BMW drops the first specs on its new 4-Series
BMW is in the final stages of development of its redesigned 4-Series, and the automaker has released the first specs on the coupe variant. A debut is scheduled for later in 2020 meaning we should see the new coupe arrive as a 2021 model.
A 4-Series Convertible and high-performance M4 are also in the works. There won’t be a repeat of the previous 4-Series Gran Coupe, though. The stylish liftback sedan is set to be replaced by an i4 battery-electric sedan in the new 4-Series family.
2022 BMW i4 spy shots – Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien
The new 4-Series is based on BMW Group’s CLAR modular platform, but features specific tweaks to give it its own character. For example, compared to the 3-Series sedan also based on the CLAR platform, the 4-Series in coupe guise has a 23-millimeter wider track, 21-mm lower center of gravity, and additional body reinforcements for improved stiffness and rigidity.
The 4-Series also benefits from less aerodynamic drag, more negative camber, and sportier tuning of the suspension, steering and brakes to help deliver a sharper, more focused driving experience. According to BMW, the 4-Series’ agility and lateral acceleration are significantly improved compared to the 3-Series, which should result in better overall handling.
2021 BMW 4-Series
Some of the powertrains will also be unique. We already know that the i4 will feature a battery-electric powertrain that will deliver up to 523 horsepower. An 80-kilowatt-hour battery in this model should also deliver over 250 miles of range on a charge.
For the non-electric 4-Series models, there will be 2.0- and 3.0-liter options, all of them turbocharged. Some of these will be augmented with mild-hybrid systems. One such setup will be a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 and mild-hybrid system powering an M440i xDrive. The inline-6 delivers a peak 374 horsepower but receives a temporary boost of 11 hp during hard acceleration from an integrated motor-generator. This motor-generator also serves as the starter motor and recovers energy under braking.
2021 BMW 4-Series prototype
Drive in the M440i xDrive is to all four wheels via an 8-speed automatic and BMW’s M Sport differential at the rear axle. Staggered 18-inch light alloy wheels and an M Sport brake package will also feature in the M440i xDrive.
Above the M440i xDrive will sit the new M4. BMW hasn’t said what will power this model but it should come with the same 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-6 code-named the S58 that debuted in the 2020 BMW X3 M and X4 M. Rumor has it the engine will be detuned in models equipped with a manual transmission and rear-wheel drive, whereas automatic-equipped cars, which will come with all-wheel drive as standard, should have something close to 473 hp. A more powerful M4 Competition with 503 hp should also be coming, along with eventual track-focused CS and CSL models.
2021 BMW 4-Series prototype
The interior of the 4-Series will also be slightly different compared to the 3-Series. The layout of the center console is unique, and so is the design of the shifter. The car is expected to come standard with a digital instrument cluster which will be joined by a touchscreen display sitting at the top of the center stack.
What could provide controversial on the new 4-Series is the exterior styling. The car is set to receive a new take on the traditional kidney grille, one that will see the kidneys stretched so they run from the hood all the way down to the front splitter. The look was previewed last year on the Concept 4 and takes inspiration from sporting BMWs of the past like the pre-war 328 and 3.0 CSi of the 1970s.
BMW Concept 4