2013 Detroit Show Report: BMW Concept 4 Series Coupé

By Christian Stampfer on 15 January 2013
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BMW Concept 4 Series Coupé

BMW Concept 4 Series Coupé

One of the highlights of the 2013 North American International Auto Show was the world premiere of the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupé. The attributes of the upcoming BMW 4 Series automobiles are longer, wider, faster, and lower, or at least a little bit of everything. The current 3 Series coupe and convertible models are due for its replacement in October 2013 and, with the Concept 4 Series, BMW is providing the first glimpse of how the new models could look .

The BMW 3 Series model range is the top selling line-up and accounts for 40% of BMW sales worldwide. The current line-up includes a sedan and wagon (code-named F30 and F31) introduced early last year as well as the coupe and convertible from the previous generation (code-named E92 and E93). The coupe and convertible are leaders in the premium mid-range segment. With the 4 Series (as well as a few other key new models), BMW is looking to expand and to defend its current overall market leadership in the premium car segment (BMW sold more than 1.8 million units in 2012, ahead of Audi and Mercedes).

The exterior design of the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupé follows the design strategy as defined by BMWs chief designer Adrian von Hooydonk. The lines of the car are sharper, the front and rear track are wider (by 125 mm in total, 4.9 inch), the roof line has been lowered by 16 mm (0.63 inch) and the car has an overall length of 4.641 mm (182.7 in). Large air intakes, twin circular headlights and stylistic exterior mirrors are comparable to BMWs well known kidney grille. Some of these features, such as the extremely large air intakes and the ultra-small mirrors, may not make into production but they guarantee at least a dynamic and aggressive appearance of the concept car.

The Concept 4 Series Coupé expresses speed and dynamism even when standing still. Other design elements such as the two vent surrounds on each side follow a clear technical function. The intakes mark off specific areas of the intake for brake venting and oil cooling by channeling the incoming air around and outside the wheels. The vent surrounds are are designed to lower fuel consumption.

Inside the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupé is a hand-braided brown leather and chestnut-wood made by BMW Individual to demonstrate the possibilities of the automaker’s customization program. The overall cockpit layout continues BMW’s tradition with a driver-oriented cockpit.

The upcoming 4 Series (for which the Concept 4 is a sneak preview) shares its platform and a lot of components with the 3 Series as well.

Although BMW has not released any information on the engine specifications or the pricing, we expect the new BMW 4 Series to become available in Europe in October 2013 with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel engine (BMW 420d) alongside  two gasoline powered models (very likely to be the 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine for the 428i and the 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine with twin power turbo technology for the 435i). Further engine variants and options will include BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system..

Bottom Line

BMW is re-adopting old traditions with the introduction of the new BMW 4 Series. Not that the “4” has ever appeared in the past, it’s brand new, but the concept and the strategy is not new to BMW and its fans. The BMW 6 Series (E24), built between 1975 and 1989 and the BMW 8 Series (E31), the official successor to the E24 and built between 1989 and 1999, are very much the spiritual ancestors of the upcoming BMW 4 Series coupe and convertible.                                                                                                                           

(Photo: Accura Media Group)