The LAST BMW Hardtop Convertible: Bidding Farewell to This Iconic Gem

May 10, 2024
A black bmw hardtop convertible with a creme colored interior.

As the automotive world continues to evolve, BMW, the renowned German luxury carmaker, is bidding farewell to an iconic gem – the hardtop convertible. For years, the BMW hardtop convertible has been a symbol of elegance, performance, and innovation, captivating the hearts of driving enthusiasts worldwide. However, with changing consumer preferences and the ever-increasing demand for more practical and efficient vehicles, the curtain is falling on this beloved automotive marvel.

In this blog post, we’ll take a nostalgic journey through the history of the BMW hardtop convertible, exploring its significance, design, and the reasons behind its departure from the brand’s lineup. We’ll also delve into the future of convertibles at BMW and what lies ahead for those seeking the thrill of open-air driving.

The Rise of the BMW Hardtop Convertible

The BMW hardtop convertible has been a staple in the brand’s lineup for decades, offering a unique blend of style, luxury, and performance. Unlike traditional soft-top convertibles, the hardtop variant featured a retractable hard roof, providing superior insulation, noise reduction, and security. This innovative design allowed drivers to enjoy the best of both worlds – the exhilaration of open-air driving and the comfort of a coupe.

One of the most iconic examples of the BMW hardtop convertible is the 4 Series Convertible. This sleek and stylish model embodied the essence of BMW’s engineering prowess, combining a powerful engine, precise handling, and a sophisticated retractable hardtop. The 4 Series Convertible quickly became a favorite among driving enthusiasts, offering a perfect balance of performance and luxury.

Front view of a green bmw hardtop convertible.

The Allure of the BMW Hardtop Convertible

The appeal of the BMW hardtop convertible extended far beyond its technical specifications. It represented a lifestyle – a symbol of freedom, adventure, and the pursuit of pure driving pleasure. Owners of these vehicles were not just purchasing a car; they were investing in an experience that allowed them to connect with the open road in a truly unique way.

Moreover, the hardtop convertible’s design was a testament to BMW’s commitment to innovation and attention to detail. The seamless integration of the retractable roof into the vehicle’s sleek silhouette was a feat of engineering that showcased the brand’s dedication to pushing boundaries and redefining what was possible in automotive design.

Interior view of a bmw convertible.

Expert Insights:

  1. Which BMW has a hardtop convertible?

    The BMW 3 Series (E93 model code) and 4 Series convertibles previously offered a retractable hardtop convertible option. The specific models mentioned are the 328i and 430i convertibles.

  2. Do they make hardtop convertibles anymore?

    No, BMW has discontinued offering hardtop convertible models across most of their lineup in recent years. The search results indicate that starting around 2020, all new BMW convertible models switched to using a traditional soft-top design instead of a retractable hardtop.

  3. What is the price of BMW 3 Series hardtop convertible?

    The search results show used BMW 3 Series 328i hardtop convertibles from around 2008-2013 listed for sale in the range of $7,999 – $9,995 depending on mileage, condition, and location.

  4. Does the BMW M8 have a hardtop convertible?

    There is no specific mention of the BMW M8 having a hardtop convertible option in the provided search results. The M8 is BMW’s high-performance luxury coupe/convertible, but the results don’t clarify if it uses a hardtop or soft-top convertible design.

In summary, BMW previously offered innovative hardtop convertible models, primarily the 3 and 4 Series, but has transitioned away from hardtops across most models in favor of lighter soft-top designs in recent years, likely for reasons like reducing weight, increasing cargo space, and aligning with traditional convertible aesthetics.

Rear view of a bmw convertible.

The BMW 4 Series Convertible

The BMW 4 Series Convertible is a stylish and sporty drop-top model that combines athletic elegance with exceptional driving dynamics. As part of BMW’s lineup of luxury vehicles, the 4 Series Convertible exudes a sleek and eye-catching exterior design, featuring a powerful double kidney grille and slim headlights.

One of the standout features of the 4 Series Convertible is its tailored soft-top roof that can be raised or lowered in approximately 10 seconds at speeds up to 30 mph. The soft top has been specially reinforced with panels to reduce road noise and insulate against the cold, ensuring a comfortable open-air driving experience.

Under the hood, the 4 Series Convertible offers a range of powerful engine options, including the 430i and the high-performance M440i xDrive. The M4 Competition xDrive Convertible, part of the M lineup, takes things to the next level with a 0-60 mph time of just 3.6 seconds, delivering exhilarating performance on the road and racetrack alike.

Inside, the 4 Series Convertible boasts a sophisticated and comfortable interior with elevated finishes included as standard. The latest models feature BMW’s cutting-edge curved display, which seamlessly integrates the digital instrument panel and touchscreen into a cohesive and modern design.

While the 4 Series Convertible offers an exhilarating open-air driving experience, it does come with a premium price tag. Prices for the 2025 model start at just over $54,000, with the M440i test car equipped with additional bells and whistles ringing in at a higher cost.

Overall, the BMW 4 Series Convertible combines the brand’s renowned performance and engineering prowess with a stylish and sporty convertible design, making it a compelling choice for driving enthusiasts seeking a luxurious open-air experience.

The Changing Landscape and the Farewell

Despite its enduring popularity, the BMW hardtop convertible has faced challenges in recent years. Changing consumer preferences, stricter emissions regulations, and the rise of alternative powertrain technologies have all contributed to the decision to discontinue this iconic model.

As the world shifts towards more sustainable and efficient transportation solutions, BMW has recognized the need to adapt and evolve. The brand’s focus has shifted towards developing cutting-edge electric vehicles and embracing new technologies that align with the demands of the modern consumer.

While the departure of the hardtop convertible may be bittersweet for many BMW enthusiasts, it also represents an exciting new chapter for the brand. BMW’s commitment to innovation and pushing boundaries remains unwavering, and the future holds the promise of even more groundbreaking designs and technologies.

The Future of Open-Air Driving at BMW

Although the hardtop convertible may be a thing of the past, BMW’s passion for open-air driving remains strong. The brand is exploring new and innovative ways to deliver the thrill of wind-in-your-hair motoring while embracing the latest advancements in automotive technology.

One potential direction could be the integration of advanced retractable roof systems into BMW’s electric vehicle lineup. By combining the exhilaration of open-air driving with the sustainability and efficiency of electric powertrains, BMW could redefine the convertible experience for the modern era.

Additionally, the brand may explore alternative convertible designs, such as Targa tops or removable roof panels, offering a fresh take on the open-air driving experience while addressing the evolving needs of consumers.

Embracing Change and Celebrating Legacy

As we bid farewell to the BMW hardtop convertible, it’s important to celebrate its legacy and the indelible mark it has left on the automotive world. This iconic gem has inspired generations of driving enthusiasts and pushed the boundaries of what was possible in automotive design and engineering.

While change can be bittersweet, it also presents an opportunity for growth and innovation. BMW’s commitment to excellence and its unwavering pursuit of pushing boundaries will undoubtedly lead to exciting new developments in the world of open-air driving.

As we look towards the future, let us embrace the spirit of adventure and the thrill of the open road that the BMW hardtop convertible embodied. For those seeking the ultimate driving experience, the journey continues, and BMW remains at the forefront, ready to redefine what’s possible.

If you’re a driving enthusiast seeking the perfect blend of luxury, performance, and open-air thrills, explore BMW’s current lineup of convertible models or contact us to learn more about the brand’s plans for open-air driving experiences.

Category: BMW Convertible