 20 seconds at speeds of up to 18 km/h. Once the roof is stowed, a button on the bootlid allows the folded roof to be moved up for better access.
Behind the wheel
I drove the top-of-the-range 435i Convertible powered by BMW’s venerable 3,0-litre, six-cylinder turbopetrol engine. The engine’s specification is the same as that of the 435i Coupé, which means outputs of 225 kW and 400 N.m. The additional weight of the convertible doesn’t hamper the engine’s performance, at least not notably so. Moreover, the Convertible is a cruiser at its core and the 435i wafts with aplomb, especially on the mostly smooth roads we experienced.
The tightly regulated rural roads, which were dotted with Police Interceptor vehicles hiding around virtually every corner, necessitated that we respect the stringent speed limits. Did the slower speeds on the drive flatter the 4 Series Convertible’s ride quality? Perhaps, but we can’t wait to test the newcomer in local conditions to get a better idea of the BMW’s ride and handling balance.
The 4 Series Convertible will arrive on our local shores during the end of March.
Model: BMW 435i Convertible AT
Engine: 3,0-litre, six cylinder, turbopetrol
Power: 225 kW between 5 800 and 6 000 r/min
Torque: 400 N.m between 1 200 and 5 000 r/min
0-100 km/h: 5,5 seconds
Fuel consumption: 7,5 L/100 km (claimed)
CO2: 176 g/km
Top speed: 250 km/h
Price: R787 245
Maintenance plan: 5 years/100 000 km
Service intervals: determined by onboard computer