The Life Cycle Impulse for the 4 Series and M4 brought discreet changes only a diehard fan will probably notice right away. The sharper-looking headlights are the most noticeable modification and can be combined with optional laser taillights inherited from the M4 CSL. BMW also made a minor change on the inside – the steering wheel.

We photographed the updated M440i and M4 convertibles in Munich at the BMW Welt where the two cars had the new steering wheel. It has a flat bottom and a red center marking at the 12 o’clock position. Some would argue it’s a change for the sake of change, while others will appreciate the new look. Personally, I could go either way.

The updated wheel with the flat-bottomed rim and illuminated buttons is standard on the M4 as well as on the lesser 4 Series models equipped with the M Sport Package. An identical wheel wrapped in Alcantara is also available on the M4s. Going forward, all 4er models will be fitted with gearshift paddles as standard equipment.

With the mid-cycle facelift, BMW did more than just install a revised steering wheel and call it a day. The central air vents now have a new look and benefit from contour lighting built into the trim that surrounds them. In addition, you can optionally order CraftedClarity glass controls taken from the fancier and more expensive models. Go for a 4 Series with the M Sport Package or an M Performance version and you get seat surfaces in black M Performtex – a first for a BMW model.

The Curved Display with the 12.3-inch driver’s display and 14.9-inch touchscreen is the same. However, the infotainment now runs on iDrive 8.5 with the QuickSelect functionality. It allows owners to access most-often used functions without having to navigate through numerous sub-menus.

You won’t be able to park a 4 Series / M4 LCI in your garage in the coming weeks since production isn’t scheduled to start until later in March. Similar tweaks are planned for the 3 Series / M3 later this year for both the sedan and wagon body styles. However, we’re not sure the laser taillights will be carried over to these more practical cars.