BMW HAS revealed the newest iteration of the 4 Series Coupé, its rival to the Audi A5 Coupé and Mercedes C Class Coupé, and it comes with a raft of updates — not least to the nose.
It’s based largely on the 3 Series saloon but has deviated in a few important ways. Stylistically, the most noticeable change is the adoption of oversized futuristic kidney grille as seen on the Concept 4 at 2019’s Frankfurt Motor Show. The slim, squinting headlights and bonnet contours accentuate the boldness of the front grille design.
It’s likely to divide opinion, given the controversy around the giant grille of the recent 7 Series and X7, though no doubt the brave aesthetic of the front end will grab attention and win over drivers who like to make a statement.
The new coupé has also grown in size, with 128mm added to the length of the car and 27mm added to the width. The track width (the distance between the two wheels on each axle) has also increased, by 28mm at the front and 18mm at the rear, which in concert with the carved silhouette, makes the new edition look longer, lower and sleeker than its predecessor, despite being 6mm taller.
It’s the first BMW to be available with the specialised M Sport Pro package, which comes with a few exterior tweaks, all of the athletic features of the M Sport model, a more exciting engine note when you’re in Sport mode and a “Sprint” mode for additional bursts of speed. There’s also a massive choice of additional M-specific performance parts including 20 inch alloy wheels, a carbon fibre front grille and a high-gloss rear spoiler.
Mild hybrid technology has been introduced on all of the diesel powertrains available, as well as on the petrol unit in the M440i DriveX Coupé. The 48-volt starter generator, according to BMW, adds sharper delivery as well as lowering emissions. It also makes Brake Energy Regeneration (whereby the kinetic energy from braking is reclaimed back into the battery) more efficient, as well as adding an extra 11bhp available when accelerating.
The range-topping 369bhp M440i Drive X Coupé will have an eye-widening OTR price of £53,875. For that, you get a 0-62 of 4.5 seconds on your way to a 155mph top speed. The more affordable 181bhp 420i M Sport model, which will have an OTR price of £39,870, still has a respectable 0-62mph time of 7.5 seconds, and a top speed of 149mph.
For the first time, the standard on all of the 4-Series models will be an 8-speed Steptronic automatic transmission, which BMW says has been refined for sharper gear changes. All models come with flappy paddles on the steering wheel.
On the interior, a new feature that will come as a relief to Android users is Android Auto compatibility. BMW has stood out for its refusal to make its models Android compatible, and it’s been a major disappointment for Will Dron in his long-term test of the 3 Series Touring.
The standard infotainment system, meanwhile, has been updated to use BMW’s Operating System 7, which is used through a 10.25in central control display.
New driving assistance tech includes front collision warnings, lane departure warnings, speed limit info system and parking and reverse assistant, all as standard.
Changes on the interior include the position of the start button, which is now in the centre console. There are newly-developed, sportier seats that provide more support during hard cornering — the front ones also come with heating as standard. There’s also more storage space, with the boot now capable of holding 440 litres.
From launch, which will be this October, the straight-six petrol engine model will be available alongside two four-cylinder petrol units (which have been extensively upgraded, says BMW) and a four-cylinder diesel. A further two diesel models, both with straight-six engines, will be added to the 4 Series lineup from March next year. The diesel engines are all fitted with a new twin-stage turbocharging system.