By on June 3, 2020


BMW has dropped the curtain on its next-generation 4 Series coupe, the first member of what will become a broad family of revamped right-sized offerings.

To not mention the redesigned 4 Series’ new schnoz would be akin to staying mum on a two-ton elephant scattering canapés at a garden party, so let’s get started with that.

Spy photos, as well as a heavily foreshadowing concept coupe, told us we’d be in for a surprise when the new 4 Series debuted. Well, consider us rattled. Not since Jennifer Grey went under the knife has there been this much ink spilled about a new beak. It’s big, and it’s tall — so tall, in fact, that the lower air opening is forced to partial wrap itself around it, making for a partial grille-within-a-grille. On either side are aggressive (and large) side vents.

If BMW’s plan was to make sure the new 4 Series gets noticed, its designers certainly did their job. And it may very well be the right thing to do, given the need for any passenger car still on the market to attract the attention of buyers.


Overall, the 4 Series coupe grows in every direction. Compared to the outgoing model, the new car grows 5.2 inches in length, 1 inch in width, and boasts a 1.6-inch longer wheelbase. Front and rear tracks grow 1.4 and 1.2 inches, respectively. The roofline now reaches four-tenths of an inch closer to heaven. Beneath it all, a new CLAR platform lends the model additional stiffness.

Despite the larger footprint, the 4 Series coupe slips through the air with more ease, what with a coefficient of drag lowered from .29 to .25.

Out back, L-shaped LED taillights share fascia room with slits designed to mimic (mock?) the breathable front gills. This styling flourish was more impressive before it showed up on the Toyota Camry. Of course, choosing the M Sport Package will increase the presence of mesh both front and rear.


Regardless of whether you opt for the four-cylinder 430i or six-cylinder M440i xDrive, you’re in line for more power. The base turbocharged 2.0-liter four now makes 255 horsepower and 294 lb-ft of torque, up from 248/258. The 3.0-liter turbo inline-six now sports a 48-volt mild hybrid system and an output of 382 hp and 369 lb-ft — up from 320/330.

Offered with standard rear-drive or optional xDrive all-wheel drive in 430i form, the 4 Series coupe will be joined by a convertible and gran coupe (sedan) before long, while the upcoming i4 will ditch internal combustion altogether. All 4 Series coupe models carry an updated eight-speed automatic, with M440i xDrive variants donning an M Sport rear differential for even torque distribution to the rear wheels during quick takeoffs.

As seen on the recently revealed 5 Series, the six-cylinder’s mild hybrid system will shut the engine off at 9 mph when braking to a stop. Under hard acceleration, the starter-generator can add 11 hp to the fray. Fuel economy for either engine is TBD.


Inside the cabin, drivers will be greeted by an analog gauge cluster, assuming they haven’t sprung for the 12.3-inch digital display. Found as standard fare in all 4 Series models are a healthy list driver-assist features; among them, lane departure warning with steering correction, pedestrian warning with braking function, automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert, rear collision preparation, and automatic high beams.

The rear seat is still a two-person affair, now with a threesome of pass-throughs for hauling large objects in the trunk.

Hitting global markets in October, the 2021 4 Series carries a U.S. base price of $45,600 (before destination) for the 430i Coupe, $47,600 for the 430i xDrive Coupe, and $58,500 for the M440i xDrive Coupe.

[Images: BMW AG]

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34 Comments on “2021 BMW 4 Series Coupe: Nosing Into a New Era...”

  • avatar

    When I was younger, i wanted a BMW x5 and then a 5 series. I never pulled the trigger.
    Now that i m closer to retirement, i have zero need for a BMW.
    I may run my current ride, my 5th Japanese car, into the ground. I might Keep it for 20 more years. I put 160,000 mile on my Civic Si. I need to beat this personal record.

    Does BMW still charge you to access Apple Car Play on your car?

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      As of 2020, CarPlay is now free–as it should have been. Buyers of previous-model-year cars who paid the subscription fee (which was supposed to be yearly) won’t have to do so again.

    • 0 avatar

      Similar scenario, at one time I really liked the 5-series, but bought a Lexus GS. My thought now is replace my 20-year old Lexus in three years time with a 2005 Lexus and drive that car for at least ten years, then get an electric.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I think the thing I don’t like about this is that BMW seems to be steadily p*ssing away all of their design heritage. Now they’ve gone and started removing the Hoffmeister kink from the coupe-shaped vehicles (X2, X4 and now the 4).

