2021 BMW 4 Series Debuts With Big Kidney Grille, New Mild-Hybrid Engine
3 June 2020 - motor1
The most powerful M440i model gets up to 382 horsepower.
If you had qualms about BMW two-doors being too anonymous, the 2021 BMW 4 Series Coupe should alleviate those concerns. The new coupe debuts with two massive kidney grilles, just like the concept predicted, as well as new tech, improved dynamics, and a fresh mild-hybrid six-cylinder engine. All of that equipment promises a big boost for the 4 Series over its predecessor, and whether you love or hate the styling, the new BMW 4 Series Coupe certainly looks good on paper.
Bold And Brash
From certain angles, the new BMW 4 Series looks great. It has sleek proportions, similar to what we saw on the Concept 4 last year, which yields a last-gen–besting drag coefficient of 0.25 (versus 0.29). Adaptive LED headlights and a set of 18-inch wheels come standard (19-inch wheels are available as an option), and unique L-shaped taillights adorn the rear.
But there is an elephant in the room that needs addressing: those massive dual grilles. The 4 Series also borrows its big kidneys from the Concept 4, and they definitely give the coupe an unmistakable presence. But it's not all for show; BMW says that those upright openings serve a very important purpose, feeding air into the new six-cylinder engine.
The base BMW 430i and 430i xDrive get an updated version of the brand's turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, good for 255 horsepower (190 kilowatts) and 294 pound-feet (399 newton-meters). That's an improvement of seven hp and 36 lb-ft over its predecessor. That gives the rear-drive 430i a 0-60 mph (96 kmh) time of 5.5 seconds, the xDrive model a time of 5.3 seconds, and both an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph (250 kmh).
But it's the new M440i xDrive model that benefits from those big kidneys most, boasting a new 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine with 48-volt mild-hybrid technology. That setup produces a combined output of 382 hp (285 kW) and 369 lb-ft (500 nm) – with the 48-volt starter-generator producing 11 hp total (8 kW) – which gives the 440i a 0-60 mph time of just 4.3 seconds.
In Europe, buyers can choose from four diesel versions of the 4 Series (it's unlikely any of these will come to the US): 420d, 420d xDrive, 430d xDrive, and 440d xDrive. And like the gas-powered models, the diesel 4 Series uses the same eight-speed automatic transmission, and comes in both rear- and all-wheel-drive configurations, depending on the trim.
All that newfound oomph gets improved dynamics to go with it. Though it shares its platform with the current 3 Series, the 4 Coupe gets a model-specific suspension package that improves rigidity, as well as updated dimensions all around. The 4 Series Coupe is 2.2 inches longer, 1.0 inch wider, 2.2 inches lower, and has a 1.0 inch wider rear at the back compared to the standard 3 Series. Yet, the 4 Series maintains the sedan's perfect 50:50 weight distribution. And buyers can also option on the M Adaptive suspension setup, which tweaks steering, damping, and accelerator response in Sport for a more aggressive driving feel.
Stylish And Safe
Those familiar with the latest BMW products should recognize the inside of the new 4 Series Coupe instantly. The same driver-focused cockpit from the 3 Series sedan carries over, with standard SensaTec faux leather finishes in either Canberra Beige or Black colors. But Vernasca leather is available as an option and comes in seven distinct colors: Canberra Beige / Black, Tacora Red, Mocha, Cognac, Oyster, Black, and Black with Blue contrast stitching.
The most recent version of BMW's iDrive 7.0 infotainment system carries over, too. Standard is an 8.8-inch center touchscreen and a 5.1-inch digital display between the analog instrument cluster, but 3 Series sedan's 10.3-inch center screen and 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster are optional.
Some of the "new" features of the BMW 4 Series Coupe are the cloud-based navigation system that comes standard with the BMW navigation, the next-generation BMW head-up display, which has a 70 percent larger projection surface, and 3D environment visualization within the digital instrument cluster. Of course, the 4 Series gets wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well.
In terms of safety, features like front collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning with steering assist, and speed limit information carry over from the 3 Series, only now they come standard on the 4 Series Coupe. And optional is the more advanced Driving Assistance Professional package, which adds adaptive cruise control with stop and go, lane-keep assist with side collision avoidance, and rear automatic emergency braking.
Price And Debut
The base BMW 430i Coupe with rear-wheel drive starts at $45,600 in the US (not including $995 for destination). The 430i xDrive costs $47,600, and the range-topping M440i xDrive model starts at $58,500. The new BMW 4 Series Coupe launches globally in October.