Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. It’s finally here. BMW enthusiasts have been holding their breath, waiting for the eventual release of the 2021 BMW 4 Series to see what its new grille design finally looks like. Well, it’s here and there’s a possibility that a lot of those same enthusiasts just finally breathed as sigh of relief.

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When the BMW Concept 4, the precursor to this new 4 Series, made its initial debut, its design was met with a hefty amount of criticism, entirely surrounding its grille. At time, it was the most outrageous grille design we’d seen from a modern BMW, even more outrageous than the X7. When BMW followed it up by saying that the Concept 4 was essentially a finalized design, fans were very upset.

2021 bmw m440i xdrive coupe 14 830x553

Now, though, the actual production car is here and, honestly, it doesn’t look anywhere near as bad a lot of fans were expecting. Though, its design does pose a few problems. One of which is the fact that it’s going to distract a lot of enthusiasts from what is a genuinely exciting sounding car underneath the skin.

The Design

There’s a lot of good car underneath the skin of this new BMW 4 Series but we have to start with the design. It’s what every enthusiast interested to see, so it takes priority.

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Up front, the new BMW 4 Series gets a version of the aforementioned Concept 4’s grille, along with squinty headlights, a heavily sculpted hood and a new front bumper design. The new grille dominates the design, though, and is all anyone’s going to notice. However, the entire design, collectively, is far better than we anticipated.

Though, there needs to be an asterisk on that statement. It looks far better than anticipated in M Sport trim. The massive air intakes and sportier front bumper of any M Sport model, especially the BMW M440i M Performance model, help to balance out the size of the grilles.

BMW M440i xDrive Coupe

However, if you opt for a non-M Sport trim, its comparatively puny air intakes look completely disproportionate. In fact, they look so small they look like they were bought at the local auto parts store and stuck onto the outside with some sticky tape.

In M Sport trim, however, it looks far better and much more cohesive. It also is a design that a lot of customers are going to grow to like. It looks aggressive and sport and sort of like it belongs. Also lost in all of the hubbub about the grille is the new headlight design, which is very pretty.

While the grille is nowhere near as bad as many fans had originally anticipated, the rest of the BMW 4 Series does have a bit of a design problem. The front end is so bold and brash, yet the rest of the car is smooth, simple and reserved.

BMW M440i Studio Photos

Don’t misunderstand that — the rest of the 4 Series is very pretty; its body lines are smooth and crisp, its proportions are spot on, it has muscular rear haunches and its taillights are slender and pretty.

But the delicate, reserved styling of the car as a whole doesn’t match the brash front end. So the design seems to lack cohesion. Customers, tuners and fans might turn to aftermarket parts to spruce up the rest of the car to match that front-end aggression.

Interior

Inside the new 4 Series, you’ll find a cabin very similar to that of a 3 Series, which is no surprise. It’s not a bad thing but it’s not a surprise. There are some little touches here and there that differentiate it from its four-door sibling. For starters, new larger speaker grilles line the inside of the door panels, behind the door pulls. There’s also some slightly new trim on either side of the center console tray and little seatbelt arms that hand seatbelts to front passengers.

BMW 4 Series Interior

Aside from those few things, the new BMW 4 Series is about the same as the 3er on which it’s based. They should also be identical in terms of material and build quality, which means the new 4er will be a wonderfully well-made machine. It might not have a thrilling interior design but it’s certainly not bad.

Under the Skin

While the new BMW 4 Series might have a polarizing design, what lies underneath it might not be so polarizing. BMW has actually extensively revised the 4 Series’ chassis over the 3 Series sedan. So it’s been given unique kinematics, suspension tuning, camber, steering, steering tuning and even braking to make the 4 Series feel sharper, more dynamic and, overall, different from the 3 Series.

BMW doesn’t just want customers to think that the 4 Series is just a 3 Series Coupe. Instead, the Bavarians want the 4er seen as a standalone model of its own. Hence the massive design departure.

Compared to the 3 Series Sedan, the new 4 Series Coupe (using 330i and 430i for comparison) is 2.2 inches longer, 1.0 inch wider, 2.2 inches lower and with a 1.0 inch wider rear track while sharing the same wheelbase.

So just due to its dimensions, it should handle better than the 3 Series.

