Six years after its launch, BMW has finally addressed criticisms of the 4 Series Coupé – that essentially it’s an expensive, cramped 3 Series saloon – by launching a heavily restyled version that, the company claims, will also treat drivers to a significantly more dynamic performance out on the road.
Initially available in a two-door form in October (convertible, four-door, all electric and tarmac-shredding M4 versions arrive next year), the revamped 4 Series definitely looks more carved and curvaceous (carvaceous?) than the outgoing version, helped no end by full LED lighting front and back plus that new kidney grille, inspired – in the broadest terms – by the one featured on the company’s pre-war 328 two-seater.
The revamped 4 Series definitely looks more carved and curvaceous (carvaceous?) than the outgoing version…
You can plump either for one of two four-cylinder petrol units at launch but you’ll only get 48v hybrid electric tech included with the diesel-engined versions (initially a 4-cylinder diesel, joined by two straight-sixes in March), as well as in the new 3.0-litre, twin-turbo petrol straight six that’s used in the flagship version, the M440i xDrive coupe. Drivers of the latter will see 62mph flash up in 4.5 seconds, courtesy of its 374bhp of welly, helped by the eight-speed Steptronic auto gearbox that’s used across the new range.
As well as the ‘standard’ M Sport formula, the new 4 Series is also the first to feature the option of the M Sport Pro package. This adds, among other niceties, beefed up brakes, Shadowline trim and lights plus a Sport gearbox that adds artificial aural excitement by generating a ‘sporty engine soundtrack in the cabin’ when SPORT mode is engaged.
Power without control is nothing, however, which is why the chassis has also received a host of tweaks. These include firmer springs for the double-jointed spring-strut front suspension, stiffer anti-roll bars, plus a widening of the rear track by 18mm at the back and 28mm at the front. As an option, there’s an Adaptive M Suspension that adds electronically controlled dampers into the mix.
Inside, there’s a major upgrade of the standard and optional intelligent driver assistance systems, bringing closer integration across the board, a clear precursor, BMW says, to a day when the entire driving experience will be fully automated.
Camera imaging and data from the radar and ultrasonic sensors, for instance, is cleverly blended to enable some very trick features: we particularly like the optional Parking Assistant Plus with Drive Recorder, designed to record video footage from different vantage points around the car for 20 seconds both before and after an accident.
And as with the recently announced 5 Series refresh, Android Auto now joins Apple CarPlay as part of BMW Live Cockpit Professional, along the option of a Head Up Display boasting a 70 per cent larger projection area than before.
How much is the new BMW 4 Series?
Base prices for the revamped 4 Series at launch this Autumn will span from £39,870 for the ‘entry-level’ 420i M Sport to £53,875 for the M440i xDrive, with a 340bhp diesel version of the latter expected to debut in March 2021. Options will bump that up humongously, as you’d expect, but we can definitely see the brave new visual identity and promise of much-improved road manners tempting fans.
Still feel the need for speed? We preview BMW’s 5 Series here: BMW gives the world’s best-selling premium saloon a make-over.