Is it a case of nice rear, shame about the face?

Aside from the missing badges and the alloy wheel design, this is basically the new BMW 4 Series Convertible. Images of Bavaria’s new soft-top have escaped onto the Internet courtesy of the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA). The Greek folks over at Autoblog found the adjacent photos in the database and decided to share them on the world wide web for everyone to check out.

Having seen the new 4 Series Coupe along with prototypes of the convertible with very little camo, these patent images won’t break the Internet. That being said, we do get a full picture of the new droptop 4er, complete with its love/hate front grille and what look like fake vertical vents at the back. The switch to a fabric roof will shave off some weight and increase the cargo area over the outgoing model’s metal roof, but some will say a hardtop looks generally better.

Gallery: 2022 BMW 4 Series Convertible patent images

The patent images depict a lesser version – likely the 430i – considering the M440i Convertible will have the angular exhaust tips we’ve seen on the coupe, shared with the mechanically related M340i / M340d saloon and estate. The M Performance models also have larger front air intakes this 4 Series Convertible is missing. At the back, the third brake light has been integrated into the boot lid for obvious reasons.

While patent images of the interior are not available, we’re expecting the cabin to be essentially carried over from the coupe. BMW could change some things here and there, but the new 4 Series Convertible will have largely the same interior as its fixed-roof counterpart. That will extend to the technology and oily bits, including a range-topping M4 Convertible our spies caught on camera earlier this week.

With prototypes of the convertible spotted carrying very little disguise, an official reveal should take place soon. The first order of business for BMW is to introduce the M3 Saloon and M4 Coupe later this month, so the convertible might debut towards the end of the year. The equivalent M4 with the folding top could arrive at some point in 2021, with a first-ever M3 Touring to round off the lineup in 2022.