Compared to the previous generation 4 Series Coupe, the new 4 Series is 5.2 inches longer, 1.0 inch wider, 0.4 inches taller and features a 1.6 inch longer wheelbase and 1.4 inch wider front and 1.2 inch wider rear tracks.

The aerodynamic efficiency of the new 4 Series Coupe sees a noticeable improvement from a previous Cx of 0.29 to a Cx of 0.25 for the new 430i Coupe.

BMW has even gone to some impressive lengths to lighten the 4 Series as much as possible. Aluminum is used in the engine side member, strut springs, hood and side panels. Even the trunk lid is made from natural fibers, to keep it light and help the preservation of resources.

Powertrains

Behind that new grille design will sit BMW’s typical suite of engine options, lead by the BMW M440i and its stonking B58 3.0 liter turbocharged I6 with 382 horsepower (374 hp for Europe) and 369 lb-ft of torque.

In addition to the BMW M440i, there will be a few other four-cylinder models. For starters, there’s the BMW 420i Coupe (135 kW/ 184 hp and 300 Nm/221 lb-ft of torque) and the BMW 420d (140 kW/ 190 hp and 400 Nm/295 lb-ft of torque), thanks to their 2.0 liter turbo-fours, both gasoline and diesel, respectively.

Powering the new 430i and 430i xDrive coupe is an updated B46 2.0-liter 4-cylinder BMW TwinPower turbocharged engine delivering 255 hp @ 5,000 – 6,500 rpm (an increase of 7 hp) and 294 ft-lbs. of torque @ 1,550 – 4,400 rpm (an increase of 36 ft-lbs.).

The 430i Coupe accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds (5.3 Seconds for 430i xDrive Coupe) and reaches an electronically limited top speed of 155 mpg or 130 mph depending on the selected wheel and tire combination.

BMW 430i Coupe Photos

A BMW 430d will come later, around March 2021, which will use a 3.0 liter turbocharged six-cylinder diesel, making 210 kW/286 hp and 650 Nm/479 lb-ft of torque.

The M440i will get a 48-volt electrical system, making it a MHEV (Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle), as will all diesel engine models.

With that system, a starter generator which, in essence, works like a small electric motor that can assist then engine with an extra 11 horsepower. While that little motor won’t add any real extra performance, it does improve sharpness and throttle response by adding power before the turbos can spool up.

All 4 Series fitted with this 48-volt MHEV system also take advantage of BMW’s Brake Energy Regeneration, which uses the aforementioned starter generator to recoup energy from braking back into the 48-volt battery. That energy can then assist the 12-volt system or be used for other functions.

For instance, the 48-volt energy can use the starter generator to seamlessly auto start/stop the engine while idle. It can also be used to allow the engine to shut down and coast at highway speeds, using only the little generator to provide just enough power to keep it moving.

Wheels, Tires and Brakes

All 4 Series Coupes are equipped with standard 18 x 7.5 inch alloy wheels with all-season run- flat tires. Optional on all models are 19 x 8.0 inch alloy wheels with 225/40R19 all-season run- flat tires or 19 x 8.0 inch front alloy wheels with 225/40R19 and 19 x 8.5 inch alloy wheels with 255/35R19 performance run-flat tires.

The M440i xDrive Coupe also offers the additional option of 19 x 8.0 inch front alloy wheels with 225/40R19 and 19 x 8.5 inch alloy wheels with 255/35R19 performance non-run-flat tires.

BMW M440i M Carbon Package

Standard brakes on the 430i and 430i xDrive Coupes are vented disks with single-piston floating calipers, front and rear. The M440i xDrive Coupe is equipped with vented disks with M Sport Brakes with Blue calipers featuring vented disks with four-piston front fixed and single- piston floating rear calipers.

M Sport Brakes with Red calipers are optional on the M440i xDrive Coupe. The 430i and 430i xDrive Coupes offer a choice of optional M Sport Brakes with either blue or red calipers. M Sport Brakes deliver outstanding thermal resistance with short pedal travel for sportier driving.

Parking Assistance Package With Drive Recorder

The drive recorder, a new optional feature on a BMW 4 Series equipped with the Parking Assistance Package, uses the cameras of the various driver assistance systems to record video footage from the front and/or rear view points of the vehicle before storing the recordings.

