You know how some refer to people driving large vehicles such as pick-up trucks as compensating for a certain reproductive appendage? If there’s even a modicum of truth to that, what are people driving cars with two very large grilles compensating for? We’ll leave that one to your imagination.
Anyways, just as jokes about the size of BMW grilles were beginning to get long in the tooth, Munich has reignited the embers of that dying flame with a couple of large kidney grilles that if squinted on, will reveal the new 4 Series attached to them.
We really shouldn’t be surprised though. It was teased ages ago and spy shots pretty much confirmed the gaping front fascia. Obviously inspired by the marque’s pre-war models, the buck-toothed face will continue to fan the flames of social media discord.
If you’ve summoned the willpower to pry your eyes away from those grilles, you’ll notice that the new 4er doesn’t stray much from the G20 3 Series. For now, we’ll reserve judgement until seeing it in the fangs; sorry, flesh.
On a side note, the move to split the 3 Series coupe and sedan into their own distinct model lines that birthed the 4 Series as the coupe alternative to the family-friendly 3er still saw design language largely unchanged. Naturally, the next full-model change would see a more contrasting distinction to separate the two and the grilles get the job done.
For now, there’s a 430i and M440i; the latter sporting an inline-six that designers claim necessitated the large grilles for airflow. It’s a pretty sleek coupe too with the drag coefficient being a mere 0.25.
It’s got a wider track, lower centre of gravity and a supposedly perfect 50:50 weight distribution. All’s good and well so far. Inside, you’d be hard-pressed to tell the dash apart from the current 3er and although not the most memorable design, it gets the job done.
The 430i can be had with power to the just the rears or all fours. Said power comes from a turbocharged 2.0-litre inline-four with 255hp and 399Nm of torque. With the familiar ZF eight-speed automatic in place, the 430i will do the century dash in 5.5-seconds or 5.3-seconds with power to all four corners. Top speed is limited to 250kph.
Stepping it up the M440i, xDrive all-wheel drive is standard to keep the 382hp and 500Nm of torque in check. That comes from a silky 3.0-litre turbo straight-six paired with a 48V mild-hybrid system. Basically, the mild in that term refers to the 48V starter-generator breeding an extra 11 ponies at low revs. 0-100kph will be done in a scant 4.3-seconds.
Oh yes, there’s also no manual available… just like the G20 3 Series. If your wet dreams are fueled by having a manual transmission 4 Series, you’ll have to wait for the M4 down the road.
That’s all for now. You may resume your internet wars on the appeal of those grilles.