Well, figured I'd throw down my 2c... especially considering the 4-series is on my short list when my 135i lease runs out (2 more years)
From the side, I dig it. The scoop behind the wheel is a bit like it's trying too hard to look fast... but it's not horrible. Certainly, it's in keeping with the brand identity (witness the side vents on M3's going back a ways). It also seems to fit nicely into the lines, but might have looked better if it had better followed the arch of the wheel opening. The roof line is nice, sculpted... the windshield is tall and upright... but the bulbous long hood kind of spoils it a bit. Also the trend toward a longer and longer overhang in front of the wheels seems to continue unabated. That's disappointing as well because I loved the "wheels pushed to the corners" look of my E46... this is just looking a bit generic.
The rear is a definite good progression on the E9x tail end. It's definitely got that family resemblance to the other new F-cars and has a nice, sculpted shape. I'm also digging the shapes of the tail lights. Trunk opening looks wide and practical as well. The exhaust though... not feeling that at all.
Interior's about what I'd expect (sans the individual "I want to ride around in a baseball" interior)... if you squint at it you can see an F30 interior almost note for note.
The front end though... yeah... I'm not really digging that at all. The "Kia Optima" chin is not good... I hope that doesn't make it to production. I actually don't mind the headlights reaching in to the grill, but that grill just looks wrong. Again it's like it's trying to hard to look fast. The new style halo lights are also odd looking... makes the car look like it's falling asleep to me. That's sending the wrong message; I love my 1'er from the front because it reminds me of a pit-bull or boxer looking expectantly at you as if to say "Are we going to go play now?" This "face" just has a look of someone who hasn't had enough sleep and is trying to look angry but just coming off as petulant.
Looking forward to seeing the production car... I think some of the details I'm not getting will be toned down a bit and maybe it'll be a bit more acceptable. I can't help feel that the hood looks rather tacked on... and rather long in relation to the rest of the car especially with that long front overhang. I know BMW have a history of having the driver as close to the center of the car as possible, but this is almost starting to look like the driver's being pushed a little toward the back.
It's going to be interesting to see how this shapes up in the next 2 years for me... this could be a contender for my cash when that comes, but to be honest I'm being drawn more and more toward the styling of the A5/S5 instead. I find the Audi to be a beautifully sculpted machine, but definitely doesn't have the driving dynamics of the Bimmers of the past. However, last time I drove an S5 and a Bimmer back to back I was surprised at how close it was. I was also comparing an S5 to an M3... which the M3 is definitely superior. Against the 335i it was too close to call. It'll be interesting to check the driving dynamics of this new 4-series coupe and see if they've improved things over the E92.
2001 E46 BMW 330i Sport Package 6MT
2004 BMW R1150GS
2004 E60 BMW 545i Sport 6MT
2012 BMW 135i - Deep Sea Blue / Terracotta / DCT
2012 BMW K1600GT - Vermillion Red Metallic
2008 BMW E90 M3 - Interlagos Blue / Silver / 6MT