Few other automobiles stir emotions quite like a convertible. Whether it's the feeling of freedom created by top-down driving or their seductive shapes, convertibles have long been regarded by many car enthusiasts and casual onlookers alike as providing a one-of-a-kind exhilarating driving experience.
As proof of their special lure, late last year Neiman-Marcus sold 50 specially equipped BMW M6 Convertibles featured in the retailer's Christmas catalog in one minute, 32 seconds.
The new BMW 3 Series Convertibles provide a new dimension to that experience with the introduction of a retractable hardtop. Made of lightweight steel and operated by a hydraulic system, the three-piece roof opens in just 22 seconds - takes only one second more to close - and folds smoothly into the rear compartment of BMW's newest convertibles. The three-element steel roof structure ensures lower noise levels even at high speeds, enhances safety, creates a more luxurious and comfortable cabin and helps stiffen the chassis to provide precise handling.
The roof opens automatically in a flowing motion as each of the three elements rests above the other to create a compact package.
The rear lid opens rearward and once the roof has been opened or closed and the hardtop is locked, the driver is able to open the trunklid in the usual manner. The trunklid also comes with a soft-close feature that draws the lid down gently and automatically.
The roof and luggage compartments are separated from one another by a partition that swivels when the roof is closed to provide maximum luggage capacity. Another convenient feature is that the roof can open by remote control when the car is equipped with the Comfort Access option . Like the roof controls within the interior, the remote control button must be kept pressed down for safety during the entire opening process because movement of the roof elements is interrupted whenever the button is released.
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