leaked out yesterday, but PistonHeads was there for the official unveiling in Munich, and in the metal the 4 Series lives up to Robertson's promise with a much sportier and more aggressive look than 3 Series coupes of old. It’s a subtle but significant change; the 4 Series is to the 3 Series what the 6 is to the 5.
So there’ll be much shared mechanically between the saloon and the coupe. But where BMW’s recent saloon car styling has been sleek, conservative and evolutionary the coupes have adopted a distinct look of their own that’s much more aggressive and assertive. This makes sense when you look at the numbers – the 4 Series is 50mm longer in the wheelbase and 80mm wider in rear track than the outgoing E92. The wheelbase remains the same as the F30 four-door but it’s a little wider in the rear track (+11mm) and in fact 23mm longer than the saloon. It’s a whole 67mm lower though. Numbers only tell you so much though – in the metal the 4 Series looks seriously muscular, low slung and assertive with just enough reference to previous two-door BMWs to keep the lineage going without being stuck in the past.
Job done on the styling front then.
four-door M3s have rarely been big sellers, were the badge to be reserved for the saloon. “M3 is an iconic name,” acknowledges Robertson with a fixed politician’s smile. “We have thought about that.”
He’s not saying any more than that though. So what do they do? Drop the M3 name? Apply it to the M version of the 4 Series? Or keep it for the four-door and create a new M4?
A dilemma for sure. One that won’t be resolved for a while yet either, with the 4 Series Concept making its public debut at Detroit in January and the run out for the current M3 promising more special versions to keep our interest piqued. A new CSL then? The man from M was notable by his absence. “Perhaps he is in the toilet?” said our host as the bigwigs were introduced. If he was he was certainly taking his time. Perhaps he was “still thinking about it.”