    I will say that, while not traditional, the latest LCD instrument cluster is really good. I’ve had a 2020 X3 loaner for over a week, so I’ve gotten a very good sample of it.

    • 0 avatar

      Was alongside a BMW X3 with my window down yesterday, and I had to look to see if it was a Diesel as the green arrow appeared for its lane and it drove off! Nope! Just the injectors!

  • avatar

    I hate that front end. Which is too bad because I really like the rest of it and the M440i or i4 could be up my alley.

  • avatar
    Rick Astley

    I’m not saying the new front grill entirely reminds me of a distended chimpanzee’s anus.

    But I will say that the new front grill mostly reminds me of a distended chimpanzee’s anus.

    Now it cannot be unseen….

  • avatar

    All these giant grilles (love them or hate them) look terrible once a license plate gets slapped on. Designers seemingly like to ignore that they exist.

  • avatar

    Yes, but Jennifer Grey did the opposite: she went from being distinctive in an attractive way to being pretty but completely anonymous.

  • avatar

    In profile the car resembles the current Mustang.

    • 0 avatar

      This. And for the same money, I could probably get a lightly optioned Mustang 5.0, and have enough left over for a transatlantic cruise on the QMII.

  • avatar

    It’s the same design philosophy as those awful Ralph Lauren shirts where the Polo logo is a foot high and visible from a 1/4 mile away. “Make the logo bigger.” (See also: Acura)

    The most influential segment of the crowd that is buying these cars is nouveau riche and has no taste. Where I live the kids who drive these cars are into Balenciaga, not Hugo Boss. High end luxury isn’t interested in making “beautiful” anymore, it’s about *distinctive*.

  • avatar

    The profile brings to mind something Japanese like Altima coupe or Accord coupe. Front end looks over done like they just kept fiddling with the grill and didn’t stop til it was too late.

    At least they took a risk on a staple product and I’m sure Lexus would appreciate someone else coming to take the heat on front end design. It’s a BMW so I’m sure they will sell everything they can build.

  • avatar

    Have all 6 cylinder cars been AWD for a while or did the RWD 340/440 get discontinued with the new generation?

  • avatar

    Over at Lexus they’re laughing their asses off, “Check this out, we goaded BMW into putting hideous grilles on their cars!”

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    This is about as pretty as when AMC added that prosthesis to the 1974 Matador. Shudder.

  • avatar

    Even hideouser (?!) than I’d feared. *shudder* They ruined not only the front, but the back and sides as well. Interior is nice, unless like me you like things that are round.

  • avatar

    That 4 series looks like it’s not sure whether to carve corners or go searching for truffles.

  • avatar

    TTAC really needs a Vomit Icon.

  • avatar

    This guy would be so proud to advertise for them.

    • 0 avatar

      Oh heck, it threw away my link! Jimmy Durante singing happy birthday for his schnoz!

      Let’s try again. If not, google is your friend.

      How weird. Shows up in edit, but doesn’t display.

  • avatar

    Shark! Jumped!

    No Hoffmeister kinks anymore!

    Cities are burning!

    There was actually a plague of locusts in Iran last month!

    If I see four guys on horseback with trumpets, I’m gonna check that insurance policy!

    • 0 avatar

      Funny you should mention the four horsemen.
      An excerpt from an essay I read a few minutes ago on a (some would say) Marxist, socialist, far left, communist website . . . .

      “I’ve been dutifully checking my Book of Revelation apocalypse boxes as this year has unfolded. A pestilence upon the land? First horseman, check. A spreading hunger as food banks run dry and federal aid is denied? Second horseman, check. War in the streets as police and soldiers brutalize peaceful protesters under the bloodshot gaze of a failed pretender-king? Third horseman, check. And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. (Revelation 6:7-8) George W. Bush
      offering his advice on how to heal the wounds of this deeply damaged nation? Fourth horseman, check.”

      How is that insurance policy?

  • avatar

    All the more reason to buy the 5-series. Considering who the nose was designed for the car will look better with a mask covering it.

  • avatar

    Hairdressers will be exited.

  • avatar

    Can someone just make a beautiful saloon again? Here’s hoping Jaguars new design chief gets the message

  • avatar

    In my 20s, BMW made the cars I wanted. 30 years later, BMW used to make cars I wanted. Not just the design language, but they have made the cars more mainstream instead of sports cars that happen to seat 4 people. To me, the E36 and E39 were the top of the bell curve.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    BMWs are endless money pits. Status over practicality.

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