2021 BMW 4 Series Preview

Jack R. Nerad | Jun 02, 2020
  • Completely redesigned midsize luxury coupe
  • Turbocharged 4- and 6-cylinder engines available
  • 6-cylinder engine features 48-volt mild hybrid system
  • Sports-oriented interior with heavily bolstered performance seats
  • Double-screen instrument and infotainment system display
  • On sale in October

Introduction - Find the best BMW deals!

With today's introduction of the all-new second-generation 2021 BMW 4 Series, the company further distances the 2-door coupe from the 3 Series 4-door sedan in terms of style and dimensions. 

Longer, lower, and wider than the iconic sports sedan, the new 2021 4 Series is also longer and wider than the previous version of the coupe while coming in about half an inch taller. Subjectively, the new 4 Series Coupe is much snarkier than its predecessor, and we can bet you there will be much discussion about its interpretation of BMW's famous "double-kidney" grille.

Though visually distanced from the 3 Series, the 4 Series remains based on the sedan’s mechanicals. The two models share the same wheelbase, which bodes well for the 4 Series' interior capacity, and the powertrains largely cross over as well. However, the 4 Series is not only aerodynamically slipperier, but its styling is also considerably bolder, drawing more separation between the two cars. 

2021 BMW 4 Series coupe blue front view

The base 2021 BMW 430i Coupe will have a starting price of $45,600, and the car's global market launch will come this October.

Exterior Features - Find the best BMW deals!

As we've already mentioned, the front end of the new 4 Series will certainly get talked about because it looks as if the twin elements of the kidney grille have been installed vertically rather than horizontally. To those used to typical BMW "faces," it is a bit of a jolt, but it’s also a likable treatment hearkening back to BMWs of old. With the mesh grille angled forward, the design also gives the 4 Series Coupe a more powerful presence than it had before.

2021 BMW 4 Series rear view

Slim-line LED headlights and cornering lights accompany the grille, and a pair of U-shaped daytime running lights within each headlight give the arrangement added animation even when the sun shines. The turn signals are equally detailed, consisting of three glass blade units in the corners of each light assembly.

In profile, the long-hooded 4 Series is nearly a fastback, but the trunk lid extends a bit too long to claim that designation. The greenhouse culminates in the familiar Hofmeister kink, and the muscular fenders and hardtop-style frameless windows are throwback touches. The new 4 Series Coupe boasts significantly better aerodynamics than the previous version with a 0.25 coefficient of drag versus 0.29.

Interior Features - Find the best BMW deals!

As you would demand from an Ultimate Driving Machine, the 4 Series Coupe features a driver-oriented cockpit complete with newly designed power sport seats and a leather-wrapped sport steering wheel. The front buckets are heavily bolstered while the lever-operated gear selector and soft-touch center console armrest offer a classic look. Coupes with the M Sport package and the M440i xDrive version offer additional soft knee padding on the sides of the center console plus an M Sport steering wheel and M logo door sills.

2021 BMW 4 Series coupe dashboard and cognac leather seats

The instrumentation screen is melded to the central infotainment display screen to form what appears to the eye to be a single unit but it is not as large as on some recent Mercedes-Benz products. The center display is a touchscreen, or drivers can use the iDrive controller on the center console, voice commands, or gesture controls. 

While the typical rear seat in a coupe is not a particularly pleasant place to be, the 4 Series' backseat area holds the promise of decent comfort and excellent utility. The fold-down center armrest opens up to provide trunk area access to accommodate long objects like skis, and the backrest is both split and folding.

Optional Features - Find the best BMW deals!

The new BMW 4 Series will offer a wide variety of option packages, some with a performance bent, others providing pure luxury.

An expectedly popular upgrade is M Sport Package, which includes a choice of 19-inch wheels, performance or all-season tires, an aerodynamic body kit, and variable sport steering. Its buyers also get the choice of M Sport suspension, Adaptive M suspension or the Dynamic Handling package plus upscale interior trim pieces. The Dynamic Handling package includes 19-inch M double-spoke wheels with a choice of non-run-flat or run-flat performance tires, M Sport brakes with blue or red calipers, and an M Sport differential. 

For those who are parallel parking challenged, the Parking Assistance package includes semi-autonomous parking assistance, active parking sensors, and a surround-view camera with a remote 3D view. A head-up display and upgraded digital instrumentation are the headline features of the Premium package.

Under the Hood - Find the best BMW deals!

Headlining the engine compartment improvements is a new 48-volt mild-hybrid system that is standard on the 6-cylinder-powered M440i xDrive Coupe. The 48-volt starter/generator unit is complemented by its own 48-volt battery that accepts a charge from deceleration, braking, and from excess electricity generated while driving in Sport mode. The starter/generator can boost performance during hard acceleration by offering added torque.

The turbocharged 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder engine in the M440i xDrive Coupe produces 382 horsepower and 369 lb.-ft. of torque, giving the car robust acceleration.

An updated turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder resides in the 430i and 430i xDrive Coupe. It delivers 255 horsepower and 294 lb-ft. of torque. Both the 4- and 6-cylinder engines use a single, twin-scroll turbocharger, fuel injection that operates at over 5,000 psi, fully variable valve timing, and variable camshaft timing.

The BMW 430i Coupe is available with rear-wheel drive or BMW's latest xDrive all-wheel-drive system. All 4 Series models are equipped with a standard 8-speed sport automatic transmission with launch control, and the M440i xDrive Coupe includes a rear M Sport differential that equalizes drive torque between the left and right rear wheels under acceleration.

Safety - Find the best BMW deals!

The 2021 BMW 4 Series is filled with electronic safety and driver-assistance features. Included among the standard items are forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning with lane keeping assistance, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic warning, and automatic high-beam headlights. The car also includes rear collision preparation and road sign recognition with speed limit detection.

The Driving Assistance Professional package, offered on all 4 Series models, features adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability, Extended Traffic Jam Assistant for use on limited-access highways, Active Lane Keeping Assistant with side collision avoidance, collision Evasion Aid, emergency stop assistance, and front cross-traffic warning.

Designed for limited-access highways, the Level 2 semi-autonomous Extended Traffic Jam Assistant helps to reduce fatigue in stop-and-go freeway traffic by enabling extended hands-free vehicle operation at speeds up to 37 mph. The emergency stop assistance system responds to an inattentive and unresponsive driver by presuming he or she is suffering a medical emergency, bringing the car to a safe, controlled stop.

Technology - Find the best BMW deals!

The new 4 Series is equipped with BMW iDrive 7 with navigation and BMW Maps, a new digital cloud-based feature that delivers faster route calculations and dynamic recalculation based on precise real-time traffic data. With the optional Live Cockpit Professional the displays include a 10.25-inch center touchscreen control and a 12.3-inch instrument display.

The 4 Series Coupe offers the latest version of BMW's Intelligent Personal Assistant, so not only can you talk to your car, but it will also listen to you. If you use a term like "Hey BMW" or prefer to push a button, the car can take voice direction to do things like change the interior temperature or open and close the windows. You can even have the system automatically open your driver's window when you arrive at your mailbox or your favorite drive-through restaurant.

The highly capable and highly complex system can be personalized to show the info you'd like to see while hiding the stuff you don't care about. To control the whole shooting match, you have your choice of the touchscreen center control display, the iDrive controller, the multifunction buttons on the steering wheel, and the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant. 

Or you can have your 14-year-old do it, because she probably knows the system better than you do.

BMW is the source of the information in this article. It was accurate as of June 2, 2020, but equipment and specifications may have changed since that date. 

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