The next few years are quite busy for BMW. Aside from launching a brand-new EV-first architecture – called NCAR – the CLAR and FAAR-based models will get a refresh as well. We will see models like the G45 X3, F70 1 Series, F74 2 Series Gran Coupe, G82 M4 CS, G90 M5 Sedan, G99 M5 Touring (all in 2024), followed in the next years by the refreshed 3 Series (G50), X5, X6 and X7. However, the BMW 4 Series is not expected to receive a new generation.

No New BMW 4 Series Currently On The Table

According to sources, that there are currently no plans to develop a CLAR-based BMW 4 Series. This decision dates back to when the EV market appeared highly promising, necessitating the consolidation of certain products in the BMW lineup. This was particularly relevant with the introduction of the NCAR platform models like the NA0 i3 Sedan and the NA2 i4 Coupe. Yet, the electric vehicles landscape has changed, with many automakers reconsidering their all-electric strategies. BMW is in a better spot because for, at least, the next 10 years, it will offer cars on different architectures.

The BMW 4 Series has always stood out as somewhat unconventional. In the U.S. market, the 4 Series family—including the coupe, convertible, gran coupe, and i4—saw sales of 50,777 units in 2023, marking a 37.4% increase from 2022. This contrasts with the G20 BMW 3 Series, which sold 33,997 units in the same period. Notably, the Gran Coupe, especially its i4 variant, contributed significantly to the 4 Series’ sales figures. So from the sales perspective, the odd looking 4 Series is a success.

Why Would BMW Discontinue A Successful Product?

Given the 4 Series’ success, one might question BMW’s decision to discontinue it. Essentially, BMW is not entirely moving away from this segment. The NA0 BMW i3 will be a purpose-built 3 Series electric with a very attractive shape – as previewed by the Vision Neue Klasse – falling somewhere between a regular sedan and gran coupe, in terms of shape. BMW is currently selling an i3 in China, but that’s a CLAR-based sedan with the typical proportions and packaging of a 3 Series car. With the introduction of the Neue Klasse i3, along with the NA2 i4 Coupe and NA3 i4 Cabriolet, BMW will likely cover this market segment comprehensively.

Naturally, the gasoline or diesel lovers might feel left out, and that’s understandable considering the fun factor of an M440i or M440d. These cars might not excel in the looks department, but behind the wheel, they are some fantastic vehicles, thanks to great driving dynamics and a spectacular engine – B58.

There Is Time To Reconsider This Decision

Yet, BMW could reconsider its stance on the 4 Series. We’re already hearing about conversations in Munich regarding the prospect of offering a regular 4 Series in the future. The CLAR platform will be around for a while and there is no commitment or pressure on BMW to become fully electric by the end of this decade. So essentially, if the decision is reversed, within 4-5 years you could have a CLAR-based 4 Series back on the road. This approach would provide the car with a sufficient lifecycle—typically six to seven years—to become profitable and to compete in a segment with potentially reduced competition.

No Gasoline BMW M4 Planned

There is another elephant in the room though, and that’s the future of the BMW M4. Clearly, this decision impacts the M brand, as M3 and M4 models are derived from the 3 and 4 Series respectively. While a G84 M3 is under consideration, a gasoline-powered M4 seems off the table for now. Nonetheless, the introduction of a Neue Klasse M4 is likely, following the pattern set by the ZA0 electric M3.

These developments highlight the automotive sector’s volatility, underscoring the speed at which technology and market preferences evolve. Unlike in the past, updating a vehicle lineup today involves much more than aesthetic and technological refreshes. Fortunately, BMW appears to be adapting swiftly, navigating these changes with agility reminiscent of a Silicon Valley startup, albeit at a pace befitting its industry stature.

So while we love to complain about the styling of current BMWs – and we’re guilty of that as well – we should cherish the fact that we still get to enjoy these cars for the next few years.