2015 BMW 435i xDrive Cabriolet
3.0L I6 TwinPower Turbo
300 HP @ 5,800 - 6,000 rpm
300 lb-ft @ 1,200 - 5,000 rpm
When gals go topless, the whole world surely notices. On some occasions the view is dreadful, on others it is just worth a quick peak, but some times the visuals cause what I refer to as a “mass-drool-effect”. The gorgeous German girl I spent a week with, definitely had her surroundings drooling over her lovely red interior, each time she took her top off.
There is no question about it, the 2015 BMW 4-Series cabriolet is sexy, fit and fashionable, and above all, incredibly desirable. With the mighty in-line turbo six under the hood and the M Sport Package on top, things get even more exciting.
Yes, there is no 3-Series coupe or cabriolet anymore, the 4-Series is the replacement and now that we have digested the model name change, things are starting to look great. It is now obvious that BMW has realized a mistake about to happen and with the 4-Series it has nudged itself back on track, the one that creates genuine ultimate driving automobiles.
The 4-Series cabriolet is available with a choice between two engines, both of which can be combined with the xDrive all-wheel-drive system. The 428i is powered by a 2.0L 4-cylinder TwinPower Turbo and outputs 241 HP, while the more powerful 435i comes with a meatier 3.0L in-line 6-cylinder with its own TwinPower Turbo making 300 HP. Prices start at $58,200 for the 428i, adding the xDrive to that model will cost $1,700 more, while the 435i starts at $67,400. The car provided by BMW Canada for the review was perfectly optioned as on top of the rich standard equipment list it was fitted with the executive package ($2,800) that includes the air collar, high-beam assist, driving assistant, surround view and heads-up display. The premium package was also installed ($4,900), which includes the alarm system, universal remotes, comfort access, rear view camera, auto dimming mirrors, lumbar support, frond and rear park-distance-control, adaptive headlights, on-board navigation, SiriusXM Radio and the Harman/Kardon sound system. Luckily, the M Performance package ($1,900) was also installed, which means the alloys are 19”, the brakes are M Sport Brakes, the suspension is adaptive and so is the steering. Finally, the BMW ConnectedDrive services ($500) were also present making the total value of the car as tested $79,200.
There are some amazing details one will notice once behind the wheel. The Heads-Up-Display switches from white to orange when the sun goes down and is perfectly visible on top of the bright vertex of light created by the amazing adaptive headlights. Also, the auto start/stop system works very well and the iDrive controls are top notch. Of course, the most impressively engineered thing found on-board is the retractable roof that also has an easy load feature, but we’ll go through that in detail.
Take ten steps back, a few “breeth-in breeth-out” Miyagi style breaths, and open your eyes to look at a body shape that is over the top good looking. Roof up or down, the low belt line, sculpted surfaces and staggered wheel set-up have composed an image worthy of becoming a beloved bedroom poster.
Inside, the back to the basics glory continues, as just like the 4-Series coupe, the dash is driver-centric, simple and put together extremely well. Even though I am not a fan of the red colour on the dash itself, I do love the red seats, especially combined with the alpine white exterior. The dash details are finished in piano black glossy or brushed aluminum bits, and overall it is one of the best designs in the class. Ergonomically it scores top points, as all the controls are easy to use and understand. The driving position is perfect, just like the sport seats with the power adjustable side and leg supports. Visibility even with the top up is excellent, so no need to waste money on blind spot monitors. Reversing into tight spots is super easy, as the rear view camera is complemented by the front cameras to create a very accurate bird’s eye view. For the first time ever, in a German cabriolet that is, the rear seats are not only usable, but actually quite roomy and comfortable. They even come with the ISOFIX latches for the child seats. The back of the seats can also fold to create a passthrough to the trunk, so practicality in this convertible is almost spectacular. The trunk is a respectable 371L when the top is up but the usable capacity is reduced to just 221L when the top is down. An amazing feature BMW put in place is the ability to lift the folded roof up while the trunk is open, so that you can easily load or unload the area deeply tucked under where the roof folds.
The roof is a work of art, engineering perfection and showcases ingenious design. First of all, when closed, the car feels 99% like a coupe, with the 1% difference being bigger taller windows and a button that takes the top off. Wind and ambient noise are controlled extremely well and the only odd thing about the roof is that the exterior colour is not an exact match to the rest of the body. Keep the roof button pushed down at speeds below 8km/h and the magic begins. Within 30 seconds or so, the trunk opens in reverse, the roof splits in three parts which get stacked one on top of the other and in the trunk it goes; literally, it feels as if the trunk swallows the roof. While the folding procedure may be really impressive, what amazes is the total absence or rattles coming from the roof bits as they sit stowed in the trunk. Also, the weight distribution of the car doesn’t feel any different, which means the handling remains “on” even when the roof is “off”.
At this point, what feels very different is the smell of freedom, the air in your hair and the sun in your eyes; best of all, that sport exhaust note in your ears. Correct, this bimmer actually makes a great noise, and every time you shift that speedy ZF transmission there is a brief snarl that just makes the drive liberating and exciting. The windscreen provides really good wind protection, and even without the wind deflector in place, you can comfortably travel on the highway without getting blown away. For real. If however you choose to install the deflector, make sure that the babysitter is free, cause your kids will have to stay at home.
BMW is really well known for building amazing in-line 6-cylinder engines, and this 3.0L TwinPower turbo is a gem. It pulls really well from low revs and screams passed the red line with ease, in every gear, outputting 300 HP and 300lb-ft of torque while at it. From a standstill, with launch control activated, it hits 100km/h in just 5.8 seconds and then, with the excellent and really strong brakes, can come to a complete stop in just 39m. Performance is really good, despite the hefty 1,937kg it weighs-in at. Also, considering how fast and heavy it is, I must admit that I was very surprised when verifying at the pump that our average consumption was just 10.8lt/100km.
The adaptive M suspension works very well, with the flick of a switch you can change the drive train and chassis settings between EcoPro, Comfort, Sport and Sport+, which all have a dramatic effect on throttle response, steering effort and suspension firmness. In the first two modes, the car is very comfortable over bumps and very easy to drive with rather numb throttle response and light steering. In the two last modes, it is a much more involving experience, as the suspension firms up without being hard, and with crisp steering and aggressive throttle response the car is ready to race. The gearbox also goes into pumped-up mode, keeping revs higher and snapping through gears franticly fast. The heavy body is controlled very well, and the xDrive makes things a lot easier for the inexperienced driver; working alongside the state of the art stability control. In Sport+ the aids are partially deactivated to allow slipping to a degree, but even with the systems fully switched off the dynamic handling is 95% as amazing as in the coupe 4-Series. Turn in is precise, the grip is insane and body roll is minimal. For the first time ever, the convertible version of a coupe car feels equally well balanced and delivers the same driving thrills. Push hard enough and even with the xDrive present it is possible to drift along, something that reveals that BMW has definitely gone back to making what it knew best; “ultimate driving machines”.
Wind Deflector Eliminates Rear Seats