BMW has officially unveiled its bigger, bolder all-new 4 Series Coupe in Europe this week, with a three-variant Australian-bound launch range due to touch down in October this year.
Brandishing a radical new design that was previewed by the Concept 4 shown in Frankfurt last year, the second-generation 4 Series is 128mm longer and 27mm wider than its predecessor, with a 41mm-longer wheelbase and subtly wider front and rear tracks (+28mm/+18mm).
The main talking point is clearly the new front end, which replaces the familiar frowning face with an extreme take on the twin-kidney grille and headlights that more closely resemble those of the bigger 5 Series.
The new grille arrangement dominates the front end, spanning from just under the bonnet line to the subtly integrated front lip with the numberplate mounted across the middle.
In explaining the new styling, BMW said the grille “shines the spotlight on its standalone character and provides significant presence” and that it is a “defining element of the front end”, harping back to the classic 328 of the 1940s and 3.0 CSi from the ’70s.
Tracing further back along the body, the design is more familiar with the same swooping coupe roofline, albeit with a few subtle changes to the body sculpting along the flanks.
The rear is also definitively BMW, appearing to be more of a refinement exercise than total redesign like the front with the biggest difference being the new slimline LED tail-light arrangement.
Inside, occupants are greeted by a familiar driver-focused cockpit as in the 3 Series, albeit with sports seats as standard and an M leather-clad steering wheel.
In the back, there is seating for two courtesy of model-specific individual-style rear seats with integrated head restraints. A 40/20/40 split-fold arrangement is also provided.
Infotainment duties are taken care of by the BMW Operating System 7.0, the functions of which can all be accessed via the dash-mounted touchscreen, iDrive controller, multifunction buttons on the steering wheel, voice control or optional BMW gesture control.
BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant is also standard on all models while a built-in SIM card with 4G LTE connectivity and BMW Connected Package Professional cater for BMW TeleServices and Intelligent Emergency Call, real-time traffic information with hazard warning, remote services and concierge services.
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are both standard across the range, as is the digital cockpit and head-up display.
Three 4 Series variants will initially be offered Down Under: the 420i, 430i and M440i xDrive, the latter serving as the flagship until the inevitable M4 arrives further down the line.
All versions share their powertrains with their respective 3 Series counterparts, those being a 135kW/300Nm 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder in the 420i, a 190kW/400Nm version of the same engine in the 430i and a 285kW/500Nm 3.0-litre turbocharged inline six in the M440i xDrive.
Power in all variants is put to the road via an eight-speed automatic transmission, with the four-cylinder variants exclusively rear-wheel drive and the more potent M440i employing BMW’s proprietary xDrive all-wheel-drive system.
All variants ride on M suspension with the option of adaptive damping.
The M Sport Package takes things a step further, adding M Sport suspension and some extra visual flare in the way of bigger intakes, contoured rear apron, 19-inch M light alloy wheels and kneepads on the sides of the centre console.
Local pricing and full Australian specification details will be announced closer to the new 4 Series’ launch in October.
So far this year ending May, BMW has shifted 139 examples of the current-generation 4 Series, making it the second best-selling vehicle in the $80,000+ sportscar segment with an 11.6 per cent share behind the dominant Mercedes-Benz C-Class (459, 38.4% share).