- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 26, 2006

THE HAGUE — Unlike the former 3 Series Convertible, the fourth generation of the BMW Convertible has a steel roof and is the first BMW coupe convertible and the first one that is electronically operated as well.

The three pieces of the folding hardtop roof may be steel, but BMW says that the construction is of a lightweight type.

The roof can be opened or closed in about 22 seconds.As the roof has a larger rear window and side windows, visibility has been improved by 38 percent compared with the current model.

Luggage or cargo space is maximized by the way the roof folds.

A world first are the rear seat backrests that can be folded flat for additional storage, while BMW offers an optional through loading system with transport bag that allows for longer or bulkier items to be stored when the roof is lowered.

The stowed roof can be electronically lifted out of the trunk to allow loading longer items.

Furthermore the 3 Series Convertible can be equipped with SunReflective seat cooling leather, also a world’s first.

The leather is treated with special pigments that help reflect infrared radiation, so that when exposed to sunlight for a longer period it remains up to 20 degrees cooler compared with untreated leather.

The BMW 3 Series Convertible will make its world debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Jan. 7.

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