A new trim for 2008, the BMW 128i convertible comes equipped with an electro-hydraulically-operated softtop that lowers in just 22 seconds, even while driving at speeds up to 25 miles per hour, and raises in 22 seconds as well. Drivers can choose from black or taupe cloth for the softop, or opt for a Moonlight Black softtop version, which has interwoven metallic fibers that give the roof a reflective appearance in sunlight.
A number of features are unique to the 128i convertible, including a climate control system with an additional convertible mode for open-air conditions, an available wind deflector to reduce wind turbulence in the cabin when the roof is down, and optional leather seats with reflective pigments that help them stay cooler on warm days during open-top driving. A rollover sensor also comes standard with the 128i convertible. If it detects an imminent rollover, it automatically extends two rollbars from storage areas behind the rear headrests, while simultaneously activating front seat-belt tensioners and head airbags.
Other standard features include eight-way adjustable front seats, gray poplar wood trim, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio and phone controls, an engine start/stop button, automatic climate control, and a 10-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system with an MP3 input jack. Options include a navigation system, Bluetooth connectivity, and Sirius satellite radio.
Overall, the 128i convertible retains the same basic design as the sedan version, with flared shoulder lines, frameless doors, an integrated spoiler in the trunklid, and an overall muscular appearance. Under the convertible's hood resides a 3.0-liter, double-overhead-cam six-cylinder engine, which produces 230 horsepower. The engine drives the convertible's rear wheels, which results in good overall balance and optimal traction, stability, and handling.
The engine links to a six-speed manual transmission, which comes standard, while a three-mode, six-speed Steptronic transmission can be selected as an option. The transmission's three modes include Manual, which enables drivers to shift without a clutch pedal; Sport; and Drive, which uses BMW's automatic adaptive transmission. Drivers also can opt for the optional steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles for use with the Steptronic transmission.
Safety and stability features include antilock brakes with dynamic brake control, electric power steering, dynamic cruise control, dynamic stability control, and dynamic traction control, which kicks in at a higher threshold, enabling drivers to push the limits a bit more while ensuring their safety. Adaptive brake lights, a tire pressure monitoring system, and programmable daytime running lights are also part of the package.