Product Deep Dive: BMW 4 Series
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BMW’s marketing prowess knows no boundaries. In a very smart move, the Bavarian automaker has decided to split the coupe and convertible variants of the BMW 3 Series into a whole new product line called 4 Series.
Why is it smart move? Because BMW can now charge more for the coupe and convertible variants of the 3 Series and make more profits.
The consumer will be willing to pay more because psychologically he is getting a product that sits above the 3 Series. BMW also says that splitting the variant lineup will help them focus on the 3 Series and the 4 Series individually.
So here is a comprehensive product deep dive on the next big thing from BMW –
- The BMW 4 Series product line up will consist of the Coupe (codenamed F32) and a hardtop Convertible (codenamed F33) variant of the all new BMW 3 Series (F30).
- The design of both these products will be influenced by the sexy 4 Series Coupe Concept showcased at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show.
- To justify the ‘4 Series’ moniker, BMW plans to make the coupe and convertible slightly bigger than the current 3 Series (0.2 inches to be precise). This also makes the 4 Series considerably bigger than the outgoing 3 Series Coupe and Convertible based on the E92.
- To distinguish it from the 3 Series, the 4 Series will have sportier proportions, muscular styling and unique design features such as air vent on the front fender, re-designed headlights and a more pronounced kidney grille.
- The interiors will be lifted from the current 3 Series. So expect the same dashboard, instrument cluster, centre console, air vents and switchgear to appear in the 4 Series.
- One interesting change to the interiors is that the 4 Series will offer two seats in the back in place of the three-seat bench of the 3 Series sedan.
- The cars will be available in Luxury, Sport and M Sport Line versions.
There will be a choice of four engines – two petrol units and two diesels. The petrol engine lineup is very clear –
- 2L, four cylinder, turbocharged petrol engine with 240 hp
- 3L, six cylinder, turbocharged petrol engine with 315 hp
- The diesel lineup remains a mystery.
- A plug-in hybrid model is also in the works.
- The 4 Series Coupe (F32) will be offered in 428i and 435i versions. There are also plans to launch 428xi and 435xi variants with all-wheel drive. The coupe will be manufactured at BMW’s factory in Munich.
- The 4 Series Convertible (F33) will only have rear-wheel drive and will be sold as 428i and 435i. There are no plans to launch xDrive versions of the convertible. The convertible will be manufactured at BMW’s factory in Regensburg.
- The 4 Series is expected to debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show in September.
- Inevitably, the 4 Series will be given to BMW’s M division to spawn a M4.
- The BMW M4 will replace the M3 coupe in the product portfolio.
- It will be a little bit longer and wider but massively lighter than the outgoing M3. Engineers are targeting the weight of the old E46 M3. All sorts of weight saving measures have been deployed such as aluminum hood, bootlid and doors, CFRP roof and optional ceramic brakes.
- Unlike the 4 Series, the M4 will get a bespoke interior with adjustable sport seats, custom instrument panel and gauges, an Alcantara headliner, sport steering and gearbox lever, and M badges all around.
- It will use an all-new inline six-cylinder engine (codenamed S55) with a triple turbocharger setup churning out close to 450 hp. A six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission will be on offer.
- Expect the M4 to be showcased sometime in 2014.