I’ve been putting this one off for a short while now, but I think there’s more to talk about here than the obvious. BMW unveiled the new production-spec 4 Series coupé which is expected to arrive in markets towards the end of the year. It was previewed by the 4 Concept which gained infamy for its traumatising change in front-end design. The final version makes it a tad smaller and retains the shape that makes the grille look disproportionately massive on the front fascia.
I’m not a fan of BMW’s new design choices. It started with the X7 and the new 7 Series and further SUV facelifts, but the new 4 Series takes it to the next level. The vertical grille looks even worse because of the large fins and apertures either side of it. On top of that, the number plate seems to have been an afterthought since it covers part of that new grille. That’s okay in supercars and track toys but for an urban GT? Come on BMW.
The Head of BMW Design Domagoj Dukec stated that this new design language is inspired by the likes of the BMW E9 3.0 CSi from the 70s and the BMW 328 from the 40s. I have two words for Mr Dukec who probably out qualifies me in every aspect of style: proportional design.
With that out of the way, we can move on to the rest of the second-gen BMW 4 Series. It was introduced in 2013 as a successor the E92 3 Series coupe and drop-top models. There was even an F36 Gran Coupé model of the 4-er. Given how much BMW has advertised the F82 M4, it makes me feel like this 4 Series lineup has been around for a lot longer. I suppose it makes sense why BMW wanted to give the new 4 Series a distinctive appearance but I think they went a bit overboard.
From the sides, the sports coupé looks smooth between the flared wheel arches and the tail end features a sculpted dovetail spoiler. I chanced upon an article that pointed out the new 4 Series looks better in its standard variants than the M sports package and I find myself agreeing with that opinion, at least till the rear fascia. In its M440i variant, it gets a ‘sporty’ diffuser, large dual exit exhaust (I hope they’re not fake, waiting for Matt Watson’s stick of truth) and a beefier bumper as well. I can’t wait to see what they do for the new-gen M4 Coupé.
Under the hood, it gets a wide range of petrol and diesel engines to choose from. The updated BMW diesel engines seem to get a 48-volt mild-hybrid system as standard which increases their output as well. The new 4 Series shares most of its powertrain options with the latest G20 3 Series except for the plug-in hybrid models. Here are your choices for the new 4 Series as of now, all mated to an 8-speed Steptronic shifter:
The cabin of the new 4 is a lot like the new 3, especially in terms of the driver-centric cabin but it has a slightly more luxurious upholstery. It’s a two-door model with a 2+2 seating layout. The dash gets a 10.25-inch central infotainment display and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster with the latest generation of BMW tech that is now compatible with Android Auto along with Apple CarPlay. It also gets wi-fi connectivity, an optional head-up display and over-the-air software updates.
The new 4 Series is a standalone body-type with a re-tuned chassis to give it different driving dynamics from the 3 Series. It sits 21mm lower, has a wider rear track and lighter too. The M Sport package gives it a firmer suspension setup, blue/red brake callipers, variable locking rear-diff and the Steptronic Sport transmission.
The second-gen M4 will be a lot uglier than the last one but given the trend of modern performance, it will likely be faster which means we won’t have to look at the front end for long. BMW should be unveiling it soon and I look forward to its specifications.
What do you think of the new BMW 4 Series? Let me know in the comments below the gallery and don’t forget to subscribe to The Auto Loons for more cool updates from the car world.