Seen at the Frankfurt motor show today, the new two-door is set to go on sale in the UK on 5 October, priced from £31,575 for the entry-level 420d SE.
Three turbocharged engine options will be offered initially, with three more forced-induction units to follow. In a move aimed at providing the 4-series with a broader appeal than its predecessor, there will also be a choice of either rear or four-wheel drive in selected models. Five trim levels - SE, Sport, Modern, Luxury and M Sport - will be offered.
The BMW 4-series, first previewed in concept form at the Detroit motor show in January, is based on the same platform as the 3-series saloon. Changes to its chassis, including wider front and rear tracks and suspension lowered by 10mm, provide it with a lower and wider appearance that befits its sporting brief. It also has the lowest centre of gravity of any BMW on sale.
At 4638mm in length, 1825mm in width and 1362mm in height, the 4-series coupé is 26mm longer, 43mm wider and 16mm lower than its 3-series coupé predecessor. The wheelbase is up by 50mm to 2810mm, and the front and rear tracks are extended by 45mm and 81mm to 1545mm and 1593mm respectively.
The jump in size sees kerb weight increase marginally, with the base 420d hitting the scales at 1450kg, or 30kg more than the old 320d coupé, in six-speed manual guise.
The three launch engines will be a 181bhp four-cylinder turbodiesel in the £31,575 420d, a 242bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol in the £32,595 428i and a 302bhp 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol in the initial range-topping £40,795 435i.
Three more engines will be added one month after launch, including a 181bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol in the 420i, a 254bhp 3.0-litre six-pot diesel in the 430d, and a 309bhp version of that unit in the 435d.
The 435d will be sold exclusively with BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system. In November, xDrive will also be offered as an option on the 420d and 420i models. Rear-drive is standard on all models except the 435d. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard on all models except the 430d and 435d, which come with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The eight-speed automatic is an optional on the rest of the range.
The most potent launch model is the 435i which, when equipped with the optional eight-speed automatic, has a 0-62mph time of 5.1sec. The most efficient is the auto-equipped 420d, with economy of 61.4mpg and CO2 emissions of 121g/km. Performance and economy figures and pricing have yet to be confirmed for the models arriving in November.
Crowning the line-up from late next year will be the M4 coupé. Power is set to come from a heavily tuned, twin-turbocharged version of BMW’s 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder petrol engine, which is claimed to deliver around 440bhp.
BMW is already talking up the dynamic properties of the 4-series, suggesting it is one of the sportiest cars in its line-up. The springs, dampers, camber angle and axle responses have all tuned for increased agility, while BMW is claiming a 50 per cent front/50 per cent rear weight distribution.
Stylistically, the new car borrows heavily from the latest 3-series saloon, particularly at the front end. As tradition dictates, the long doors are frameless. Despite the visual similarity to its four-door sibling, the body is unique.
Inside, the 4-series coupé shares its dashboard, instrument binnacle and centre console with the 3-series saloon. But with steeper screen angles and front seats that are more contoured and set lower than its four-door sibling, it offers a more overtly sporting driving position. The longer wheelbase increases rear legroom, but the boot volume is just five litres greater than the 3-series coupé, at 445 litres.