The saved video files can be either watched later on the center control display when the car is stationary or exported via the USB port. When activated, the drive recorder shoots and stores up to 40 seconds of video. In the event of a collision, a period of up to 20 seconds around the moment of impact is automatically recorded and saved.

The included back-up assistant records the last 50 yards driven at speeds below 20 mph and can automatically reverse your 4 Series along the exact path take to help navigate narrow or winding driveways.

Optional on the new 4 Series is the Driving Assistance Professional Package which adds Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Extended Traffic Jam Assist for limited access highways – a Level 2 autonomous assist system which helps to reduce fatigue in stop-and-go freeway traffic by allowing for extended hands free vehicle operation, lane keeping assistant with side collision avoidance, evasion aid, front cross-traffic alert and emergency stop assistant.

iDrive 7 and new BMW Maps

Standard on the new 2021 BMW 4 Series Coupe is iDrive 7 which is highly configurable. Up to 10 pages can be personalized with two to four tiles of content each.

Standard displays are an 8.8 inch center touchscreen control display and a 5.1 inch color display between the instrument gauges. Selecting the optional Live Cockpit Professional upgrades the displays to a 10.25 inch center touchscreen control display and a fully digital 12.3 inch instrument display.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Compatibility

The new 2021 BMW 4 Series Coupe offers standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Compatibility. This benefits already enjoyed by Apple iPhone owners are now available to Android users making it easier to access a large number of digital services from the car in the same way as on their smartphone.

Exterior colors

The 430i and 430i xDrive Coupes offer a choice of two standard non-metallic paints and seven optional metallic finishes, three of which are new colors. The M440i xDrive Coupe offers a choice of one standard non-metallic color, five optional metallic finishes and two optional Individual metallic paints.

  • Alpine White (standard)
  • Jet Black (standard, 430i and 430i xDrive only)
  • Black Sapphire Metallic
  • Mineral White Metallic
  • Sunset Orange Metallic (430i and 430i xDrive only)
  • Bluestone Metallic (430i and 430i xDrive only)
  • Portimao Blue Metallic (new)
  • San Remo Green Metallic (new, from 11/20 production)
  • Arctic Race Blue Metallic (new)
  • Individual Dravit Grey Metallic (M440i xDrive only)
  • Individual Tanzanite II Blue Metallic (M440i xDrive only)

Interior Upholstery and Trim

Standard on all models is SensaTec in a choice of Canberra Beige or Black. Optional Vernasca Leather is available for all new 4 Series BMW models and comes in a choice of colors including:

  • Canberra Beige / Black
  • Tacora Red
  • Mocha
  • Cognac
  • Oyster
  • Black
  • Black with Blue contrast stitching

Open Pore Fine Wood Oak Grain trim is standard on the 430i and 430i xDrive Coupes. Aluminum Tetragon trim is standard on the M440i xDrive Coupe.

Optional on all models is Fine Wood trim with Ash Grey-Brown high gloss, Aluminum trim with mesh effect, Open Pore Fine Wood Maple trim or Fine Wood trim with Ash Grey-Brown high gloss.A SensaTec dashboard is standard on the M440i xDrive Coupe and optional on the 430i and 430i xDrive Coupes.

Pricing and Market Launch

All in, the new BMW 4 Series looks to be a surprisingly exciting car. It features a few polarizing design elements but, as a whole, it seems like a very compelling package. Most of the car looks great, it has an improved chassis over the already excellent 3 Series, BMW’s typically brilliant engine options and even 48-volt MHEV technology. If customers can get over the new grille, which is likely to happen for most, the new 4 Series could be a hit.

MSRP pricing is $45,600 for the 2021 BMW 430i Coupe, $47,600 for the 430i xDrive Coupe and $58,500 for the M440i xDrive Coupe. Pricing does not include $995 Destination.

The global market launch is set for October 2020.

Model variants:

BMW 420i Coupé:
Four-cylinder in-line petrol engine, eight-speed Steptronic transmission.
Capacity: 1,998 cc, output: 135 kW/184 hp at 5,000 – 6,500 rpm,
max. torque: 300 Nm (221 lb-ft) at 1,350 – 4,000 rpm.
Acceleration [0 – 100 km/h (62 mph)]: 7.5 seconds,
top speed: 240 km/h (149 mph).
Fuel consumption, combined: 5.8 – 5.3 l/100 km (48.7 – 53.3 mpg imp),
CO2 emissions, combined: 132 – 122 g/km, exhaust standard: Euro 6d.

