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Old 07-10-2013, 08:05 AM
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Post Exclusive: We Sit Down with the 4 Series Manager and Talk Improved Driving Dynamics

4 Series BMW Hitting the Turns

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

4 Series BMW Hitting the Turns

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.

Quote:
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.
For anyone who has been less than impressed with their test drive of a 3 Series Sedan, this is probably music to your ears. The impression we were given is that the suspension set up from the F30 to the F32 is substantially different and gives you a completely different impression of the handling ability. The 4 Series Coupe was described as a unique blend of elements from the current generation E92 3 Series Coupe and F30 3 Series sedan.

4 Series BMW Hitting the Turns

Further proof of the increased performance of the car can be found in multiple other areas including this very interesting nugget of information:

Quote:
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.
4 Series Concept vs 4 Series Production

4 Series Concept Coupe

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

4 Series BMW Hitting the Turns

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.

Quote:
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.
Victor was very passionate when he spoke about the 4 Series Coupe having earned an identity for itself with the new name.

Quote:
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.
Conclusion

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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  #2  
Old 07-10-2013, 08:24 AM
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rdkind62 rdkind62 is offline
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Nice read, but I don't think we really heard anything that we haven't already read or heard before. It would be nice if they could take some decent pictures of it in various colors in real life instead of all of those over produced ones they have been putting out.
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:51 AM
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Thanks for the info,the handling specs sound very exciting.
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Old 07-10-2013, 10:28 AM
Michael Schott Michael Schott is offline
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Frustrating for someone who needs 4 doors to read this from the product manager. It just means that BMW has given up on sporty 4 door cars and seem to think that those of us who need easy access to the back seat don't care about more refined handling. I understand that coupe buyers may be thinking their car is sportier but at least make the F30 Sport suspension as buttoned down as that on the F32.
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Old 07-10-2013, 10:38 AM
irianjim irianjim is offline
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It's all marketing, guys. Would we have expected him to say anything different than "it's new and improved"? Please, rush out and buy one at a price close to MSRP because you gotta have it now!

The true test for me will be when the guys and gals on this forum get their hands on the new 4 and then give us their impressions, good and bad. Then I thing we will have a much better idea. Until then, take the marketing with a grain of salt.
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Old 07-10-2013, 10:40 AM
PK2348 PK2348 is offline
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Brand Manager for BMW - what exactly does that entail? Is he a technical guy or a marketing guy. Cause to be honest it just sounds like a bunch of your everyday marketing BS
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Old 07-10-2013, 10:45 AM
EstorilF30 EstorilF30 is offline
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Wait, did they just **** on the F30 in hopes of driving F32 sales?
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Old 07-10-2013, 11:25 AM
Michael Schott Michael Schott is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PK2348 View Post
Brand Manager for BMW - what exactly does that entail? Is he a technical guy or a marketing guy. Cause to be honest it just sounds like a bunch of your everyday marketing BS
Brand or Product Managers are nearly always on the marketing side. Obviously English is not his first language but he has all the talking points nailed.
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Old 07-10-2013, 11:43 AM
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tim330i tim330i is offline
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Too bad you guys are so cynical about Victor. He genuinely believes what he said in the interview. Yes he has the talking points nailed but he believes what he is saying.

Tim
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Old 07-10-2013, 12:12 PM
Michael Schott Michael Schott is offline
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Originally Posted by tim330i View Post
Too bad you guys are so cynical about Victor. He genuinely believes what he said in the interview. Yes he has the talking points nailed but he believes what he is saying.

Tim
I agree we shouldn't be cynical and that you can sense his enthusiasm. As one who has been in sales and marketing for a very long time, belief in your product and company is vital to success.
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Old 07-10-2013, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EstorilF30 View Post
Wait, did they just **** on the F30 in hopes of driving F32 sales?
they totally did. that's how i read it
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Old 07-10-2013, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tim330i View Post
Too bad you guys are so cynical about Victor. He genuinely believes what he said in the interview. Yes he has the talking points nailed but he believes what he is saying.

Tim
As long as he is getting a paycheck to genuinely believe what he is saying, i will continue to be cynical and assume its marketing bs.
If his paycheck was signed by VAG or MB, he might have different genuine beliefs.
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Old 07-10-2013, 12:53 PM
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I believe the point that is being made is that the 4 Series Coupe is a very different car than the 3 Series Sedan. Read into it how you want but from having driven the F30 Sedan and F31 Wagon extensively (and very much enjoyed them both) - that car certainly hasn't been ignored. I have always viewed a coupe as more sporty in nature and it makes sense that it would be different than the sedan.
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Old 07-10-2013, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EstorilF30 View Post
Wait, did they just **** on the F30 in hopes of driving F32 sales?
With the split of the 3 and 4 the point is to simply show how they're different. People were complaining that the F32 didn't look that different from the F30. We asked Victor to explain how the two cars are not the same. How the F32 is not a 3 series coupe but it's own car, how it has earned the 4 series badge. He described it as a 3 plus 1. So yes, the coupe has more then the 3, but i wouldn't call it crapping on the F30.

