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      04-10-2012, 10:14 PM   #23
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[quote=ATS]
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Originally Posted by MI6
South, so what you are saying is that the 4-series has been confirmed for the new F32/33????
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Also curious as to the "4 series" being confirmed.. Hmmm I'll stay tuned..
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There's no official announcement or confirmation from BMW, but that's how things are looking to us at this point.


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This is not good news. I refuse to accept the soon-to-be fact that the new M3 coupe is going to have a completely irrelevant name. What a waste for one of the few historically significant badges.

Bad move BMW
I agree the M3 is an important symbol for the BMW. With all the recent decisions to make 6 series gran coupes and (rumored) 4 series gran coupe. It wouldn't be far fetched for BMW to produce a two door 5 series and a two door 3 series.

This could allow for the M3 to remain the hardcore race ready car and the M4 would be the refined luxury version with the same engine and suspension. Maybe even a horse power bump.

BMW knows how important M3 is and how much income that cars name alone brings. I just don't buy them going to M4. Maybe it'll be the M sedan, M coupe, and M convertible only.

But if there will be a 4 series there will be an M4. That's just ///Marketing
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      04-10-2012, 11:31 PM   #24
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I think it's going to look good. The lines are long and the hard top convertible is "heavy" nice touch.
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      04-10-2012, 11:39 PM   #25
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I personally like the soft-top on the 6... I think it's more elegant. Maybe there are engineering obstacles associated with the larger area that needs to be covered. That's what's probably preventing them from incorporating a soft top on the 6. Then again, what other big coupe has a hard top?
SL springs to mind. I've just never liked soft tops, they look cheap to me and completely unsafe.
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      04-11-2012, 01:16 AM   #26
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My next upgrade is taking shape.......and it better have an power upgrade on the 335i engine or else I'll be pissed.
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      04-11-2012, 01:26 AM   #27
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Quote:
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Hard top in the 4, but still none on the 6.

BMW is strange sometimes...
I personally like the soft-top on the 6... I think it's more elegant. Maybe there are engineering obstacles associated with the larger area that needs to be covered. That's what's probably preventing them from incorporating a soft top on the 6. Then again, what other big coupe has a hard top?
I believe most (if not all) Mercedes convertible models are hard tops. Being a competitor I am surprised BMW didn't follow suit. I personally didn't buy a 6 Series in the convertible because of this. I know it's a personal opinion and everyone's will differ, but I can't stand soft tops. Something about the color not matching the body just rubs me the wrong way, like a white car with a black cloth top. I feel like I am forced into a black car just do the roof will match. Always been a deal breaker for me. Also, my wife had a cloth top and someone slashed it in a parking garage, so that was a strike against it as well
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      04-11-2012, 06:11 AM   #28
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[quote=archangel4865]
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Originally Posted by Yurka View Post
Hard top in the 4, but still none on the 6.

BMW is strange sometimes...
I personally like the soft-top on the 6... I think it's more elegant. Maybe there are engineering obstacles associated with the larger area that needs to be covered. That's what's probably preventing them from incorporating a soft top on the 6. Then again, what other big coupe has a hard top?
Quote:
I believe most (if not all) Mercedes convertible models are hard tops. Being a competitor I am surprised BMW didn't follow suit. I personally didn't buy a 6 Series in the convertible because of this. I know it's a personal opinion and everyone's will differ, but I can't stand soft tops. Something about the color not matching the body just rubs me the wrong way, like a white car with a black cloth top. I feel like I am forced into a black car just do the roof will match. Always been a deal breaker for me. Also, my wife had a cloth top and someone slashed it in a parking garage, so that was a strike against it as well
Isn't the slk a soft top. At least my ex gfs slk300 was back in the day
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      04-11-2012, 07:42 AM   #29
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Isn't the slk a soft top. At least my ex gfs slk300 was back in the day
The SLK is and always has been a hard top. The SL however used to be a soft top until Merc switched to a hard top for the last generation SL.


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      04-11-2012, 08:46 AM   #30
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I believe most (if not all) Mercedes convertible models are hard tops.
Two door mercedes convertibles (roadsters, to be proper) are hard tops. These include the SLK and SL. The new SLS roadster does go with a soft top instead, probably to keep weight in check (though they could have done it F458 style). Four door mercedes convertible are soft tops. For now, there is just the E class convertible. I suspect they will add a C class convertible next generation, and I would not be surprised if it has a hard top to match the BMW 4, but it may well stick with the soft top, especially if the next A5/S5 also does. A CL (S, come next generation?) convertible to match the CL coupe remains fantasy, but if they did build it you can probably bet on a soft top.

