Shortly after several leaked images made their way onto the Internet late last week, BMW has officially pulled the veil off of the 2014 BMW 4 Series coupe – which is a replacement for the bland and uninspiring 3 Series coupe and brings visually appealing styling and new technology that aims to give buyers an unforgettable performance coupe experience. The exterior styling of the 4 Series retains many of the basic cues that define the current generation 3 Series sedan but BMW stylists have added several tweaks such as additional body sculpting, bolder side creases, and a more expressive rear end which gives the 4 Series a purposeful character while also remaining true to the stylish 4 Series Coupe Concept which made its debut earlier this year at NAIAS. Also like its sedan counterpart, the 4 Series will arrive on dealer lots with four different trim levels Standard, Sport Line, Luxury Line, and the performance oriented M Sport with each package being distinct when viewed side by side thanks to exclusive styling cues and features. Our personal favorite is the performance-oriented M Sport trim, which boasts a new body kit that was designed for maximum aerodynamic efficiency, while also looking decidedly more aggressive at the same time thanks in part to its exclusive Estoril Blue Metallic paint. Regardless of what trim is selected, the 4 Series will also come equipped with BMW’s Air Curtain and Air Breather technology which first appeared on the recently unveiled 2014 BMW X5. These two pieces of equipment enhance the flow of air around the car and make it as efficient as possible which helps improve the car’s aerodynamics.
The interior of the 4 Series also retains much of the same layout and profile found in the 3 Series, but like its sedan sibling, the appearance as well as the feature content of the interior changes depending on which trim is equipped. For instance Luxury line equipped models focus on cocooning drivers in luxury as well as embodying an upscale appearance thanks to extensive use of chrome accents as well as strategically placed wood accents which further enhance the theme. Meanwhile, Sport Line and M Sport models are focused on a performance oriented experience and feature subtle touches such as red rings in the gauges, a sport tuned suspension, and red stitching on the leather wrapped steering wheel. M Sport models ratchet things up a notch and feature model exclusive door sill plates, unique M design wheels, a M designed steering wheel to provide drivers better grip and feedback, and a special M driver’s footrest. Performance hardware has also been upgraded with improved brakes (standard on 435is and optional on the 428i) and the Sport Lines suspension tuning (RWD only).
Performance hardware for the 4 Series has also been carried over from its four door relative with the base 428i model utilizing the familiar 2.0 liter turbocharged engine which is good for a solid 240 horsepower and a healthy 255 lb-ft which allow the 428i to make the sprint to 60 mph in a brisk 5.7 seconds when equipped with its optional summer tires. Buyers looking for muscle can opt for the 435i and its 3.0 liter turbocharged inline six cylinder which makes 300 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque. BMW claims that when equipped with the six speed manual, the 435i can thunder its way to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds while automatic equipped versions complete the same feat in 5.0 seconds flat when equipped with the fore-mentioned summer tires. Regardless of which engine is selected, power is channeled through a standard six speed manual transmission or an optional eight speed automatic gearbox which is available as a no cost extra. Adding xDrive AWD to either4 Series model will cost $2000.
In addition to its potent muscle, BMW engineers have also tweaked the car’s suspension to improve handling by not only giving the car a 0.7 inch lower roll center, but also equipping a special strut between the front axle sub-frame unit and the body which slightly stiffens the front end of the car to deliver more accurate steering and handling characteristics. the rear suspension has also been slightly modified to further enhance handling. BMW’s love it or hate it electric power steering is standard equipment on the 4 Series but buyers can opt for the optional Dynamic Handling Package which includes Variable Sport electric steering that speeds up the steering ratio depending on how much steering lock is detected. In addition, the packages adjustable dampers allows drivers to tailor the car’s suspension setup to suit a wide range of driving tastes.
Look for the 2014 BMW 4 Series to begin arriving at a BMW showroom near you sometime this summer with base prices starting at $41,425 for the RWD 428i (a slight $1,650 increase versus the 3 Series four door) while AWD variants will ring in at a higher $46,925. On the other hand, 435i prices will begin at 43,425 with AWD versions starting at $48,925.