BMW 430i Coupé:
Four-cylinder in-line petrol engine, eight-speed Steptronic transmission.
Capacity: 1,998 cc, output: 190 kW/258 hp at 5,000 – 6,500 rpm,
max. torque: 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) at 1,550 – 4,400 rpm.
Acceleration [0 – 100 km/h (62 mph)]: 5.8 seconds,
top speed: 250 km/h (155 mph).
Fuel consumption, combined: 6.1 – 5.7 l/100 km (46.3 – 49.6 mpg imp),
CO2 emissions, combined: 141 – 131 g/km, exhaust standard: Euro 6d.

BMW M440i xDrive Coupé:
Six-cylinder in-line petrol engine, 48V mild hybrid technology (8 kW/11 hp), eight-speed Steptronic transmission, BMW xDrive.
Capacity: 2,998 cc, output: 275 kW/374 hp at 5,500 – 6,500 rpm,
max. torque: 500 Nm (369 lb-ft) at 1,900 – 5,000 rpm.
Acceleration [0 – 100 km/h (62 mph)]: 4.5 seconds,
top speed: 250 km/h (155 mph).
Fuel consumption, combined: 7.1 – 6.8 l/100 km (39.8 – 41.5 mpg imp),
CO2 emissions, combined: 163 – 155 g/km, exhaust standard: Euro 6d.

BMW 420d Coupé:
Four-cylinder in-line diesel engine, 48V mild hybrid technology (8 kW/11 hp), eight-speed Steptronic transmission.
Capacity: 1,995 cc, output: 140 kW/190 hp at 4,000 rpm,
max. torque: 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) at 1,750 – 2,500 rpm.
Acceleration [0 – 100 km/h (62 mph)]: 7.1 seconds,
top speed: 240 km/h (149 mph).
Fuel consumption, combined: 4.2 – 3.9 l/100 km (67.3 – 72.4 mpg imp),
CO2 emissions, combined: 112 – 103 g/km, exhaust standard: Euro 6d.

BMW 420d xDrive Coupé:
Four-cylinder in-line diesel engine, 48V mild hybrid technology (8 kW/11 hp), eight-speed Steptronic transmission, BMW xDrive.
Capacity: 1,995 cc, output: 140 kW/190 hp at 4,000 rpm,
max. torque: 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) at 1,750 – 2,500 rpm.
Acceleration [0 – 100 km/h (62 mph)]: 7.4 seconds,
top speed: 238 km/h (148 mph).
Fuel consumption, combined: 4.6 – 4.3 l/100 km (61.4 – 65.7 mpg imp),
CO2 emissions, combined: 121 – 112 g/km, exhaust standard: Euro 6d.

BMW 430d xDrive Coupé (est. available from March 2021):
Six-cylinder in-line diesel engine, 48V mild hybrid technology (8 kW/11 hp), eight-speed Steptronic transmission, BMW xDrive.
Capacity: 2,993 cc, output: 210 kW/286 hp at 4,000 rpm,
max. torque: 650 Nm (479 lb-ft) at 1,500 – 2,500 rpm.
Acceleration [0 – 100 km/h (62 mph)]: 5.2 seconds,
top speed: 250 km/h (155 mph).
Fuel consumption, combined: 6.2 l/100 km (45.6 mpg imp),
CO2 emissions, combined: 146 g/km
(model with market launch in 2021: fuel consumption and CO2 emissions shown as WLTP values),
exhaust standard: Euro 6d.

BMW M440d xDrive Coupé (est. available from March 2021):
Six-cylinder in-line diesel engine, 48V mild hybrid technology (8 kW/11 hp), eight-speed Steptronic transmission, BMW xDrive.
Capacity: 2,993 cc, output: 250 kW/340 hp at 4,400 rpm,
max. torque: 700 Nm (516 lb-ft) at 1,750 – 2,250 rpm.
Acceleration [0 – 100 km/h (62 mph)]: 4.7 seconds,
top speed: 250 km/h (155 mph).
Fuel consumption, combined: 6.7 l/100 km (42.2 mpg imp),
CO2 emissions, combined: 158 g/km
(model with market launch in 2021: fuel consumption and CO2 emissions shown as WLTP values),
exhaust standard: Euro 6d.