Tim
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Old 07-10-2013, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tim330i View Post
With the split of the 3 and 4 the point is to simply show how they're different. People were complaining that the F32 didn't look that different from the F30. We asked Victor to explain how the two cars are not the same. How the F32 is not a 3 series coupe but it's own car, how it has earned the 4 series badge. He described it as a 3 plus 1. So yes, the coupe has more then the 3, but i wouldn't call it crapping on the F30.

Tim
The only concrete factual difference i saw from reading above is the wider wheel base.
Everything else is his impressions and opinions with no facts to back it up.
No real details on how suspension, steering, tires or anything else on the 4 is different
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Old 07-10-2013, 01:02 PM
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Wider wheel base, lower center of gravity and more ridge chassis. Nope, no facts at all
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Old 07-10-2013, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by tim330i View Post
Wider wheel base, lower center of gravity and more ridge chassis. Nope, no facts at all
missed the center of gravity, but again how much lower? no data.
The rigidity of the front end has been increase 60% over the E92 - are we not comparing to F30? How did e92 get in the mix?
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Old 07-10-2013, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by PK2348 View Post
missed the center of gravity, but again how much lower? no data.
The rigidity of the front end has been increase 60% over the E92 - are we not comparing to F30? How did e92 get in the mix?
Does the amount of how much the center of gravity has lowered really matter? And I'm sure the comparison to the E92 came from the fact that it is a coupe just like the F32. If you were looking for facts they were there, and if you are just looking to argue over minutia then have have succeeded there too.
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Old 07-10-2013, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by rdkind62 View Post
Does the amount of how much the center of gravity has lowered really matter? And I'm sure the comparison to the E92 came from the fact that it is a coupe just like the F32. If you were looking for facts they were there, and if you are just looking to argue over minutia then have have succeeded there too.
What matters is factual data vs sales pitch.
This is sales pitch. You bought it. Enjoy.
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Old 07-10-2013, 03:16 PM
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I'm hoping that these improvements mentioned here, specifically the stiffer suspension find their way to the F30.

I'm looking forward to seeing these on the road.
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Old 07-10-2013, 03:16 PM
jjrandorin jjrandorin is offline
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Originally Posted by PK2348 View Post
What matters is factual data vs sales pitch.
This is sales pitch. You bought it. Enjoy.
Its pretty strange to me how fast BMW owners are to turn on ANY model that is not the SPECIFIC one they own...
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Old 07-10-2013, 03:30 PM
HokieXDriver HokieXDriver is offline
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Its pretty strange to me how fast BMW owners are to turn on ANY model that is not the SPECIFIC one they own...
Nobody wants to hear that they don't own the best by their definition of the best. I don't think that's specific to BMW. People do that all the time when a new model of their computer comes out too.
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by PK2348 View Post
What matters is factual data vs sales pitch.
This is sales pitch. You bought it. Enjoy.
If you had read my first comment you would have seen that I said there was nothing new put out in that interview that we hadn't already seen. There is nothing to fall for. There are certain facts about the car that were put out there such as a wider track, 60% more rigidity in the front end, lower ride height, etc. Again, those are not sales pitch, those are facts. I am not falling for "improved handling" or "exclusivity". I think it will be a great car to have and I plan on buying one. I assume you have a car that you like and if I chose I could probably pick apart all the reasons you have for owning it but that would just be stupid and childish. If I don't have anything good to say I prefer to just leave it alone. Feel free to do the same.
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Old 07-10-2013, 07:21 PM
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Exclusive: We Sit Down with the 4 Series Manager and Talk Improved Driving Dyna

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Originally Posted by PK2348 View Post
As long as he is getting a paycheck to genuinely believe what he is saying
Nah. I've had it both ways. You get used to the paycheck. If you think the product is below par, you don't get used to that and it catches up to you quickly.
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Old 07-10-2013, 07:24 PM
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Exclusive: We Sit Down with the 4 Series Manager and Talk Improved Driving Dyna

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Originally Posted by PK2348 View Post
What matters is factual data vs sales pitch.
This is sales pitch. You bought it. Enjoy.
Good sales pitches are based on factual data. You're just showing an inclination to throw out a message because it came from someone in a sales role.
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