Update: This might be the 435i model with M Sport package, rather than the M435i.
With just a few months left before its market debut, the new F32 BMW 4 Series is going through the final testing stages. FEP vehicles, short for Final Evaluation Program, have been spied in Germany and gives us a look at the M435i model with the M Sport Package and Estoril Blue color.
In order to reposition its highest-seller family of bimmers, the Munich-based automaker will create a new model designation: 4 Series. The rebadged models will include the coupes, convertibles and a Gran Coupe model, all which BMW aims to sell at a higher price.
A similar strategy is currently being applied by Audi and its A4 and A5 models. In this case, the monetary difference between the sedan (A4) and the coupe (A5) is around $4,500.
Part of their new strategy is also an M Performance Automobile which will replace the high-end 435i model, or 335i in the E92 generation. The drivetrain of the F32 BMW 435i is virtually identical to that of the current BMW 335i: the turbocharged inline six-cylinder with 306 horsepower. The engine can be paired to a six-speed manual transmission or eight-speed automatic.
In addition to the usual version with rear-wheel drive, there will be a BMW 435i xDrive which should appeal, thanks to all-wheel drive, to customers in the snowy regions of Europe and North America.
Expect the 4 Series Coupe to make its debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September.
[Spy Photos: Stefan for BimmerToday.de]