A cloth soft top could make the next BMW 4 Series Cabriolet lighter

BMW 4 Series Convertible
Automakers are re-thinking the way they’ve been building cars in an effort to comply with the strict fuel economy and emissions regulations that are scheduled to come into effect in the coming years.

German enthusiast website Bimmer Today reports that the next BMW 4 Series Convertible will ditch the current model’s retractable hard top and adopt a more conventional power soft top. Surprisingly, the change will also affect the yet-unnamed roadster that will replace the Z4, a long-awaited model currently being designed jointly by BMW and industrial partner Toyota.

The decision was made because a cloth soft top is lighter than a folding metal hard top, and BMW is on a mission to shave as much weight from the topless 4 as possible. As a result, the sedan is also expected to benefit from the Munich-based car maker’s expertise in the field of composite materials such as carbon fiber.

Switching to a cloth soft top will also make the 4 more user-friendly. The current model’s top opens and closes at the push of a button in 20 seconds at speeds of up to only 11 mph. By comparison, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Convertible performs the same task in less than 20 seconds, and at up to 25 mph.

Its top aside, the next-gen 4 is shaping up to be more of an evolution than a revolution. Lower and wider than the current model (pictured), it will reportedly stand out thanks to a more muscular-looking body, a lower roof-line, and a longer wheelbase. The story will be different on the inside, where the 4 will boast a long list of high-tech features gleaned from the new 7 Series including BMW’s remote-controlled parking technology and gesture-controlled infotainment system.

We’ll have to wait quite a while to see whether or not the rumors are true because the next BMW 4 Series Convertible isn’t scheduled to arrive until about 2021.


Audi’s traffic light information system shows the challenges facing V2X tech

Audi’s traffic light information system is among the first commercial applications of potentially game-changing V2X tech. So how does it work in the real world? We spent a few days getting stuck at red lights to find out.

Bentley’s 542-horsepower Continental GT V8 is the best kind of downsizing

The Bentley Continental GT V8 has fewer cylinders than its W12 sibling, but Bentley expects it to offer better gas mileage and more agile handling. The V8's top speed of 198 mph is also pretty darn fast.

Intel’s next-gen Comet Lake processors will reportedly arrive with 10 cores

Intel may give its next-generation desktop processor, known by its Comet Lake code name, a maximum of 10 cores, according to code found within the company's Linux drivers. Laptop CPUs will reportedly top out with six cores.

Can electric cars be S3XY? Tesla says yes with the new Model Y crossover

Tesla introduced a crossover named Model Y at its design studio in Los Angeles. It's a more spacious alternative to the Model 3 it shares 75 percent of its parts with, and is a smaller sibling to the Model X.

Sibling rivalry: The Tesla Model Y takes on the Tesla Model 3

Tesla expanded its lineup with a fourth car named Model Y. It's an electric crossover positioned as a more spacious alternative to the Model 3. The two cars share about 75 percent of their components, but they're aimed at different buyers.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Mercedes wants to turn your car into a comfortable shopping mall on wheels

Mercedes-Benz designed its MBUX infotainment system with e-commerce in mind. Motorists can upgrade compatible cars via an over-the-air software updating system, but the brand wants to take this technology to the next level.

Fisker plans sub-$40,000 electric SUV with 300 miles of range for 2021

Fisker Inc. plans to launch an electric SUV with a base price of under $40,000, and a range of around 300 miles in 2021. The unnamed vehicle could compete with the Tesla Model Y, if it ever gets into production.

Tesla gives us a cryptic look at its cyberpunk, Blade Runner-inspired pickup

Tesla has started designing its long-promised pickup truck. The yet-unnamed model will come with dual-motor all-wheel drive and lots of torque, plus it will be able to park itself. It could make its debut in 2019.

2020 Cadillac CT5 luxury sedan gets turbocharged power, chiseled looks

The 2020 Cadillac CT5 replaces the CTS in the General Motors luxury brand's lineup. Cadillac will unveil the CT5 at the 2019 New York Auto Show in April. Until then, it's keeping most details under wraps.
Emerging Tech

Racing to catch a flight? Robot valet at French airport will park your car

Hate searching for parking at the airport when you need to catch a plane? Startup Stanley Robotics recently unveiled a new outdoor automated robotic valet system. Here's how it works.

Nvidia’s new simulator brings virtual learning to autonomous vehicle developers

Nvidia introduced a simulator for testing autonomous vehicle technologies. Drive Constellation is a cloud-based platform technology vendors can use to validate systems efficiently, safely, and much faster than with vehicles on real roads.

Tesla wirelessly gives the Model 3 a 5-percent increase in power

Tesla again showed the potential of its innovative over-the-air software updating system by making the Model 3 five percent more powerful via a firmware update. The Performance model gained 23 horsepower.

Fiat wants to transform the cheeky 500 city car into an urban Tesla

Fiat is finally preparing a new 500. Scheduled to make its debut in early 2020, the retro-chic city car will go electric in part to comply with looming emissions regulations.