- the second-generation 4-series gran coupe lineup comprises two versions: a 255-hp 430i and a 382-hp m440i xdrive all-wheel-drive model.
- the new gran coupes are 5.9 inches longer, an inch wider, and 2.1 inches taller than the first-gen car, and they ride on a 1.8-inch-longer wheelbase.
- the 4-series gran coupes start at $45,795 and go on sale in august.
as a sedan based on a coupe based on a sedan, the niche occupied by the bmw 4-series gran coupe has always been small. but it clearly sold well enough in those parts of the world that prefer the combination of a lower roofline and four doors to have justified the creation of the second-generation version that we are seeing for the first time here.
the front end of the existing car continues to be combined with a pair of extra doors and a slightly higher tailgate line that is much more gently tapered than that of the 3-series sedan. and yes, the company's startled-squirrel xl radiator grille has also made the transition unchanged, although the visual awe is beginning to diminish with repeated exposure. the overall look is nearly identical to the electric i4 that we've already seen, as the two models appear to share a body and headlights and taillights.
the new car’s overall length of 188.5 inches is just a half-inch longer than the regular 4-series, although it is 5.9 inches longer than the previous-generation gran coupe. it gets an active air-flap control system and an almost entirely flat undertray to help improve its aerodynamic performance and boost efficiency, with bmw claiming a 0.28 drag coefficient for the 430i.
there are no surprises in the launch lineup: it's a straight choice between a rear-driven 430i and an all-wheel-driven m440i xdrive. as in its other applications, the 430i is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. the m440i has a 3.0-liter turbo six that produces peaks of 382 hp and 369 pound-feet and incorporates a 48-volt hybrid system through an integrated starter-generator. it can deliver up to 11 horsepower of assistance but not power the car when the engine is off. an eight-speed automatic gearbox is standard.
adaptive dampers will be offered as an option with both engines, but even without selecting these, the gran coupe will benefit from the same lift-related dampers as the rest of the 3-series clan, which use an additional damper tube to adapt to bigger suspension loads. 430i buyers looking to combine the lesser engine with sharpened handling will be able to choose two packages that bring most of the m440i’s dynamic goodies. the m sport package adds firmer dampers, 19-inch wheels, and a thicker rimmed sports steering wheel. the dynamic handling pack brings the m440i’s bigger brakes and active locking rear differential as well as adaptive dampers.
we don’t have word on pricing for the option packs of individual extras yet, but bmw says the 430i will carry an msrp of $45,795 and the m440i will run $58,995. standard equipment on all versions includes a moonroof, power front seats, digital instruments in addition to the central touchscreen and led headlights with automatic high beams. stand-alone options include an upgraded harman/kardon audio system, wireless charging, laserlight adaptive headlights, and a head-up display.
while the range may gain other variants, we suspect there won’t be many. bmw offers an xdrive version of the two-door 430i, and it would make sense to also offer the option for buyers of the four-door model in areas with harder winters. but it is unlikely that there will be an m4 version, as this would overlap too heavily with the m3 sedan. sales are scheduled to start in the u.s. in august.