It’s a little less dramatic looking than the Concept 4 Series, but otherwise it’s much as we expected – a more sporty, 2-door rendition of BMW’s mid-size 3 Series saloon.
Where before it was a 3 Series Coupé, BMW have now chosen to distinguish its more sporty models with an even-numbered model name (2, 4, 6 and Z4), so farewell 3 Series Coupé and hello 4 Series, er Coupé. Do we really need the coupé descriptor if the even-number already implies it?
But there’s more to the 4 Series than a change in nomenclature. Compared to its predecessor it is wider (+43mm), longer in wheelbase (+50mm) and sits considerably lower to the road (-16mm lower roofline). In fact, it has the lowest centre of gravity of any car in the current BMW range – a little under 500 mm – which bodes well for its dynamic prowess.
For the first time, the rear wheel arches mark the car’s broadest point providing a more muscular stance and resulting in a rear track which is a full 80 mm wider than the outgoing 3 Series Coupé. That’s 11mm wider, with a roofline which is 67mm lower than the current 3 Series saloon.
New on the 4 Series are what BMW call ‘Air Breathers’, originally introduced on the Concept 4 Series, then 3 Series GT and Concept X4 they are positioned rearwards of the front wheel arches to reduce drag. They’re joined by Air Curtains, which channels the airstream through the front apron and around the front wheels to reduce drag.
Despite being larger, the 4er is actually lighter than the 3er Coupé it replaces – 1600kg (EU) for the 435i compares with 1615kg for the 335i Coupé – while overall the new 4 Series Coupé tips the scales at up to 45 kg less than its predecessor, depending on the engine and equipment specified.
This is partly due to the use of aluminium for the torque struts, wishbones and swivel bearings, while components which are central to the car’s rigidity are now made from micro-alloyed steels.
Unique front and rear axles
Adjusting the position of the control arms in the swivel bearings from their arrangement on the latest BMW 3 Series Saloon gives the car a 19-millimetre lower roll centre, hence the 4er’s more dynamic character.
An additional strut between the front axle subframe and body sill creates a stiffer connection between the front wheels and the car’s main structure, transferring the forces generated on entry into corners more directly to the car. The 4 Series Coupé therefore responds more directly to a driver’s steering inputs and offers greater overall agility than the 3 Series saloon.
Another interesting fact is the 4er’s aerodynamic lift coefficient (at the front and rear of the car), which is apparently a match for the outgoing E92 M3 Coupé.
Otherwise for 4 Series read 3 Series. From launch it will be available as a 302bhp 435i, 242bhp 428i and 181bhp 420d, but from the end of this year will be joined by a twin-turbo 309bhp 435d, 254bhp 430d and 181bhp 420i.
Power from the engines is sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, but both 435i and 428i will also be available with BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system. An eight-speed Sports automatic gearbox is available as an option, featuring shift paddles on the steering wheel for changing gear manually.
New BMW 4 Series Coupé (UK Model Range)
|0 – 62mph Seconds||Top
|420i Coupé||181||199 lb-ft (270 Nm)||tbc||tbc||47.0||from 139|
|420d Coupé||181||280 lb-ft (380 Nm)||tbc||tbc||61.4||from 121|
|428i Coupé||242||258 lb-ft (350 Nm)||5.8||155**||44.8||from 147|
|428i Coupé xDrive||242||258 lb-ft (350 Nm)||5.8||155*||41.8||from 157|
|435i Coupé||302||295 lb-ft (400 Nm)||5.1||155*||38.7||from 169|
|435i Coupé xDrive||302||295 lb-ft (400 Nm)||4.9||155*||37.2||from 178|
|430d Coupé||254||413 lb-ft (560 Nm)||tbc||155*||57.6||from 129|
|435d Coupé xDrive||309||465 lb-ft (630 Nm)||tbc||155*||52.3||from 143|
|In overseas markets BMW also offers a 420i xDrive and 420d xDrive.|
As with the 3 Series, BMW’s 4 Series can be specified with three equipment combinations – Sport Line, Modern Line and Luxury Line – and an M Sport package to upgrade from the car’s standard specification.
UK pricing has yet to be announced, but expect the 4 Series to begin at a little under £30,000 for the 420i Coupé or around £31,000 for the 420d.
In Germany the 420i starts from EUR 35,750 (incl. 19% tax), with the 428i (EUR 41,100), 428i xDrive (EUR 43,600), 435i (EUR 47,800), 435i xDrive (EUR 50,300), 420d (EUR 39,200), 430d (EUR 49,300) and 435d xDrive (EUR 54,300).