As you can see right away, this new generation of the sporty Bavarian coupe is dominated by a massive and radical interpretation of the brand’s signature double kidney grille. You better get used to it, because it will appear on other BMW cars going forward. Not all of them, but a few.
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The grille is angled forward and combines with sharp creases on the hood, striking new LED headlights (accented by U-shaped fiber optic daytime running light elements) and large “Air Curtain” intakes at the edges of the front bumper to give the car a very intimidating look.
Compared to the previous-generation coupe, the new 4 Series is 132 mm longer, 25 mm wider, 10 mm taller and features a 40 mm longer wheelbase along with 35 mm wider front and 30 mm wider rear tracks.
Anchored by a choice of 18- and 19-inch wheels, the car’s profile has been revised and cleaned up, displaying classic proportions not unlike those of the Ford Mustang. In the rear, the darkened L-shaped LED taillights extend into the quarter panels to emphasize the wide body. Vertical apertures can be found at the corners of the bumper next to trapezoidal exhaust finishers.
The M Sport Package comes standard and the M440i xDrive model adds Cerium Grey accents, but if you want something even more eye-catching, BMW offers Carbon and Shadowline (high-gloss black) packages along with a selection of M Performance accessories. Also, eight body colours are available including three new ones: Arctic Race Blue, Portimao Blue and San Remo Green.
The interior of the 2021 4 Series is quieter than before with acoustic glass now being used for the windshield. The sport seats have been redesigned and they nicely complement the leather-wrapped sport steering wheel. The overall layout—from the digital instrument cluster to the centre touchscreen (8.8 or 10.25 inches) to the tall, neatly finished console—is very similar to that of the latest 3 Series sedan.
Rear seating with integral head restraints is designed for two adults and features a 40/20/40 fold-down function. Full LED lights can be tailored with the optional ambient lighting system to suit the driver’s taste and mood.
More Power and Performance
This is all nice and good, but the real kicker is the extra power under the hood. The 2021 BMW 4 Series comes standard in 430i xDrive trim with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine producing 255 hp (+7) and 294 lb-ft. of torque (+36), the latter from 1,550-4,400 rpm. It accelerates to 100 km/h in 5.6 seconds.
Boasting even more impressive gains, the M440i xDrive uses a 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine that cranks out 382 hp (+62) and 369 lb-ft. of torque (+39) from 1,800-5,000 rpm. It’s obviously quicker to reach triple-digit speeds, requiring a mere 4.5 seconds.
Both engines rely on a single, twin-scroll turbocharger, while the eight-speed sport automatic transmission they’re mated to (with launch control) has been optimized for improved response and efficiency. It’s also linked to the standard navigation system to avoid unnecessary gear changes by shifting down early in order to use engine braking to scrub off speed and be in the correct gear to accelerate out of a turn. There is no manual transmission, sorry.
The xDrive all-wheel drive system in the 2021 BMW 4 Series can direct all the power to the rear wheels in driving situations where AWD is not needed. The M440i adds a rear M Sport differential which helps improve traction by equalizing drive torque between the left and right rear wheels under acceleration. This particular model also benefits from a 48V mild hybrid system that allows for energy recuperation, storage and use during driving. It can temporarily boost performance by up to 11 hp and more importantly reduce the load on the engine in order to save fuel.
What else? Well, the chassis has been upgraded extensively with the use of more rigid materials and additional bracing. At the same time, the car is lighter now thanks to a hood, front fenders and doors made from aluminum. Furthermore, it rides on a standard M Sport suspension with firmer components and settings. You can easily see why BMW is promising significantly sharper handling than the outgoing generation.
The new 2021 BMW 4 Series coupe will go on sale in Canada in October. The company says it will provide more details including prices later this month. We also expect to learn more about the Cabriolet and M4 variants by the end of summer.