The fourth generation of BMW’s 3 Series four-seat convertible made its world debut at the North American International Auto Show. A new dimension in the world of motoring comes with the introduction of a retractable hardtop for the first time in a BMW.
Made of lightweight steel, the three-piece roof opens in just 22 seconds and folds smoothly into the rear compartment of BMW’s newest convertible. The new roof structure ensures a lower level of noise even at high speeds while the ultra-stiff platform provides extreme torsional strength for rigidity and incredible handling inherent to all BMWs.
The new BMW 3 Series Convertible retains all the elegance and unique style that is characteristic of the 3 Series with the top either open or closed. The long and sleek hood, low shoulder line and the broad-shouldered rear end make the new BMW 3 Series Convertible unmistakable from any angle. And with the new retracting hardtop, it offers performance, comfort, safety, and value unique in its segment.
Open or closed – unmistakable at all times
The new BMW 3 Series Convertible is characterized by well-balanced proportions with either the roof open or closed. It boasts an unmistakable silhouette that is readily recognizable thanks to its retractable hardtop. With the three roof elements folding conveniently into the luggage compartment, the new model continues the low shoulder-line so typical of a BMW 3 Series Convertible.
Inside the new Convertible, the functional benefits of the hardtop are clear. The only way BMW engineers could exceed the proven qualities of the BMW soft top in terms of resistance to tough winter weather and superior noise control was to switch over to a steel plate structure. The closed roof, with its large windows and fully lined underside, offers the occupants optimum visibility as well as a bright and premium ambience. Compared to the previous generation 3 Series Convertible, the rear side windows are now 30 percent larger and visibility to the rear has been improved by a significant 38 percent.
With the top closed, the low roofline makes the shoulder line of the car the dominating feature from the side, again retaining the impression of sporting elegance at all times. Since there is no conventional “B” pillar, the feeling of open-air driving can still be achieved with just the side windows rolled down. Approaching the C-pillar, the “Hofmeister kink”, a traditional feature of BMW design, can be clearly seen. The rear window is fixed glass with an electric rear defroster for safety and convenience.
Maximum comfort and uncompromising function are the key features of the new roof with its incredible electrohydraulic mechanism. The three-piece steel roof opens automatically in a flowing motion as each lid element rests above the other for a compact package. The rear lid of the Convertible opens rearward and once the roof has been completely opened or closed and the hardtop is locked, the driver is able to open the trunklid in the usual way. The roof opens in just 22 seconds and closes in 23 seconds. The rear lid also comes with a soft-close feature that draws the lid down gently and automatically.
To ensure optimum use of the car’s storage capacities in every situation, the roof and luggage compartments are separated from one another by a variable partition swivelling conveniently when the roof is closed in order to provide maximum luggage capacity. Another convenient feature is that the roof can open by remote control when equipped with Comfort Access. Like the roof control switch within the interior, the remote control button must be kept pressed down for safety during the entire opening process as movement of the roof elements will be interrupted whenever the button is released.