Engineers are putting the new BMW 4 Series Coupe through its paces at the Nurburgring ahead of its launch towards the end of the year
The new BMW 4 Series Coupe is being pushed through the final stages of its development cycle, with these latest spy shots showing a lightly camouflaged test mule undergoing handling assessment at the Nurburgring. It’s expected to go on sale later this year, offering fresh competition for the Mercedes C-Class Coupe and recently facelifted Audi A5.
We’ve already driven a prototype version of the 4 Series Coupe – in both middling 430i and hot M440i trims – and the early signs show a huge amount of promise. Here’s everything we know about the car so far.
New BMW 4 Series: styling
BMW recently released some official images of the new 4 Series Coupe – and while the car in those pictures wears heavy camouflage, our spy photographers have spotted a range of scantily clad test mules elsewhere – giving us a good indication of the car’s styling. The big talking point is the car’s new front end, which will feature a pair of huge full-height kidney grilles.
BMW says that the polarising look is a fresh interpretation of the vertical grille seen on the brand’s famed 328 sports car and the E9 coupe of the late sixties and early seventies. The controversial appearance is also intended to further distance the 4 Series Coupe from the 3 Series saloon on which it’s based.
Elsewhere, the 4 Series Coupe’s styling is likely to be almost identical to the BMW Concept 4 from the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show. Expect it to arrive with a pair of slim LED headlamps, flared haunches, and a squared-off tail.
New BMW 4 Series: chassis and performance
Like its predecessors, the 4 Series is based on the 3 Series saloon, albeit with several mechanical and structural tweaks which should make it a sharper car to drive. The roofline of the coupe body is 57mm lower than the four door, which not only improves aerodynamic efficiency slightly, but also lowers the car’s centre of gravity by 21mm.
- New BMW 4 Series prototype review
Further attention has been given to the suspension setup. The coupe’s rear track has grown 23mm from the saloon, while revised dampers and a strengthened front bulkhead promise more precise steering response.
The 4 Series line-up will show an increased focus on performance. Our exclusive images offer a glimpse at how BMW’s hot M440i xDrive variant could look. It’s marked out by a more aggressive body-kit and will be powered by a 369bhp turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six engine, which will send its power to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
BMW has also confirmed that the M440i xDrive model will feature a 48-volt mild hybrid setup. The electric motor adds an extra 11bhp, and is claimed to improve throttle response and deliver smoother getaways from standstill. The motor is powered by a small additional battery that is charged up from energy that would otherwise be wasted during deceleration.
Above that, BMW will also engineer a flagship M4. This isn’t due until 2021, but it too will be powered by a 3.0-litre straight-six engine – one developed specifically by BMW’s M Division. Shared with the current X3 M, this twin-turbocharged unit makes up to 503bhp and 600Nm. Plus, for the first time in an M4, a selectable four-wheel-drive system will be used.
New BMW 4 Series: price and release date
BMW is yet to officially announce prices for the next-generation 4 Series Coupe, but buyers should expect to pay a small premium over the equivalent 3 Series saloon. We expect prices for the range-topping M440i model will start from around £47,000, while the lesser-specced 430i variant should be priced from around £42,000.
BMW will unveil the new 4 Series Coupe in full this June – and it’ll be closely followed into the showrooms by a convertible version in 2021.
Has BMW made the new 4 Series’s grille too big? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below below…
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