For more than 20 years, BMW's most visible coupe was sold as the 3-series. This made lots of sense, as the car is and always has been based on the 3-series sedan. Meanwhile, Audi launched the A4-based A5 coupe, and Mercedes-Benz was brazen enough to come up with a C-class–based coupe and badge it as an E-class. With the 4-series, which is scheduled to hit dealerships later this summer, BMW is following the competition’s lead in creating a unique moniker for many of its body styles. We suspect that the decision was not an easy one, as there are few nameplates in the business that possess as much recognition and brand equity as 3-series.
At launch, the 4-series comes with two proven engines: the 240-hp, 2.0-liter turbo four in the 428i and the 300-hp, turbocharged 3.0-liter straight-six in the 435i. These are the same engines offered in the 3-series, where we were more than satisfied with their performances. A stop-start system is standard on both models. BMW says that 0–60 will take 5.0 seconds in the 435i when equipped with the standard eight-speed automatic; opting for the no-cost-option six-speed manual adds three-tenths to the time. The 428i needs 5.7 seconds to do the deed, according to the manufacturer, regardless of transmission choice. BMW offers its xDrive all-wheel-drive system as a $2000 option for both models, but it is available on the four-cylinder car only when the automatic transmission is specified.
Beginning with the parameters and components of the 3-series, the chassis of the 4-series has been significantly reworked, BMW says, for added agility. The center of gravity is lower than on any other BMW today, the front section of the car has been stiffened, and the steering and front suspension has been tweaked to generate significantly more direct responses to steering input, as BMW says—a tacit admission that there was room to improve upon the steering of the 3-series.
Thanks to: Car and Driver