The new 2021 BMW 4 Series – a car we’ve had a pretty good look at already – has finally been unveiled. Striking styling, upgraded engines and tech.
The most controversial design of 2021 has been given its day in the sun with a huge drop of new official photos of the BMW 4 Series. The G20 3 Series has been out in the open for a couple of years now, so it’s time for the fun stuff.
Look and Feel
Some people think that the designers at BMW have been on the fun stuff to produce the 4 Series. BMW’s previous controversial design phase came under the leadership of Chris Bangle, producing the E65 7 Series, E60 5 Series and the Z4. Among others.
From the first two cars we got the Bangle Bum and flame surfacing. The E60 5 Series is still one of the greatest designs in the BMW firmament and the influence of the E65 7 cannot be overestimated.
BMW’s board has clearly taken the same deep breath they took when they saw the first flame-surfaced, Bangle-bummed Beemer.
As a result, we’ve seen the Hooydonk Honker evolve, with the last five years of grille growth.
The Hooydonk Honker
I honestly don’t think it’s that bad. This grill is no bigger or smaller or more whatever than the grille on an Audi RS5. I am not pretending it’s pretty. It is, however, striking. Nobody is going to forget it and nobody is going to mistake this for anything other than a BMW.
There’s a distinct whiff of hypocrisy from that haters who used to complain about how dull BMW styling had become.
Having said that, none of these photos feature a grille without a numberplate. That’s a key point BMW is trying to get across here. The grille is massive but it supposed to be broken up with a number plate. So stop your bleating.
If you’re not in that camp and just don’t like it, that’s fine. Styling is, after all, subjective.
In the end, the market will decide. BMW says customers want big grilles, tying its size to the 328 and 3.0 CSi design classics. There are no quotes from the actual designers, though, which is quite interesting…
This is a bit of a roller-coaster, isn’t it?
Schnozz aside, this is a quite handsome car but it’s rather colour sensitive. The white looks fridge-y and from some angles, it’s almost awkward.
This blue is quite lovely and the M Sport bumpers and exhausts give it some elegant aggro.
The wheels are yeah, whatever, but you’ll be able to choose from a bunch, I guarantee you. The surfacing is a little more generous than the previous car, which was a lovely looking thing.
The new car is a solid 128mm longer (4768mm) and 27mm wider (1852mm), which is a lot in a car. The wheelbase has also stretched by 41mm to 2851mm, which should mean a bit more room for the rear passengers.
It’s 6mm taller for some reason, but still 57mm lower than the 3 sedan.
All 4 Series will get the lovely LED headlights and LaserLight will be available as an option.
No surprises in here. Current BMW interiors are en pointe (there must be a German phrase for that). The M440i shown here obviously has some lovely leather and metallic trim finishes, but Munich has really gotten with the program on the cabins.
Live Cockpit, BMW OS 7.0 and the usual climate control stuff should make this a nice place to be.
The rear seat is split in two, but this time it’s less of an afterthought and more a of a design – the middle section is raise so your rear seat passenger’s butts are snugly in.
Drivetrain and Chassis
Behind the grille you’ll find two engines and three states of tune.
BMW’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder powers the 420i (135kW/300Nm) and the 430i (190kW/400Nm). Step up to the M440i xDrive and you get a 3.0-litre straight-six serving up 285kW and 500Nm.
There’s not much to report on the basic chassis side, with just the usual improvements in rigidity, aero and geometry. The centre of gravity is 21mm lower, though, so that’s good news.
The M Sport package brings M Sport suspension, 19-inch light alloy wheels and not much else.
How much is a 2021 BMW 4 Series and when can I get it?
We can’t tell you how much yet. Given BMW’s current form, pricing will be reasonable given the amount of clobber the cars will come with.
BMW Australia says we’ll be seeing the cars in October 2020.
You may not like the way they look, but if the 3 Series is anything to go by, they’ll be fantastic to drive.
Peter Anderson is the Editor and founder of the theredline.com.au. He’s been writing about cars for years and finds it difficult to talk about anything else.