With auto shows on hold, we’re getting quite familiar with online videoconferencing, BMW the latest to use a webcast to pull the covers off a new product – in this case, the second-generation 4-Series Coupe.
While there’s been a massive shift from passenger cars to SUVs and CUVs, the Bavarian automaker is convinced there’s still a viable niche for sporty coupes, and it’s taking a number of steps to enhance the appeal of the two-door alternative to the long-lived BMW 3-Series.
Among other things, the 2021 BMW 4-Series Coupe will be longer, wider and a smidge taller than the outgoing coupe, with a more sleek and aerodynamic body, new standard features, including LED headlamps, and a broad line-up of powertrains including a new 48-volt mild hybrid package that wil deliver better performance even while boosting fuel economy.
BMW’s decision to retain the 4-Series and other coupes is not surprising, the automaker having a history of viewing them as “dream cars and brand-shapers (which) embody the very essence of the BMW brand,” said Pieter Nota, the Bavarian marque’s global sales chief.
(BMW keeps on trucking’ with its 2021 5-Series sedan.)
From the outside, the new design gives the 2021 4-Series a more curvaceous appearance, with a lower nose framing a larger version of the familiar BMW double-kidney grille. The double-twin LED lamps flow into a hood that is more aggressive, with subtle bulges enhancing the feeling of muscularity. The fastback roofline flows into the familiar Hofmeister-kink. Slim, darkened LED taillamps help accentuate the width of the 2021 4-Series.
Compared to the outgoing model, the 2021 coupe is a full 5.2 inches longer, 1.0 inches wider, 0.4 inches taller and boasts a 1.6-inch longer wheelbase. The front and rear tracks have each been widened more than an inch. As a result, the 4-Series is now longer, lower and wider than the 3-Series sedan.
The interior will be familiar to BMW fans, though it adopts a bit more of an upscale feel. But the 2021 4-Series retains the traditional driver-focused cockpit layout. Both the M Sport and M440i xDrive versions add more knee padding, along with unique steering wheel and door sill plates.
One of the notable revisions is the use of wider twin digital screens, the infotainment display flowing into the digital instrument cluster. Meanwhile, BMW has moved the start/stop button to the center console, near newly redesigned gear shifter and iDrive control knob.
The 2021 BMW 4-Series now gets an upgraded infotainment system with standard navigation and improved maps, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The system also features the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant which operates much like the Amazon Alexa system by saying “Hey BMW” to operate numerous vehicle functions, from setting a destination to adjusting the radio or cabin temperature.
From a powertrain perspective, all of the powertrains available globally for the new 4-Series will see a boost in both horsepower and torque, according to BMW. The 430i and all-wheel-drive 430i xDrive coupes will use an updated 2.0-liter TwinPower turbo-four making 255 horsepower, an increase of 7, and 294 pound-feet of torque, up 36. That will launch the rear-drive model to 60 in 5.5 seconds, the xDrive to 60 in 5.3 seconds. Top speed is either 130 or 155 mph, depending upon tires and wheels.
The new M440i xDrive, meanwhile, gets a TwinPower 3.0-liter inline-six making 382 hp and 369 lb-ft, those numbers up 62 and 39, respectively. Launch time is 4.3 seconds.
The M440i xDrive relies on a 48-volt mild hybrid starter/generator which regenerates power during braking and coasting. The system kicks in, BMW explains, “to boost performance during hard acceleration or by providing power for electronic systems, thus reducing the load on the engine and improving overall efficiency.”
All models rely on a standard eight-speed sport automatic transmission. No manual will be available.
Among the available options, the 4-Series will be offered with the Adaptive M Suspension using electronically controlled, continuously adapting damper valves.
Pricing will start at $45,600 fpr the 2021 BMW 420i, running up to a starting $58,500 for the M44oi xDrive Coupe. Add another $895 for delivery fees. U.S. deliveries are set to begin in October.