A focus on driving dynamics and design changes differentiate the 4 Series from the 3 Series sedan
Overall, the second-gen 4 Series is larger in every way than its predecessor, helping it drive better and be more practical
The 4 Series will be the first car to come with BMW’s new M Sport Pro package
BMW has officially revealed the all-new 4 Series Coupé, confirming the design and styling details we had seen on the leaked images. The next-gen 4 Series Coupé’s bold new styling represents “everything BMW should stand for” according to its design chief. There has also been a focus on improving its dynamic performance.
What does it look like?
While it’s based on the same CLAR platform as the latest 3 Series, BMW has substantially overhauled the design of the coupé. It features a sleek side profile with bold surfaces, the reduced use of some of BMW’s traditional styling lines and narrow, full-LED lights front and rear. The most distinctive feature, though, is the large front grille, which uses a ‘more vertical’ interpretation of the signature kidney shape that’s designed to invoke classic BMWs, such as the pre-war 328 sports car.
The new styling is meant to further differentiate the two-door, four-seat coupé from its sibling, the 3 Series sedan. The 4 Series launched as a stand-alone model in 2014, taking the baton from the three-door 3 Series.
BMW design boss Domagoj Dukec told our sister publication Autocar UK that the bold grille is intended to make the 4 Series look “more emotional” and offset the reduced use of other key design elements.
“The kidney is our most prominent design icon,” said Dukec. “We did so many things differently with this car: there’s no horizontal shaven line, no classic Hofmeister kink. With so many things different in the body, we wanted a very special grille linked to our heritage.
“If you look at models like the 328, until the 1980s the grille was always more vertical than horizontal. We wanted a kidney with a strong link to our heritage – but it shouldn’t look like any BMW before and it shouldn’t look like any other car on the road.”
Is it bigger than the first-gen BMW 4 Series?
Measuring 4,768mm, the new 4 Series is 128mm longer than its predecessor, with its wheelbase increased by 41mm to 2,851mm – matching the current 3 Series. While the coupé is just 27mm wider than before (at 1,852mm) and 6mm taller (at 1,383mm), its track has been increased by 28mm at the front and 18mm at the rear. Alloy wheel sizes range from 18 inches to 20 inches.
What’s the new 4 Series like on the inside?
The 4 Series’ 4-seat cabin features several familiar BMW design trends. There’s a reworked layout, including the start button in the centre console beside a redesigned drive selector. The latest version of BMW’s iDrive infotainment features, with a new, larger head-up display are optional extras.
There are new sports seats as standard, while the folding rear seats split 40:20:40. The boot has a volume of 440 litres.
What engines will be on offer with the new 4 Series?
The 4 Series will be available with three petrol engines and one diesel. Two 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrols offer 184hp (420i) and 258hp (430i), while a 48V mild-hybrid 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel delivers 190hp (420d).
The range-topper will be the M440i xDrive, producing 374hp and 500Nm from a 48V mild-hybrid 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbo petrol engine. It’s claimed to be capable of doing the 0-100kph sprint in 4.5sec, and go on to a top speed of 250kph. Mild-hybrid six-cylinder diesels producing 286hp (430d) and 340hp (M440d) are expected to be available next year in March.
All engines send drive through an 8-speed automatic gearbox. M Sport cars feature a Sport ’box that’s optional on other models. In addition to quicker shifts, this adds launch control and a new driving mode named Sprint.
Rear-wheel drive is standard except on the M440i, 430d and M440d; four-wheel drive is also optional on the 430i and 420d.
What has BMW done to improve driving dynamics?
BMW has worked to reduce weight with the CLAR platform through a mixed steel-and-alloy structure and increased use of aluminium panels, plus the chassis has been tweaked from the 3 Series on which it’s based.
The 4 Series’ wider rear track gives it a 21mm-lower centre of gravity than the 3 Series, and BMW claims a 50:50 weight distribution. An almost fully sealed underbody, new air flaps and other measures have reduced drag to as low as 0.25Cd.
BMW has also introduced a number of stiffening measures on the body and suspension mountings, along with double-jointed spring-strut front suspension and a five-link rear axle. Lift-related dampers are used to reduce body movement and improve cornering ability. The German brand says it has put a focus on the handling dynamics of the 4 Series, with increased damping and firmer springs and anti-roll bars. On standard suspension, the 4 Series rides 10mm lower than the 3 Series.
The optional Adaptive M set-up features electronically controlled dampers, while the M Sport differential is also available (standard on the M440i and M440d), along with variable-ratio steering.
The 4 Series will be the first car to offer BMW’s M Sport Pro package, which adds the Sport gearbox, a “sporting engine soundtrack” in Sport mode, M Sport brakes and new design trim, among other extras.
The second-generation 4 Series will go on sale in international markets in October. The range-topping M4 performance flagship will arrive late next year. Convertible and four-door Gran Coupé variants of the 4 Series are under development, with a 532hp i4 electric sedan also due in 2021.
While BMW India has not revealed if the new 4 Series is headed here, the brand did have the previous generation M4 on sale for a while. Going forward, BMW will introduce the new 2 Series Gran Coupe this year, and is also expected to bring its X2 and X6 SUVs to our market, along with a few M performance cars.