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17 December 2012

Evening the odds: The BMW concept 4 Series Coupe

Words by Carl Trocio | Photos courtesy of BMW Group
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Our favorite Bavarian automaker has literally upped the ante on their coupe, the 3 Series, by making it a 4. This is the new BMW concept 4 Series Coupe, which will effectively replace the 3 Series Coupe.
By 2013, BMW intends to add one digit to their coupe and convertible line and give the owners a little more “exclusivity” and the car, more individual character. It also seems that BMW is taking serious strides in dealing with the competition that Audi has been bringing into the playground.
This isn’t BMW’s first exercise of the separation of castes, as we’ve seen in the 5 and 6 Series’ love-hate relationship. The new 4 Series looks as if the current 3 Series underwent puberty, exiled itself to the gym, and set its goals on a poster of the 6 Series hanging on the wall. Out came what gym rats turn out to be, some things get bigger while other things look shorter. The 4 Series is stands 5.08 cm longer, 4.32 cm wider, and with a roof line that’s about 1.6 cm shorter.
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With those proportions, it is clear that they took some design cues from the 6 Series which, in this writer’s humble opinion, was drawn under the influence of divine intervention. Although the 4 does not have the simple yet clean lines of the previous 3 Series models, it definitely has a lot more muscle to flex.
Imagine pinching the side of your mouth, eyes, and cheeks… then pull. You'll effectively look like what BMW did to the 3 Series to get the 4 Series' front profile. As for the rear… imagine you spreading you’re a… uhm… let’s not go there. What we can talk about is the L-shaped LED tail lights that are reminiscent of a stretched out version of that of the 3’s, small reminders of where the 4 evolved from.
What are notable in the new design of the Concept 4 are the vents located on the front fenders called “air breathers”… and they work! Contrary to most fender vents we see, these vents actually have holes on the other end instead of double sided tape, which means they really must have aerodynamic applications. Aside from the obvious, there isn’t much to go on the mechanical specifications end except for those 20-inch wheel set hugging the fenders.
As for the interior, expect BMW to make a trim sandwich with leather spread like cheese whiz and sprinkled with wood or satin-finished aluminum accents. Not a surprise, but not a bad thing too.
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Power? As part of their controlled evolution, BMW opts to keep the power level in its weight class by borrowing the 2.0L 240 hp turbocharged in-line four and the 3.0L 300 hp turbo six cylinder from their 3 Series. Transmissions will include a six speed manual and an eight speed automatic.
In a nutshell, the BMW concept 4 Series Coupe is a second taste of things to come. Next in line will be the 2 Series due to come out when they launch the next generation 1 Series. Hopefully, they will come out with a more-consistently-present-in-every-generation 6 Series and the comeback of the 8 Series. Though this is still a wish list for us BMW fans, we can only hope that their hands be guided once again by divinity during the design process. Let’s wait and see the good that will come out of that.