Next-Gen BMW 4 Series convertible to dump folding hard top to save weight

I always thought it was a great thing when cars went from soft fabric or vinyl tops to folding hard tops. A hard top is much better in an environment where the car and passengers are subject to temperature extremes. A hard top over your head will keep out the heat in the summer and cold in the winter much better than anything fabric. The downside is that the retracting hard tops are heavier and more expensive.

This is why you still see fabric tops on cheaper convertibles and folding hard tops on more expensive rides. Take the BMW 4 Series, it has had a folding hard top since it was introduced. BMW is reportedly looking to the next generation of the 4 Series and is considering going back to a fabric top on those cars.

The official reason given is to save weight. The impetus for saving weight likely has more to do with meeting CAFÉ standards in the US than any desire for improved performance. Most BMW buyers care nothing for performance, it's all about style and luxury. Saving weight will make the car more fuel efficient, and that is something many automakers are struggling to do. BMW could well change its mind before the next-generation 4 Series, that car isn't due until 2020 or 2021.

via AutoBlog