BMW is poised to join the growing trend of combined coupe-cabriolets with retractable metal roofs when it unveils its next-generation 3 Series convertible in fall 2006.
The new 3 Series coupé-cabrio will replace the 3 Series coupe and the 3
Series convertible.Ford, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Opel, Peugeot and Renault all have
launched four-seater coupe-cabrios, but prestigious manufacturers have shied away
from the concept, preferring separate traditional convertibles and coupes of their
So BMW's decision could give the Bavarian carmaker an advantage over rivals such
as Audi and Mercedes, which have said they are sticking with traditional soft-top
and coupe versions of their next A4 and CLK models, respectively. Paradoxically,
Mercedes' two-seater sports cars, the SLK and the SL, have retractable metal roofs,
while BMW's Z4 is a traditional ragtop.
What this means to you: Folding-roof technology is so good now that coupé-cabrio
models are indistinguishable from fixed-roof coupes in winter conditions. Despite
reduced trunk space, the extra practicality of the concept has proven to be a