I don't know of a single large four-seat hard-top GT convertible on the market. There does not seem to be any demand yet. BMW is simply recognizing this fact in choosing to offer the 6 series with a soft top for the time being. If Mercedes goes to a hard top with the next E class cabriolet, then BMW might switch with their next generation 6 too. But maybe not.
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      04-11-2012, 09:03 AM   #31
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The M3 badge would not go away - they would just be opting to limit it to a sedan going forward. The original two-door E30 was called a sedan by BMW so historical significance would actually be restored.

The M4 will be a new badge for BMW, and will include not just the coupe and convertible but the Gran Coupe as well.

Even with the return of the M6 in the last generation, the M5 was still commonly thought of as vehicle that many M3 owners would aspire to own. The number of doors doesn't seem to be a deterent to that. So I am a bit surprised by how many are so polarized by the door-count of an M3. It will have four of them just like the M5 that so many would also love to drive. Furthermore, I am surprised by how offended some people are by a new badge to aspire to in between the M3 and M5. And with the Gran Coupes, you can now move up to a coupe without losing the convenience of easy rear-seat access.

Once all the products show up and the lineup is complete, people will wonder what the fuss was all about, and realize how insane it would be if BMW insisted on stuffing 6 or more different body styles into one model designation.


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This is not good news. I refuse to accept the soon-to-be fact that the new M3 coupe is going to have a completely irrelevant name. What a waste for one of the few historically significant badges.

Bad move BMW
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      04-11-2012, 09:28 AM   #32
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Four seat convertibles should have soft tops. Hard stop.

Even MB knows this and the CLK and the newer E cabriolet have soft tops. Porsche sort of cheats on the 991 with hard horizontal surfaces, but cloth over the whole thing and no hard structure on the c-pillars. Plus calling a 911 a four seater is sort of cheating.

The good news is that the 2er and 6er should remain soft tops, so folks that want a folding hard top can have it in the 3er and those that don't can have it with the other two. It's nice to have choices, and I suppose BMW is one of the few offering both formats.
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      04-11-2012, 09:37 AM   #33
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Four seat convertibles should have soft tops. Hard stop.
Some would argue that roadsters should first and foremost be cloth so as to remain "pure", while four-seat convertibles, already being a compromise to begin with, are more suited for the additional weight of the hard top.

Just sayin. I can see both sides.

Quote:
It's nice to have choices, and I suppose BMW is one of the few offering both formats.
BMW may offer different tops among its different convertibles, but Chrysler (of all the unsuspected players) actually does (or at least did) actually offer the option of a hard or soft top on the same model car. I think Mazda also does this with the MX5 too. I suppose when you have a single open top car in the lineup, this approach makes sense.
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      04-11-2012, 10:32 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yurka View Post
Hard top in the 4, but still none on the 6.

BMW is strange sometimes...
I think the 6 as a four seat convertible is just too big a car for a folding hard top to work with. It would most likely increase the weight of an already heavy car and consume additional trunk space when stowed compared to the soft top.
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      04-11-2012, 10:42 AM   #35
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Quote:
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SL springs to mind. I've just never liked soft tops, they look cheap to me and completely unsafe.
The SL is a two seat roadster compared to a four seat convertible that is the 6. What is completely unsafe about a soft top though? I'll grant you that it is not as secure as a hard top when trying to prevent someone from breaking into your car. If you are talking about roll over protection, a folding hard top won't help you much more either because it is not intended to be a structural component of the car. Most modern roadsters and convertibles have either fixed or pop-up roll hoops to protect occupants in the case of a rollover anyway.
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      04-11-2012, 12:35 PM   #36
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I wish that they'd ditch the convertible hard top....adds more weight and doesn't really provide any substantial benefit over a well-engineered soft top.
+1
there's nothing practical, from an engineering standpoint, about convertibles so there is no need to build a car that has some sort of functional hardtop. As if it suddenly becomes a fixed-roof coupe when the top is up.
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      04-11-2012, 03:03 PM   #37
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Thanks for sharing.
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      04-11-2012, 03:42 PM   #38
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BMW may offer different tops among its different convertibles, but Chrysler (of all the unsuspected players) actually does (or at least did) actually offer the option of a hard or soft top on the same model car. I think Mazda also does this with the MX5 too. I suppose when you have a single open top car in the lineup, this approach makes sense.

I agree with you on the 'single open top car in lineup'. S2000 was the same way as well.
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      04-11-2012, 03:45 PM   #39
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I agree with you on the 'single open top car in lineup'. S2000 was the same way as well.
The S2k came with an optional, removable hard top, but not a folding hard top like the Miata does.
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      04-12-2012, 02:38 AM   #40
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I think the 6 as a four seat convertible is just too big a car for a folding hard top to work with. It would most likely increase the weight of an already heavy car and consume additional trunk space when stowed compared to the soft top.
This is really the driving issue. The geometry of a folding hardtop is quite complicated and it just doesn't work on a larger coupe with a long, sloping rear window. You can't "clamshell" a roofline like that and leave any trunk.

