Familiarity has failed to make the Autocar road test jury fans of this car’s styling. The new frontal aspect, with its arrowhead bonnet creases and that new grille, is intended to engender a new-found sense of confidence and a refreshed distinctiveness. But it’s the deficit of the consistency, simplicity and restraint seen on the best-looking modern BMW coupés that we regretted most.
The car’s surfaces mix bulbousness and fussiness; its rear quarters lack both proportion and definition; and its Hofmeister kink can only be described as ‘absent, presumed missing’.
There is better news for those prepared to look beneath the skin, but even that search requires persistence. To begin with, that this car has grown so much in comparison to the first-gen 4 Series isn’t the greatest of omens. It’s a significant 128mm longer, as well as both wider and taller than the F32-generation car. The last-gen 435i M Sport weighed 1640kg when we tested it in 2013. This new one has hit 1775kg.
For those looking for points of difference relative to the 3 Series, however, there are plenty to find. A lower body profile gives the 4 Series a centre of gravity that is 21mm closer to the ground than that of the equivalent 3 Series, while the chassis gets specific structural reinforcements. The 4 Series also has wider axles than a 3 Series and retuned springs, dampers, mountings and anti-roll bars.