2021 BMW 4 Series coupe revealed with big grille, no manual

Here it is, folks, the 4 Series coupe with its Harvard-endowment size grille. Indeed, the car looks pretty much just as the Concept 4 predicted, with slightly smaller outboard grilles and a few of the bulges ironed out. It also takes a modern, minimalistic approach to the Hofmeister kink, with it simply being hinted at by some of the rear quarter window angles. The results have put off most of our staff, as did the Concept 4, and even the most optimistic editors (basically just yours truly) think maybe we’ll get used to it. But that’s a strong “maybe.” You’ll also notice in the photos that the M440i xDrive (in blue) gets more aggressive body work and matte grey metallic trim compared to the 430i (in white).

The grille isn’t the only part of the 4 Series that’s grown. The whole car is a full 5.2 inches longer than the old coupe, with a wheelbase 1.6 inches longer. It’s also an inch wider than before. It eclipses the old 3 Series sedan’s length by 2.2 inches. Despite the increased size and prominent proboscis, the 4 Series is actually notably more aerodynamic, dropping from 0.29 Cd to 0.25.

The bigger body houses more power. The 4 Series now has the single-turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder and 3.0-liter six-cylinder engines of its four-door counterpart. That means 255 horsepower and 294 pound-feet of torque from the four-cylinder-equipped 430i and 430i xDrive, and 382 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque from the six-cylinder-equipped M440i xDrive. Like the 3 Series, the 4 Series also drops the manual transmission altogether, whereas the outgoing version offered a manual on the 430i, M440i and M440i xDrive. Now, all 4 Series models get an eight-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is only available on the base 430i, with all-wheel-drive standard on the M440i xDrive. It is the clutch-operated all-wheel-drive system that can send all power to the rear wheels only when conditions permit. The M440i’s six-cylinder also makes use of a 48-volt starter/generator hybrid assist system. It produces up to 11 horsepower as needed, and allows for the start-stop system to activate at speeds as high as 9 mph when decelerating.

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The M440i gets a few other performance goodies. As standard it gets the M Sport electronically controlled limited-slip differential, M Sport suspension and variable steering assist, and upgraded brakes with four-piston front calipers. These features are optional on 430i models. The M440i can also be fitted with the adaptive M Sport Suspension that can be adjusted for sporty stiffness or softer comfort.

Inside the 4 Series, you’ll find a very traditional BMW cockpit. Familiar buttons and knobs angle toward the driver, and there are few extreme curves or angles in sight. Standard equipment features an 8.8-inch infotainment screen and a 5.1-inch screen nestled between physical gauges in the instrument panel, but a 10.25-inch instrument display is optional, as is a 12.3-inch infotainment screen. A sunroof and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard, too, along with a host of safety features including blind-spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian recognition, automatic high-beam headlights and lane-departure warning. Adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist and parking cameras and sensors are optional.

The 4 Series coupe is slated to hit dealers this October. The base 430i starts at $46,595. All-wheel drive adds $2,000. The M440i xDrive starts at $59,495.

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