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four-midable Superb Beemer gets its top off '4' summer

Shoot the breeze with this BMW

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The BMW M Sport 4-Series comes as a coupé and convertible

The BMW M Sport 4-Series comes as a coupé and convertible

The BMW M Sport 4-Series comes as a coupé and convertible

BMW - 420i M Sport Convertible

SOFT tops, where do I begin? As a child I used to dream of one day owning a convertible car. The Mark I Volkswagen Golf was a particular favourite - even with its roll-cage bar in the middle of the body.

But then, you are supposed to anyway, get older and wiser and children come along and convertible motors are just not practical for families with young children.

To me, soft-top cars are in a very niche market at two ends of the adult spectrum.

They are first and foremost for the young, 20-something hipster types possibly with a big job down in Dublin's Docklands working for some sort of social media giant.

Then there's the older generation, whose rugrats have fled the nest and they feel the need to let some wind in their hair as they cruise the country's stunning coastline on a lovely summer's evening.

One such car that will definitely appeal to both of these generations is the new BMW 4- Series convertible.

On the outside, the new 4-Series convertible has been fitted with the brand's new monster grille, which is triggering a lot of debate among motoring journalists.

It seems to be the Marmite of front ends that is slowly tickling my taste buds.

Sharper than its predecessor and echoing the bold style of the BMW 4 Series coupé, the new BMW 4-Series convertible blends sporting driving pleasure and open-air thrills to continue the 35-year legacy in this model class that began with the first BMW 3-Series convertible.

All models feature the M Sport specification as standard, with the new, even more performance-focused M Sport Pro Edition also available.

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The M Sport package includes large front air intakes, a sculpted rear apron, M Sport suspension, 18-inch M light-alloy wheels, sport seats upholstered in Vernasca leather trim, knee pads on the centre console and a 'Sensatec' dashboard.

Customers can opt for the M Sport Pro Edition specification, which adds such highlights as Jet Black 19-inch M light-alloy wheels and a choice of three individual paint shades.

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This package includes a selection of features - darkened headlights, M seatbelts, the new 'Sprint Mode', adaptive M suspension and enhanced active sound design that delivers a sporty engine soundtrack in the interior.

In addition, both specifications can be upgraded with the 'Technology Pack' - one of several option packs that enable a high level of personalisation.

The roof, which is 40 per cent lighter than the old 4-Series hard-top, is powered by an electric motor that enables it to open or close within 18 seconds at the push of a button, including while on the move at speeds up to 50km/h.

Although BMW claim that it's more spacious than before, the boot is a bit on the tight side and you wouldn't want to be packing your suitcases for a month-long trip.

On the road, this soft-top is brilliant to drive. There is very little out there that can compare to BMW when it comes to the handling department.

I will be honest, I am not one for putting the roof down as I don't fall into the young, hipster- type character and possibly just fall short of the older generation mob. But it is a very stylish car when the hood is down.

Prices for the new 4-Series start at €55,340 in M Sport Coupé form, or €64,837 as a convertible. You can upgrade that to M Sport Pro for €63,960 in Coupé form, or €74,000 as a convertible. Cracking motor if you're in the market for a convertible.

Robbie Farrell

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