FIRST DRIVE: 2021 BMW M440i xDrive Convertible

The history of BMW Convertibles dates back to the early days of BMW. In 1936, the BMW 326 was the very first model with a retractable roof from the Munich-based automaker. Even back then, customers felt the urge for fresh air and warm rays of sunshine on their skin. Over the decades, this basic feeling and the desire for freedom led to the sale of more than 900,000 Convertibles from BMW’s mid-size class. But recently, BMW customers are looking for more than just a bit fresh air or sunshine, and rather to express themselves with their new cars. And the all-new BMW 4 Series Convertible could certainly be such a car.

The Stunning San Remo Green Color

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To find out what else the new BMW 4 Series Convertible can do, we recently had the chance for a first drive at the BMW M Power Days in Munich. Nothing less than the top model of the 4 Series, the BMW M440i xDrive Convertible, was made available to us for a short trip from Garching to Maisach. The M Performance model came in a spectacular configuration. It featured San Remo Green metallic as exterior color while the interior was dominated by the Canberra beige color of the leather seats. The paint shows as light green in direct sunlight and a darker green in the shadow.

Another detail we immediately noticed is the new soft top. While the two previous model generations, the E93 and F32, were using a hardtop, BMW is now back to the lighter form that was last used in the E46. Compared with the predecessor model, the weight saving add up to 40 percent and increases the trunk volume to a total of 385 liters when the top is closed. Even when the top is open, 300 liters of luggage can still be loaded.

The Elephant In The Room

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Without any further ado, let’s cover the most controversial topic of the new BMW design language. I’m lucky enough to live in the Munich area. So I was probably one of the first to get a look at the new design on the BMW Concept 4 Series when it was displayed in February 2020 at the BMW Welt. When I saw the car for the first time I wasn’t convinced about the large kidney grille. And also when the production version of the 4 Series was exhibited, I wasn’t a fan.

But once I saw it in person on the street and after and after seeing the grille in my rear view mirror during a recent press drive, I realized that this is the beginning of a new era. And changes can shape the future. But of course, not everyone likes it or agrees with it. But that’s okay. The new 4er doesn’t need to be everyone’s darling. It needs to set itself apart from the 3 Series and needs to go down its own path.

The 4 Series does it by paying tribute to the former BMW generations of the BMW 328 with the most intelligent and technical advanced kidney grille ever. It fulfills the increased demand for cooling air and includes the park distance sensors as well as the front camera of the parking assistant plus. And once you saw the new 4er or the new M3 or M4 in your rear view mirror, you might see the design with different eyes just as I did.

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