After concepts and teasers, the 2021 BMW 4 Series has officially landed. As the company announces its turbocharged engines, new technology on board and the “low-slung package” that comprises this second generation model, there’s only one thing that everyone’s going to talk about. Yes, that thing. That thing you’re still looking at and processing as BMW presents all the technical information on the first new 4 Series since the model first debuted in 2014.
So, yes, the Concept 4 styling is officially a thing, for better or worse. Mind you, the rest of the car behind that grille looks sharp as ever, from the newly styled headlights to the stylishly raked roofline and the slim, sleek taillights. With a license plate bolted right smack to the front of this new 4 Series (just imagine how the blocky U.S. license plates are going to look), it’s a statement of sorts. Whether it’s a good statement? I’ll leave that for you all to decide in the comments below.
What’s going on under the skin
The 2021 BMW 4 Series kicks off 2.2 inches longer, 1.0 inch wider and 2.2 inches lower than the equivalent 3 Series sedan. It also sports a 1.0 inch wider track while sharing the 3 Series’ 112.2-inch wheelbase, so BMW’s intent to set this car out as a sportier option is clear. Naturally, if you want more practicality, you’ll be able to get the 3 Series instead. Compared to the last-generation 4 Series coupe, this new one is 5.2 inches longer, 1.0 inch wider and 0.4 inches taller, on a 1.6 inch longer wheelbase.
You may not think it, but BMW claims the 2021 4 Series is actually more aerodynamic than the last model, with the 430i coupe dropping to a 0.25 drag coefficient (from 0.29 Cd). LED headlights are standard, with two U-shaped daytime running light elements in each headlight. The available M Sport Package brings in gloss black trim on the rear diffuser, front air intake trim, side window moldings and mirror housings, while you also get a unique front bumper with larger air intake openings.
Apart from the wider track, the 2021 BMW 4 Series also has a center of gravity that’s been lowered by 0.9 inches. BMW fitted stiffer springs and firmer shocks and anti-roll bars to improve cornering, and engineers dropped the ride height 0.4 inches from the 3 series (0.3 inches on xDrive models. Fit the M Sport suspension, which is standard on the M440i xDrive, and you’ll get firmer anti-roll bars still, as well as firmer springs, bushings, mounts, and negative wheel camber.
The 2021 4 Series comes with BMW’s standard range of engines, from a 2.–liter turbocharged four-cylinder to a 3.0-liter straight six. The standard 430i coupe in rear or all-wheel drive forms manages 255 horsepower and 294 lb-ft of torque, with a 0-60 time of 5.5 seconds (5.3 with the xDrive model). That’s a slight increase of 7 horsepower and 36 lb-ft of torque over the previous four-cylinder unit.
As for the M440i xDrive, you get BMW’s B58 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six engine with a new 48-volt mild hybrid system. It puts out 382 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, with a BMW-quoted 0-60 time of 4.3 seconds. The mild hybrid system recuperates the energy from braking as well as excess electricity generated in Sport mode. From there, it can either boost performance in short bursts during hard acceleration or reduce the electronics’ load on the engine, improving efficiency.
The 2021 BMW 4 Series has exterior styling that will keep people talking, but the interior is much more conventional. Step inside, and you’re greeted to a combination of leather, switchgear and surfaces that are more or less the same as the 3 Series. This is a coupe, so the back seats aren’t quite as spacious, but otherwise it’s standard BMW inside the new model.
As standard equipment, you get a 5.1-inch color display in the instrument cluster, as well as an 8.8-inch iDrive 7 infotainment system. And for those of you who groaned at having to shell over $300 for Apple CarPlay support, you can hang onto that money here. Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard equipment. You can, however, upgrade to a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10.2-inch infotainment display by way of the Live Cockpit Professional Package.
On the driver assistance front, again the 2021 BMW 4 Series has the same sort of technology at play as its sedan cousin. The Driving Assistance Professional Package with active cruise control, stop & go support, and Extended Traffic Jam Assist are still available as an option here. The 2021 BMW 4 Series does get a drive recorder, though, which lets the car record 40 seconds of video footage when activated, or in the event of an accident.
The new 4 Series also gets BMW’s Intelligent Personal Assistant, which mirrors the sort of voice-controlled functions and flexibility as Mercedes’ MBUX infotainment system. If you get the optional Executive Package, which also adds heated front seats and a heated steering wheel, as well as Laserlight headlights and a head-up display, you also get the brand’s Gesture Control, which lets you control the infotainment system by waving your hands in varying gestures.
2021 BMW 4 Series on-sale date
If you’re in the market for a new sports coupe, the 2021 BMW 4 Series will go on sale this October. It’s priced from $46,595 in the U.S. (including destination) for the 430i model. The 430i xDrive adds another $2,000 for the privilege of all-wheel drive ($48,595), while the M440i starts at a whopping $59,495.
Right now, that’s all that is coming down the pike, but the 4 Series convertible should be along in due course. Eventually, we’ll most likely see a new M4 as well, and yes, it will still have that grille as a focal point.