Convertibles with folding hardtops invariably compromise one way or another:

1) They start with a small cabin space and shallow windows above the doorline (Mercedes SLK, BMW Z4, etc.)

2) They take an existing coupe roofline and pinch/shorten the length of the rear window slope (example: 3 Series) to form an easy break point.

3) They raise the trunk to make more room for the folded roof (Lexus IS, Infiniti G)

The Lexus IS convertible looks terrible for this reason and the Infiniti G isn't much better. BMW at least made the right compromise with the 3 Series convertible. Folding hard tops are here to stay because they sell to people who want the best (in their eyes) of both worlds. Maybe someone will find an elegant way of folding a long coupe roofline into more pieces without looking terrible, but until that time, the 6 Series and A5 will have to stay soft top.
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      04-12-2012, 08:13 AM   #41
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This is really the driving issue. The geometry of a folding hardtop is quite complicated and it just doesn't work on a larger coupe with a long, sloping rear window. You can't "clamshell" a roofline like that and leave any trunk.

Convertibles with folding hardtops invariably compromise one way or another:

...


Maybe someone will find an elegant way of folding a long coupe roofline into more pieces without looking terrible, but until that time, the 6 Series and A5 will have to stay soft top.
Spot on analysis. I completely agree with you, BTW, that Lexus and Infiniti both blew it. Especially Lexus. My god that thing is an abomination.

(And yes, I do realize that there are those out there that think the same of the E93 too. )

I think it is only a matter of time for someone to figure out how to make a large greenhouse fold and stow elegantly. It may be that we will wait for cheaper CRFP production and construction to get it. I expect one could make a very lightweight and compact folding hard top using mostly carbon fiber. But even with advances in tech it will cost a pretty penny. Maybe it will show up on a Bentley GTC or something - though that is a very large passenger cabin to cover up.
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      04-13-2012, 09:27 AM   #42
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The SLK is and always has been a hard top. The SL however used to be a soft top until Merc switched to a hard top for the last generation SL.


Best regards,
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You absolutely right.



That was the exact year and model. 2001 slk 320. Fun car to drive, but boy was it cramped in that thing. Its been about 8 years since I've seen it or her.
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      04-27-2012, 04:59 PM   #43
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Two door mercedes convertibles (roadsters, to be proper) are hard tops. These include the SLK and SL. The new SLS roadster does go with a soft top instead, probably to keep weight in check (though they could have done it F458 style). Four door mercedes convertible are soft tops. For now, there is just the E class convertible. I suspect they will add a C class convertible next generation, and I would not be surprised if it has a hard top to match the BMW 4, but it may well stick with the soft top, especially if the next A5/S5 also does. A CL (S, come next generation?) convertible to match the CL coupe remains fantasy, but if they did build it you can probably bet on a soft top.

I don't know of a single large four-seat hard-top GT convertible on the market. There does not seem to be any demand yet. BMW is simply recognizing this fact in choosing to offer the 6 series with a soft top for the time being. If Mercedes goes to a hard top with the next E class cabriolet, then BMW might switch with their next generation 6 too. But maybe not.

Thanks for the info, and you are correct. I don't really follow Mercedes, so the SL and SLK are the only two convertibles I thought about, and they are both hard top. I didn't know there was an E class convertible. I was just looking at it from a cost/class perspective I guess. The 3 Series is a hard top and the 6 Series is a soft top, just seems odd to me the more expensive of the two is the soft top. Just something about say, a white car with a tan top ruins it for me, I just prefer the more seamless look of a hard top. My wife also had a couple of bad experiences with people slashing her soft top so we're probably just prejudiced against them now :-)
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      04-27-2012, 05:00 PM   #44
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Spot on analysis. I completely agree with you, BTW, that Lexus and Infiniti both blew it. Especially Lexus. My god that thing is an abomination.

(And yes, I do realize that there are those out there that think the same of the E93 too. )

I think it is only a matter of time for someone to figure out how to make a large greenhouse fold and stow elegantly. It may be that we will wait for cheaper CRFP production and construction to get it. I expect one could make a very lightweight and compact folding hard top using mostly carbon fiber. But even with advances in tech it will cost a pretty penny. Maybe it will show up on a Bentley GTC or something - though that is a very large passenger cabin to cover up.


Completely agree with your abomination remark! Man I hated those things...
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