Less than a month ago we had our first official infomration about the all-new 4 Series in the form of a press release but that wasn't enough for us so we took the opportunity to sit down with the 4 Series Brand Manager for BMW, Victor Leleu, to hear what he had to say about the new 4 Series Compact Coupe.
4 Series Driving Dynamics
The biggest question that everyone has been asking is what makes the 4 Series worth it's own name? On a first initial look, most people might even see the two cars as nearly identical - but as Victor pointed out to us, there are a large number of differences between the F30 Sedan and the new F32 Coupe particulary when it comes down to driving dynamics.
You really do feel substantial difference from F30 to F32. This is car that is standard stiffer and you can really tell. It doesn't take as much body roll as you might expect from the comfort that it provides in the first place.
You really feel the work that has been done on the tracks of the car when you really enter a corner a little enthusiastically because it really feels like the car pushes on the exterior wheel of the back. It gives you the green light and says from now on, show me what you've got, I got this. I'm covering this. It doesn't feel like the tires are at the limit or the suspension is at the limit. It feels like it's on rails and it's not going to move.
It's the little things. It's the wider tracks. +3.1 inches to the rear track. That is huge. That means the rear track is 2.1 inches wider the current M3. That pushes the wheels so far to the extremities of the car that it gives it an even wider impression. The fact that the wheel fenders are so flared in the back with the broadest point of the car being the wheel fender - that something that we have never seen in a BMW.
Further proof of the increased performance of the car can be found in multiple other areas including this very interesting nugget of information:
Center of gravity. They lowered the roofline, they lowered the suspension but they increased the width and they came up with the lowest center of gravity of any current BMW.
The rigidity of the front end has been increase 60% over the E92. That is a huge leap forward in terms of rigidity and that usually means that it has to be so much heavier but if you realy compare apples to apples, the car is on average 75lbs lighter than the E92 despite the extra rigidity and growth in dimensions.
In between all of our talk about the driving dynamics of the 4 Series, we also managed to talk about the differences in the car from the concept car that was shown off in Detroit this past year and the production model that we saw in the press release last month. Some highlighted differences or similarities between the two included:
- The wheels are a little smaller but that isn't necessarily a bad thing
- M Sport front bumper is very different but the other lines are exactly the same shape as the concept. The biggest difference being the trim pieces used in the front bumper.
- The air breathers are also a slightly different shape and the door handles are obviously different.
- The LED corona ring extension to the kidney grill also did not make it to the production model
- Rear end trim is very different. In this case the M Sport rear is a closer match to that of the concept car.
The 4 Series is a Must See in Person
As with many BMW models, the 4 Series is one that just looks better in person than in photos. You can see more of the details that a photo sometimes fails to convey.
It is very important to see the car in the flesh - that is when it all seems to make sense. It makes a striking impression when you see it. It all blends in together. No disparity in design - it flows from front to rear and the dimensions just make sense.
Then there is the impression of the roof. It slopes down much more than in the past. Lower roof line. Lower suspension. 10mm lower standard than the current F30. All of that contributes to giving the car this impression of a more muscular car and much bigger when in fact it is way more muscular.
|Renaming give the Coupe an identity. 6 Series you know what it is. 8 Series you know what it is. 3 Series gets lost - is it a coupe, sedan, convertible, wagon? This car has earned it's name.|
I am now noticeably more excited about the 4 Series than I was a month ago when the first official photos were released. Victor's passion for the new 4 Series is very real and it sounds like this may just be an amazing car to drive.
Now we are just let waiting for a chance to get behind the wheel of the new 4 Series and see how the car behaves in real life. Let's hope it is as good as they make it out to be.
Stay tuned to Bimmerfest.com for our in person driving impressions of the car later this month.
More 4 Series Coverage
See a Photo Comparison of the F30 3 Series Sedan versus the F32 4 Series Coupe
See a Photo Comparison of the E92 3 Series Coupe versus the F32 4 Series Coupe
MY 2014 4 Series Pricing, Changes, Ordering Guide
Official 4 Series Coupe (F32) Photo Gallery
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