Automotive

BMW sharpens its 4-series for 2020, and just look at these photos

BMW sharpens its 4-series for ...
Stunning launch shots show the new BMW 4-series tackling a gorgeous set of coastal mountain twisties. We'd love to know where this road is!
Stunning launch shots show the new BMW 4-series tackling a gorgeous set of coastal mountain twisties. We'd love to know where this road is!
View 20 Images
Stunning launch shots show the new BMW 4-series tackling a gorgeous set of coastal mountain twisties. We'd love to know where this road is!
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Stunning launch shots show the new BMW 4-series tackling a gorgeous set of coastal mountain twisties. We'd love to know where this road is!
The M440i xDrive uses a 6-cylinder, 3-liter mild hybrid engine
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The M440i xDrive uses a 6-cylinder, 3-liter mild hybrid engine
Where were these images shot? I must go there.
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Where were these images shot? I must go there.
Slightly softened from the Concept 4 we saw last year... Dear god look at the perfect radius and surface on that corner
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Slightly softened from the Concept 4 we saw last year... Dear god look at the perfect radius and surface on that corner
Even that big vertical kidney grille can't distract us from those sensually looping strips of tarmac
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Even that big vertical kidney grille can't distract us from those sensually looping strips of tarmac
I must go to this magnificent place
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I must go to this magnificent place
The 4-series, with its pronounced nostrils, must really be smelling the salty sea air at this point
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The 4-series, with its pronounced nostrils, must really be smelling the salty sea air at this point
Oh, now you're going to throw a sunset in there too? This is borderline cheating, Fabian
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Oh, now you're going to throw a sunset in there too? This is borderline cheating, Fabian
You have no idea how fast and hard I wish to hit that corner. Majestic.
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You have no idea how fast and hard I wish to hit that corner. Majestic.
A new look helps differentiate the 4-series from its roots as the 2-door version of the 3-series
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A new look helps differentiate the 4-series from its roots as the 2-door version of the 3-series
Was this road designed in my dreams?
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Was this road designed in my dreams?
Like all the world's greatest roads, there looks to be a real decision to be made between enjoying the scenery and punishing those beautiful corners
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Like all the world's greatest roads, there looks to be a real decision to be made between enjoying the scenery and punishing those beautiful corners
The 430i is the base model in the USA, with slightly less aggressive styling
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The 430i is the base model in the USA, with slightly less aggressive styling
It's a 2-door. The elevated angle here gives you a sense of those muscular rear haunches
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It's a 2-door. The elevated angle here gives you a sense of those muscular rear haunches
The new 4 series look sits somewhere between the 3 series and the 8 series, and is distinguished by its monster grille
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The new 4 series look sits somewhere between the 3 series and the 8 series, and is distinguished by its monster grille
The license plate looks like a bandaid over its nostrils
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The license plate looks like a bandaid over its nostrils
Interior with 8-speed paddle shift gearbox
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Interior with 8-speed paddle shift gearbox
Front seats: comfy
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Front seats: comfy
Back seats: I'd be calling shotgun, honestly
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Back seats: I'd be calling shotgun, honestly
Extra storage space is available with fold-down rear seats
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Extra storage space is available with fold-down rear seats
View gallery - 20 images

BMW has sharpened up its 4-series sports coupé in line with the "grille-o-rama" Concept 4 we saw last year, clearly differentiating it from the more conservative 3-series with a long, lean and ever-so-slightly muscular look featuring the biggest nostrils since Chief Wiggum.

All the key details from the concept have made it through into production, softened off just enough to massage the look two steps back from "muscle car" towards "classy sports coupe." The headlights widen the car's eyes and take a touch of anger out of its face, pulling some menace out of the grin under the grille. The air scoops are smaller and less showy. The tail end no longer flicks up like a spoiler quite as much. The roof is higher and the rear haunches a little less pronounced.

The end result is still a very nice looking car, and its front license plate breaks up that big ol' grille nicely, to the point where it's really not an issue. The whole thing is a nicely defined step forward from the rounder, straighter lines of the 2017 model, which was no bad thing at all to drive, but its looks did betray its heritage as a split-off from the 3-series line back in 2013.

