There’s no mistaking that there’s an all-new BMW 4 Series Coupe at first sight. But will it be love at first sight? Singapore will find out before 2020 is over.
SINGAPORE — Fancy the all-new BMW 4 Series Coupe you see here? You’ll be able to buy one in Singapore by the fourth quarter of 2020. Plenty of time for it to jingle your bells at Christmas, then.
BMW took the covers off the new 4 Series Coupe in a digital launch yesterday (or midnight of June 3, our time). It’s codenamed G22, with Convertible (G23) and four-door Gran Coupe (G24) offshoots still to come.
Two-door cars aren’t big sellers for BMW, or any brand, but the 4 Series has symbolic value. “Coupes have always played an extremely important role at BMW. They’re dream cars and brand shapers,” Pieter Nota, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Customer, Brands, Sales, said in the online launch.
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A source from BMW Group Asia told CarBuyer that the planned line-up for Singapore consists of the 420i and 430i. A 430i M Sport Edition Pro will serve as the halo model for the range.
It’s early days to talk about pricing, but a decent guess would peg the new 420i Coupe at around S$220,000 with Certificate of Entitlement. Add S$30,000 or so for the 430i.
Mind you, BMW did show off a new M440i xDrive Coupe (above) with 3.0-litre, turbo straight-six power — 374 horsepower if you want to get specific. It also gets the 48V mild hybrid system that cuts fuel consumption and adds brief 11 horsepower bursts.
All the new 5 Series variants headed for Singapore get the 48V system, but the 420i and 430i will do without it.
Instead, the new 4 shares most of its major mechanicals with the current G20 3 Series, and it gets those cars’ 2.0-litre turbo engines. That means 184hp and 300 Newton-metres of peak torque for the 420i, and 258hp/400Nm for the 430i.
Here’s a look at what’s headed here and how fast they are:
|420i Coupe||430i Coupe|
|Engine||1,998cc in-line 4, turbo||1,998cc in-line 4, turbo|
|0-100km/h||7.5 seconds||5.8 seconds|
All engines are paired with an eight-speed auto. Here, the 430i M Sport Edition Pro variant will come with a Steptronic Sport tranny that has a “Sprint” function for rapid bursts of acceleration.
The M440i is currently the fastest new 4 Series out there, but there are no plans to sell it in Singapore. Presumably, performance junkies here will be content to wait for the full M4, which BMW will show off later this year.
Whatever the version, the ground-up revamp sees the two-door car gain hyper aggressive styling.
There’s a stretched bonnet, a rakishly low roof, wide rear haunches and — there’s no tiptoeing around this — a front grille that looks as if the G22 could swallow an ostrich whole.
With front end styling like that, the new 4 is bound to stand out. But if you want yours to stand out even more, there’s no shortage of M Sport stuff to add a touch of raciness. That means goodies like painted brake calipers (in red or blue), carbon body trim, 19-inch M Sport wheels and so on.
Whether you like the look of it is up to you, but you can’t accuse it of being a stunt to please the Chinese, who everyone believes are drawn to grand shows of ostentation. People who think the giant new grille came from out of nowhere have forgotten the brand’s past. 328 Mille Miglia coupe, anyone?
Either way, the G22 looks like a completely different animal from the 3 Series. This is actually only the second time there’s been a 4 Series, and the effort to distinguish it from its sedan sibling is obvious, unlike before.
It’s especially distinctive from the rear, where the super slim LED taillights and swooping roofline really depart from the 3.
“From now on the number 4 will stand for an even more self confident and expressive series of products,” said Domagoj Dukec, who heads design at BMW.
The two-door car is a good 57mm lower than the 3 Series, and its centre of gravity is 21mm lower as a result. That will cut body roll around corners, and make the car feel more planted.
Compared to the 3 Series, the 4 Series’ rear track is 23mm wider, while the front wheels have more negative camber — those tweaks should make its handling sharper. (Adding negative camber is one factor that makes BMW’s own X2 feel more lively behind that wheel than the X1.)
The chassis guys took various measures to stiffen up the Coupe’s body, too. There are struts linking the front suspension towers to the bulkhead, which is itself beefier thanks to an extra panel there. The rear axle area gets some bracing material, so it’s also more rigid. The added rigidity improves the G22’s straight-line stability as well as its cornering grip, says BMW.
Here’s a handy graphic BMW handed out to lazy journalists that explains it all:
For all that, the new 4 Series is relatively conservative inside. As before, the cabin has four seats and the dashboard is a transplant from the G20.
That means you should expect the same BMW OS 7.0 user interface, centred on the Live Cockpit Professional digital instruments and the tile-based 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system.
Interpretive voice control (via the wake-up phrase “Hey, BMW!”) and digital features like smartphone unlocking also make it over from the 3 to the 4.
It should be a reasonably practical four-seater, with a 440-litre boot that’s expandable via folding rear seats.
The new car gets the suite of driver aids that the 3 offers (and the last 4 didn’t), such as lane-keep assist, active cruise control and the reversing assistant feature that memorises the car’s last 50m of travel so it can back itself out of a tight spot.
BMW was surprisingly restrained about talking up digital or driver assist features during the 4 Series’ press presentation, however.
It’s as if the company was extra mindful of what BMW coupes are really supposed to be about: a naughty time between the wheel. Whether you think the G22 looks sexy enough, driving it is meant to feel like 4 play.
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