BMW M440i cranks the kid­neys to 11

Motor (Australia) - - FRONT END | PACE NOTES -

IG­NORE THE GRILLE for now, be­cause a dis­cus­sion on that could (and might soon) fill a col­umn at the back of this mag­a­zine. BMW says it “fol­lows the tra­di­tion of leg­endary BMW coupes and re­flects the en­gine’s high cool­ing air re­quire­ment”. But what we re­ally care about when it comes to the new M440i xDrive is that BMW says it will have a “sharper char­ac­ter than its pre­de­ces­sor.”

With a 285kW/500Nm tune from its turbo straight six, 10kW up from the Euro­pean spec with a petrol par­tic­u­late fil­ter, 100km/h should ar­rive in just 4.5 sec­onds, say the Bavar­i­ans. Dy­nam­i­cally, we’re told to ex­pect a proper driver’s car, with the design and con­struc­tion of the new 4 Se­ries car­ried out with weight op­ti­mi­sa­tion in mind.

It does still weigh 1740kg, the same as a last-gen 440i Con­vert­ible, but it’s pack­ing a heav­ier AWD driv­e­train, which also means its ex­tra weight is lower-set. Ac­cord­ing to BMW its cen­tre of grav­ity is even 21 mil­lime­tres lower than on the new BMW 3 Se­ries, with a rear axle track 23mm wider for added sta­bil­ity.

Op­tional M Sport sus­pen­sion with firmer dampers, mounts and anti-roll bars will be avail­able for the keen driver, though adap­tive M sus­pen­sion can be op­tioned across the 4 Se­ries range. In­side, the 440i will be more driver­fo­cused, with newly de­vel­oped sports seats as stan­dard and a leather M Sport steer­ing wheel in front. Cus­tomers can also op­tion an M Car­bon ex­te­rior pack­age to make the M440i look more ag­gres­sive, like a baby M4.

Pric­ing will be re­vealed when the M440i, 420i and 430i ar­rive in Oc­to­ber. Un­til the new M4, this is peak 4 Se­ries.

ABOVE The ma­jor changes to the 4 Se­ries for this gen­er­a­tion are clear from the ex­te­rior, that grille is hard to miss, and the xDrive badge de­notes AWD

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