You have no idea how fast and hard I wish to hit that corner. Majestic.
You have no idea how fast and hard I wish to hit that corner. Majestic.

Moving beyond the skin deep, it'll launch with five variants this October, with two 4-cylinder petrol engines, two mild hybrid, 2-stage turbo 4-cylinder diesels and the big daddy M440i xDrive, a 3-liter inline six mild hybrid petrol engine making 374 horsepower and 500 Nm of torque, which becomes the performance flagship of the series. A pair of six-cylinder diesel hybrids will follow in 2021.

"Mild" hybrid is the word for sure. Don't expect any electric-only range, the hybrid system here is a tiny 48-volt starter/generator that helps the engines along with a maximum of 11 horsepower. Transmission options narrow; there's no longer a manual. An 8-speed Steptronic paddle shift auto is standard, with the option to spring extra for a sport shift version with "sprint function for instantaneous and dynamic acceleration maneuvers." The M car and one of the diesels get the xDrive AWD system, the rest are RWD only and probably not a lot the worse for it.

The body has been enhanced with rigidity in mind, and it's nearly an inch lower and wider than the 3-series sedan – all of which should make for an even tighter cornering package. You can option the suspension up, either to a racy, stiff M Sport package, or to an electronically-controlled Adaptive M package. There are also M Sport brake and rear diff packs, as well as a ton of M performance parts if you'd like to special it up a bit.

Even that big vertical kidney grille can't distract us from those sensually looping strips of tarmac
Even that big vertical kidney grille can't distract us from those sensually looping strips of tarmac

Standard driver assistance includes front collision warnings, lane departure warnings with steering assist and speed limit info, parking beepers and cloud-based BMW Maps navigation, as well as a large HUD. You'll need to stump up extra for Driving Assist Professional, self-parking, built in dash cams and the like. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard.

Prices range from US$46,595 for the 430i, which is bang on what the base model C-Class Mercedes coupe costs, up to US$59,495 for the M440i xDrive.

Like all the world's greatest roads, there looks to be a real decision to be made between enjoying the scenery and punishing those beautiful corners
Like all the world's greatest roads, there looks to be a real decision to be made between enjoying the scenery and punishing those beautiful corners

With all that out of the way, can we take a moment to celebrate the stunning work that photographer Fabian Kirchbauer has done on these launch shots of the 4-series negotiating a series of heartbreakingly gorgeous coastal mountain twisties? Jump into the gallery to see more. I mean, the car's lovely and all, but where the hell is that road? I must go there and sacrifice rubber and gasoline to the road gods.

Can somebody please put me out of my misery and tell me where these images were shot, so I can update my bucket list accordingly? I would be much obliged.

Source: BMW

View gallery - 20 images
11 comments
Grant Rens
Its what we call the Cape of Good Hope - Cape Town general area South Africa - in one of the pictures you can see Table Mountain
jhl385
I thought it was a Kia. That grill...........
Edward Vix
Looks like the Scottish highlands.
guzmanchinky
Beautiful. If you want the experience of a lifetime do European Delivery, and then drive it on the Nurburgring and through the mountain passes between Austria and Italy...
Username
I am not a fan of the Wiggum grill
SteveBarry
Nope. I’ll stick with my Mustang.
alwaysright!
The way BMW has used plastic covers, in background matching colors, to hide the license plate screws tells me that the positioning of the license plate was a "hot topic" at the design meetings!
Succesful? .............mmmmm, skeptical!
But the car.......wow!!
Troublesh00ter
As a one-time owner or leaser of seven 3-series BMWs, all I can say is UGH. BMW has lost its way, first with the performance of its those machines which don't carry the "M" moniker, and now with this brand of bizarre styling.

Losing the steering feel was bad enough. This goes beyond the pale.
Pmeon
Big thanks to BMW for increasing the resale value of my previous generation BMW.
That grill....what were they thinking.
RFM
Man, those grills are so big it seems like BMWs have "kidney disease".