The BMW 4 Series is readying its LCI facelift, before it’s eventually replaced with a Neue Klasse successor. While it’s pretty easy to guesstimate what sort of updates the 4 Series LCI will get, it’s still interesting to see the test mule driving around in public. So when new spy photos surface, out interest is piqued. (We don’t own these spy photos but they can be seen here)

The 4 Series seen here is the Convertible, which might not debut at the same time as the regular 4 Series LCI, as sometimes BMW delays the convertible versions a bit. When it debuts, though, it’s going to have the same updates as its fixed-top sibling. So expect new headlights, potentially a slightly updated grille, mildly refreshed taillights, and some interior tweaks. It won’t look drastically different from the outside but the 3 Series LCI looks significantly better than before so the 4 Series could as well.

As for the interior, the 4 Series will get the same updates as every other new Bimmer. Its iDrive 7 system will be replaced by iDrive 8, which will bring the new massive curved display. While iDrive 8 is primarily touchscreen-based, the 4 Series Convertible should keep its traditional rotary dial. BMW is starting to phase out the rotary dial, starting with the new X1, which makes us a bit sad, especially since the iDrive screen isn’t any closer to the driver without it. Also gone is a traditional automatic shifter and in its place is a small toggle switch.

It’s also the least “enthusiast” model, for being the heaviest, a soft-top convertible, and the least rigid. However, it’s also one of the best because it embraces what the 4 Series does best. Despite BMW’s claims, the 4 Series isn’t a proper sports car. It’s too heavy, too soft, and too numb. However, it’s a great little GT car, kind of like a mini 8 Series. And dropping the top only makes GT cars better, as it allows the scenery to be part of the journey.

The specific 4 Series in these photos is an M440i Convertible judging by its trapezoidal exhausts. That means it packs BMW’s B58 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six engine with 382 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. It’s the best engine for the 4 Series Convertible because it gives the mini GT car longer legs and a more intoxicating sound. With the top down, you can really hear the B58’s growl and it enhances the experience enough to make it worth the upgrade alone. If you have a 4 Series Convertible now, an updated model should be around the corner.

[Source: Motor1]