4 and plenty
BMW’S new two-door is remarkably familiar
A NEW numeral and sporty specification mark the debut of BMW’s new mid-size coupe.
The 4 Series— revealed this week and driven next month by
Carsguide in advance of its local debut in the fourth quarter— replaces the six-year-old E92 3 Series coupe.
The still handsome and sharp-driving two-door remains arguably BMW’s strongest model line-up so the pressure on the 4 Series, based on the F30 sedan, is considerable.
There are two carry-over engines in the all-turbo threemodel line-up announced this week. These are the four- cylinder diesel 420d and inline petrol six of the initial rangetopper, the 435i.
As with the four-door, the smart buy will be the 428i with a turbo petrol four (180kW/ 350Nm) propelling it to 100km/h from standing in less than six seconds and returning a claimed 6.6L/100km.
All models have BMW’s class-leading eight-speed auto, a transmission that can approach the rapid shifting of ever more common twinclutch gearboxes while retaining a torque converter box’s smoothness.
The outgoing coupe started at about $70,000 and the newcomer is unlikely to exceed that, given the latest 3 Series sedan now starts below $55,000 for the first time since the early 1990s. So a price premium of some $7000 over the four-door is likely. The convertible range arrives in 2014 around the time of the other new designation, the 2 Series Coupe.
Equipment packages should largely mirror those of the sedan, with the Sport Line and MSport kit certain starters. These would be in keeping with the sportier stance of the new coupe, which is lighter and sits lower than the outgoing car.
BMW spokesman Scott Croaker confirms the hallowed M3 badge will continue but only as the sedan— its coupe and convertible counterparts will be the first M4s.
The M3’s naturally aspirated V8, which lasted one generation, goes. All new variants run a triple-turbo inline petrol six.