The 2018 model year brings with it a big refresh including numerous updates to the exterior.
If you’re looking for a summary to this review, it is this: the BMW 440i Convertible is fun, plain and simple. The drop-top version of this sporty two-door adds to the appeal, provided it’s sunny of course, as does the M Performance Power & Sound Kit that was equipped to DARPAN’s test vehicle for the week.
The 2018 model year brings with it a big refresh including numerous updates to the exterior. The headlamps are now full bi-LED as standard. The front bumper features larger, boxier air intakes similar to those found throughout the modern M lineup, and the rear diffuser has been given more definition and size to match. The light strips inside the taillights are connected rather than separate, and the indicator function is moved to the trunk section of the housing.
“The arrival of the first BMW 4 Series (back in 2013) marked the beginning of a new era for BMW. The Coupe, Convertible and later the Gran Coupe signposted their ‘extra portion’ of dynamism, elegance and exclusiveness over the BMW 3 Series with their own designation. The model update distinguishes the 4 Series cars even more clearly from their sister model series and ensures that this ‘extra portion’ makes its presence felt both inside and out,” says head of design Karim Habib.
Speaking of the interior, our presser was covered in the gorgeous new Ivory Dakota leather upholstery option. Being October, it can get nippy with the top down, but the 440i had all the bases covered boasting a steering wheel heater, heated seats, and even vents in the neck area of the front seatbacks to blow warm air when the cockpit is exposed to the elements. Retracting the roof is easy albeit slow, taking nearly half a minute to complete the process.
The rear seats are usable, which is nice, but forget about trunk space. It’s bad enough under normal conditions, but if the top is stowed, you’d be hard-pressed to fit in a couple small bags of groceries.
These concerns will be a thing of the past when you set the Driving Dynamic Control Switch to Sport or Sport+ mode, however. Baffles in the exhaust open up electronically creating an essentially free-flowing exhaust that pops and backfires like no other car I can remember driving.
It’s not all show and no go – modified engine management takes full advantage of the increased flow and ups the output of the 3.0-litre TwinPower Turbo inline six engine from 320 horsepower to 355, and torque from 330 lb-ft to 369. Handling is sharper on the latest 440i as well due to a stiffer suspension, the result of engineers tweaking the dampening setup as well as electronically assisted steering.
Aside from the convertible, the 440i can also be had in standard coupe as well as Gran Coupe form. Prices start at $70,550.
Highlights (As Tested)
Motor: 3.0-litre bi-turbo inline six cylinder
Horsepower: 320 @ 5,500 rpm
Torque (lb-ft): 330 @ 1,380 rpm
Gearbox: Eight-speed automatic
Layout: Front engine, all-wheel drive
Fuel economy: 18.6 L/100 km mixed city/highway (observed)