Into the Valley of Fire…

BMW launches the brand-new 4 Series Cabriolet in Las Vegas!

By Helmut Dostal

hf_BMW435i_dAt the edge of the Nevada Desert, about 40 miles northwest of Las Vegas, there’s a fire-red glow in the sandstone for as far as the eye can see. Basking in the morning sunshine, a posse of sparkling new BMW 4 Series Cabriolets sit ready and waiting near the entrance to the Valley of Fire State Park. A 12-mile stretch of winding road through the park’s breathtaking scenery is the carefully chosen setting for our thrilling top-down test-drive.

As first impressions go, the 4 Series Cabriolet is a welcome addition to the 2014 line-up and a worthy sibling for BMW’s first convertible, the 6 Series Gran Coupé. Built on the platform of the popular 3 Series, the white cabriolet I’m given to drive in the awe-inspiring valley is one beauty of a machine, with a definite head-turning persona. It brings a new look and a host of innovative features to the table, thanks in part to the inspiration of Karim Rashid, BMW’s Design Director.


hf_BMW435i_bThe car’s exterior has been tastefully conceived with an aggressive front end, large air intakes and a sexy wide and low body. The retractable hard top folds into the trunk within 20 seconds, leaving 220 litres of space to accommodate a full set of clubs and a few moderate pieces of luggage. (Sorry, teenage daughters, your whole wardrobe can’t come this time!) The sleek interior design pays homage to the 6 Series with a driver-focused dashboard layout that boasts a freestanding, flat screen iDrive monitor and a full-colour Head-Up display of vital data onto the windshield. Fashion-forward interior finishes are available in a choice of soft leathers and attractive colours. The rear seats are comfortable but, as might be expected, legroom is a tad tight.

hf_BMW435i_aThere are three power-plant choices: the 428i’s TwinPower Turbo charged, 241 hp, four cylinder; the 435i’s inline-six engine, delivering 300 hp and a 0–60 km/hr time of 5.7 seconds; and the M-version of the BMW 435i…0–60 km/hr in a mere five seconds. The M indicates the special “M Performance” package from BMW’s Motorsport division and another level of driving excitement for owners.

Along with its high performance numbers, BMW has prioritized fuel saving and CO2 emission reductions. Standard on the 4 Series Cabriolet: Auto Start Stop, Brake Energy Regeneration (which charges the electrical system during braking and coasting) and ECO PRO mode (a fuel-saving driving mode). The use of aluminum, plastics and carbon fibre decreases weight and has become an important part of BMW’s strategy of building dynamic, efficient and highly coveted vehicles.

Here’s to a top-down summer!

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