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Four is a new number for BMW. For as long as you can probably remember, there's been a BMW 3 Series sedan and coupe, in addition to many other offshoots. But in the 2000s, BMW started extending its even-numbered coupe naming scheme even further to distinguish its coupes from its odd-numbered sedans. The 4 Series Concept is only the latest in this ordinal succession of models, ostensibly replacing the 3 Series coupe.
While BMW calls it a concept, the car you see is a thinly veiled version of what we've seen testing in vinyl wrap and camouflage. Oftentimes, automakers take cars to auto shows to gauge reactions; BMW brings the 4 Series to Detroit to tell you that what you see is what you're getting.
Who It's For
BMW's compact coupe has held a vital role for the automaker, especially for its high-performance M models. Much like the 3 Series that's already out there, the 4 Series Concept is a car aimed for people who want the panache of a Bimmer, the sporting statement the brand brings to the table, and some luxury. Unlike that car, this one's more style-focused and a little higher on the food chain for those with a hankering to spend a few more dollars for a little less-usable car.
Mechanically similar to the 3 Series sedan on which it's based, we expect the 4 Series to come to the U.S. with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, a turbo inline-6, available all-wheel drive, and a six-speed manual transmission as part of the options list. But let's not get ahead of ourselves yet, this is still the concept. The 4 Series Concept comes with:
- Full LED headlights
- A new air vent design element on its front fenders
- LED tail lights with a new L-shape design pattern
- A longer, lower look with BMW Individual custom design elements throughout
What We Think
It's going to be tough getting used to calling the high-performance version of this car the M4—it sounds like a British highway—but if that's the most we have to worry about, this car should be another hit for BMW.
BMW has moved away from its "Ultimate Driving Machine" persona for more creature comforts. It's starting to feel less like Mercedes-Benz is chasing BMW for sportiness and more like BMW's going after Benz's luxury share. BMW has talked about this car growing larger and more luxurious, with its press materials not even mentioning sportiness and dynamics until four paragraphs in. While BMW still makes plenty of over-achieving cars that can tackle a racetrack as well as Rodeo Drive, the compact BMW has always been BMW's most aggressive, dynamic car. We hope BMW's evolution doesn't turn this car into a German Buick Riviera.
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