A mere day before the unveiling of the G22-generation BMW 4 Series, these images from (what appears to be) the new model's brochure have been leaked. While many spy shots –let alone the BMW Concept 4 – suggested the new 4 Series would sport the tall double-kidney grille, it's a still a shock to see the controversial design cue in production guise.
And there most of us believed that the oversized double-kidney grille of the BMW X7 and facelifted 7 Series caused a ruckus a year or so ago. The public response to that particular design cue was merely a guffaw compared with the controversy that's been stirred up by the new 4 Series' front end, which is said to pay homage to design the iconic BMW 328 of the 'Thirties... and that was before we even had a chance to see it in the metal!
Last week, BMW confirmed that the all-new 4 Series Coupe would make its official (digital) debut on 2 June 2020 and teased the upcoming coupe by a releasing a darkened image of its front end. In another development, BMW M chief executive Markus Flasch confirmed that the M3 and its M4 sibling would be revealed in September and go into production in November. Perhaps the 4er might sneak into the South African market just before the end of the year...
Bimmerphiles were smacking their lips (proverbially) in anticipation of the official reveal – oh, don't worry, we'll bring you more details and publish manufacturer-supplied images as soon as we can. But now, for the umpteenth time this year, a BMW has "leaked out" ahead of a model's scheduled launch... the last one before the G22 was the facelifted 5 Series and, before that, the iX3. These images appeared on the bmworldm Instagram account over the weekend.
Billed as “An icon in a sea of ordinary” in the brochure, the new 4 Series sports a sculpted, elaborately-vented front bumper. The tall double-kidney grille is flanked by large, ornate air intakes with vertical blades and dark grey upright side channels (they're ostensibly dedicated brake-cooling ducts), while the grille the effectively cupped by a broad U-shaped bar in the front spoiler. The headlamp clusters sport a pair of inverted-C lighting signatures.
Apart from stating that the 4 Series will be available in a large palette of exterior colours (including Alpine White, Black Sapphire, Mineral White, Bluestone, Arctic Race Blue, Portimao Blue, Sunset Orange, Sanremo Green, Black Non-Metallic, Brilliant White Metallic, Dravite Grey, Frozen Deep Grey, Frozen Portimao Blue and Tanzanite Blue), the "brochure" also reveals that the newcomer has a sensuous profile... The G22's C-pillars and rear screen slope gently and oh-so-elegantly towards the slightly kicked-up boot line and the slim tail-light wraparound clusters feature a single swoosh-like lighting signature (as seen on the facelifted 5 Series, which was unveiled last week).
The car's defined forward-sloping bonnet contours and pinched waistline contribute to the 4 Series' purposeful stance and although some websites suggest that the distinctive front-end treatment is characteristic of an M-Sport treatment (it's apparently an M440i xDrive pictured in the brochure), we believe that all 4 Series derivatives will feature that tall double-kidney grille, but lesser versions will have smaller wheels and more generic (but still sporty) bumper treatments.
We already know that the new 4 Series range will be much more diverse and elaborate than that of the model it replaces. Not only will the CLAR-based G22 from the basis of the upcoming i4 pure-electric sports sedan, but it will spawn a soft-top Cabriolet variant (G23) and include an M4 version of the Gran Coupe (G24). Read all the details here: 10 Cool Things: BMW 4 Series & upcoming M4
We'll be able to get an unobscured look at the newcomer's interior tomorrow.
Apart from being 57 mm lower than its 3 Series sibling (its centre of gravity is also 21 mm lower), the 4 Series’ rear track has been widened by 23 mm at the rear, while the front wheels are set up for negative camber. The newcomer’s lift-related dampers are also tuned for a more engaging and sporty drive and the Munich-based manufacturer has added model-specific front-end strut braces as well as bracing elements around the rear axle to increase stiffness. These measures are all said to be in aid of greater steering precision and improved suspension control compared with the 3 Series while, at the same time, offering “excellent” comfort levels on everyday drives and long journeys.
Our international correspondent Greg Kable has already driven pre-production versions of the all-wheel-drive M440i xDrive (which will be the flagship derivative until the M4 arrives) and the 430i. The former's turbocharged 3.0-litre inline-6 engine is combined with a 48V electrical architecture (giving it mild-hybrid properties) and produces 275 kW from 5 500-6 500 rpm and 500 Nm of torque from 1 850-5 000 rpm. The 430i, meanwhile, adopts the latest version of BMW’s 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbopetrol engine, which is tuned (as in the 330i) to deliver 190 kW between 5 000 rpm and 6 000 rpm and 400 Nm of torque from 1 640 to 5 000 rpm, giving it 5 kW and 45 Nm more than the unit it replaces.