The 4 Series will continue to be offered in Coupe, Cabriolet and Gran Coupe body styles, and it will be the first time that the M4 is also offered in the same.
The new model will feature heavily reworked styling.
It will feature 2.0- and 3.0-litre engines in both, petrol and diesel form, with the M440i and M440d M Performance versions even getting 48V mild-hybrid technology.
BMW will greatly expand the 4 Series line-up for the sporting coupé’s second generation later this year, spearheaded by a trio of 510hp M4 models and the 530hp i4 electric sedan.
The German manufacturer is working to increase the differentiation between the 4 Series and the closely related 3 Series sedan, with engineers involved in its development telling our sister publication Autocar UK that substantial work has gone into improving the dynamic qualities of the Audi A5 and Mercedes-Benz C-class Coupé rival.
To this end, the 4 Series has also been given a major design revamp – including the grille featured on the Concept 4 Series that caused great controversy when it was revealed in September last year.
Known internally by the codename G22, the new 4 Series will be internationally launched shortly in two-door Coupé form, followed by the Cabriolet and the four-door Gran Coupé.
The range will then be crowned in the autumn of 2021 by the M4, which will be offered in Coupé, Cabriolet and, for the first time, Gran Coupé forms.
However, the most powerful 4 Series variant will be the BMW i4. The new Tesla Model 3 rival will use a pair of electric motors to offer up to 530hp and around 813Nm of torque. The i4 will be the second electric BMW to share its underpinnings with a conventional internal-combustion-engined car, after the iX3 SUV.
BMW has committed to significant modifications over the 3 Series to provide the 4 Series with greater individuality and increased standing within the line-up.
Leading the host of changes is a striking new look. Inspired by the vertical kidney grilles that graced BMWs from the 1930s, the bold front end has been described by design chief Stefan Woerns as the first step towards giving each BMW model a unique interpretation of the brand’s most recognisable styling element.
When it goes on sale in international markets like UK later this year, the 4 Series Coupé will offer up to three petrol and three diesel engines, each with 2.0-litre four-cylinder or 3.0-litre six cylinder engine options.
These will include the 420i, 430i and M440i xDrive versions with petrol engines, while the diesel range, according to the German automobile registry records, will include a 420d, 430d and M440d versions. The M440i and M440d M Performance variants will both feature 48V mild-hybrid technology, providing off-throttle engine-idle coasting, regenerative braking and a Sprint mode that calls up an additional 11hp and 20Nm of torque for stronger acceleration under load.
Further developments for the 4 Series include a raft of unique structural stiffening measures to provide it with greater steering precision and improved suspension control.
In a return to its roots (it was called the 3 Series Cabriolet from its arrival in 1985 until 2013), the 4 Series Cabriolet will swap its folding hard-top roof for a multi-layer fabric structure. Similar to the arrangement on the 8 Series Cabriolet, this will include a composite tonneau cover and a dedicated stowage area.
The M Performance pair will be the initial range-toppers, before the second-generation M4 – developed under the codename G82 – arrives in the autumn of 2021.
The M4 will again be offered with the Coupé and Cabriolet body styles, as well as in standard rear-wheel-drive and top-spec, four-wheel-drive Competition forms.
The regular M4 will use the twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six engine, known as the S52, which features in the recently unveiled X3 M and X4 M SUV duo and is also set to be used by the new M3 sedan.
With a 6-speed manual gearbox and traditional rear-wheel drive, the M4 will produce 480hp and 600Nm of torque in its standard guise.
Meanwhile, the 510hp M4 Competition will feature an 8-speed torque-converter automatic gearbox and a fully variable M xDrive four-wheel drive system, mirroring the more powerful M5 sedan.
BMW is also planning to add four-door practicality to the M4 line-up for the first time by offering a Gran Coupé version. The junior sibling of the recently introduced M8 Gran Coupé is scheduled for launch in 2022 as a rival to the Audi RS5 Sportback, according to well-placed BMW sources. They have told Autocar UK that the popularity of the original 4 Series Gran Coupé in North America and China was behind the decision to introduce its successor to the M4 range.
The versatility of the Cluster Architecture (CLAR) platform that BMW introduced in 2017 is displayed by plans to base the i4 on the same structure as that used by its conventionally powered siblings – the first time BMW hasn’t used bespoke underpinnings for an EV.
Previewed earlier this year by a thinly veiled concept, the i4 is due in 2021 as the first in a wave of new electric cars being developed by BMW. The company plans to launch up to 25 plug-in hybrids and EVs by the end of 2023.
Closer to home, BMW has recently launched the 8 Series in India, with the 840i Gran Coupe starting from Rs 1.30 crore and the M8 from Rs 2.15 crore (ex-showroom, India).
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