A few years ago, BMW decided to split their luxury executive level model, the 3 Series, into two different series. The saloons, estates, and SUV would retain the badge, but the sportier two-doors and crossovers were destined to become part of a new 4 Series line.
While it took some initial getting used to, the 4 Series is now a core part of BMW’s model line and for many, an entry point into the brand.
Fast forward to present day and we now have the all-new 4 Series coupé for 2021. Make no mistake, BMW is a brand that’s familiar with all the emotions associated with performance and luxury. This is a car that’ll illicit the same head-turning as its other stablemates, only it’ll also cause a lot of head scratching.
That’s because it’s one of those years when BMW throws caution to the wind and does something provocative to its car’s design — think the 2003 7 Series, “3.0 CSL Hommage”, and i3.
Like the 3.0 CSL Hommage that divided the world back in 2015, this fresh 4 Series entry sees its signature kidney grille stretched vertically instead of horizontally, a design language derived from legendary classics such as the BMW 328 and BMW 3.0 CSi. If you came in here ready to walk all over the new design, you’re not alone. However, like every other BMW, we promise you’ll get used to it; in fact, dare we say it might grow on you.
This 4 Series now has a lower profile compared to the 3, and is surprisingly sleek and muscular in all the right places. The distracting hockey stick-esque side skirts have finally been done away with, as have the chunky back ends.
The interior of the BMW 4 Series is a spitting image of the 3 Series, which is a good thing. The 3 Series offers one of the best quality interiors in its class with an abundance of high-quality materials and plenty of tech. You’ll have access to BMW’s latest iDrive 7, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There are also plenty of digital displays, a wireless charger and — this is for the millennials — WiFi.
Under the bonnet, there are a few engines at launch to get your blood running. Our pick is the M440i xDrive model with its 374hp 3.0-litre inline six and 48-valve electric engine, the latter of which is good for another 11hp. The extra electric boost brings the total horsepower to 385hp for your driving pleasure, with a snap of extra e-torque that should help with turbo lag, if any. It also features X-Drive — BMW’s all-wheel-drive system — which is great in the rain and for getting faster 0-100kph times.
Its finely balanced 50:50 weight distribution also ensures that BMW’s famous handling abilities don’t get lost in its ever-growing body.
To be honest, BMW has got it pretty good right now with the 4 Series. They’ve managed to stay ahead of the game against the competition by having the means to constantly update this otherwise outdated segment. Whether you like the design changes or not, newness still plays a big part in buying habits, so this coupé really does have an edge. Now we’ll just have to wait to see just how big this kidney-shaped rabbit hole can grow.
The 2021 BMW 4 Series will be launched in October 2020.