Freer and sportier than ever
BMW relaunches 4 Series. With a bold new look and sportier drive, the new 4 Series Coupé is determined to be a lot different from the 3 Series.
The new 4 Series is considerably bigger than the last one: around 13 centimetres longer and 2.7 centimetres wider. As it’s nearly 6 centimetres lower to the ground than the 3 Series sedan, the 4 Series Coupé looks sportier right away. And the rear axle track has been extended to 2.3 centimetres more than the 3 Series sedan, giving the BMW a muscle-bound rear profile. The 4 Series Coupé looks extremely powerful and incredibly elegant at the same time. But the difference from the 3 Series is more evident at the front. You’re immediately struck by the massive dual grille – a kind of homage to the legendary 328 and 3.0 CS coupés. Whether you like the BMW’s new grille or not, it certainly gives the 4 Series Coupé a style all its own.
The 3 and 4 Series models are quite similar inside, only differing by slight nuances. When you step into the car through its large frameless doors, you know immediately that you’re in the familiar BMW environment. The start/stop button is now in the central console and the door panels have a different design, as with the standard sports seats and reimagined leather steering wheel. Otherwise, the cockpit is hardly any different from the 3 Series. Cleanly designed surfaces, quality materials and a cockpit that’s all about driver comfort give that familiar top-of-the range feeling. And the standard acoustic windscreen optimises passenger comfort.
The M440i, the current flagship model, is powered by a six-cylinder, in-line, three-litre, 74 horsepower petrol engine. The next models come with four-cylinder, two-litre, 84 (420i) and 258 (430i) horsepower engines. The diesel engines are exactly the opposite: only the robust 190 horsepower 420d has four combustion chambers, whilst the 430d (286 horsepower) and the M440d (340 horsepower) are based on a six-cylinder 3-litre engine. These models should be available from March 2021. As with the diesel engine variants, the 440i xDrive coupé comes with mild hybrid technology. When using the 48-volt starter generator and a supplementary battery, more energy can be recovered and stored on braking.
With the extra 11 horsepower, the system delivers an electric boost for more dynamic starting and acceleration. Fuel consumption is reduced by the decreased demand on the combustion engine.
For the first time, all models do away with manual transmission completely, opting for 8-speed Steptronic transmission. In the latest version, transmission uses engine-generated drive torque for optimised switchover and efficiency.
As for handling, steering is rapid, light and precise. The extended track helps with negotiating bends and a greater drift on the front axle makes for a better return and more supple steering. Agility and precision when steering on bends are enhanced by a particularly rigid body structure with additional supports and a chassis geometry, grounding and set-up specific to this model. Prices for the new 4 Series start at €44,479 for the 420i, with the 430i starting at €48,976. Potential buyers will have to part with at least €65,994 for the 440i xDrive. The 420d comes in at €47,429, plus €2,465 on top for all-wheel drive.
Image source: BMW
Text source: ACL