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2021 BMW 4 Series Coupe mixes steel and aluminum in body

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Announcements | Market Trends | Technology
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BMW earlier this month announced its next-generation 2021 4 Series Coupe carried a body of “hot-stamped steels, multi-phase steels and aluminum alloys to help reduce weight while providing for the most rigid platform possible to allow the suspension to work at its fullest potential.”

The 2018 4 Series Coupe 430i carried a curb weight of 3,541 pounds. The next-generation version is 5.2 inches longer, 1.0 inches wider and 0.4 inches taller — yet only weighs 37 pounds more.

BMW built the 2021 4 Series Coupe’s doors, fenders and hood out of aluminum. The door windows are frameless.

“The very rigid passenger cell and specially designed supporting structures impart an excellent structure for the active and passive safety systems to work together to help protect passengers,” BMW wrote of the 4 Series Coupe on July 2. The front of the body includes “extruded aluminum side member panels and die-cast aluminum shock absorber housings,” BMW wrote June 2. The structure also includes more bracing than the old 4 Series Coupe “connecting the front shock towers to the bulkhead and to the front end as well as the rear axle area.”

The front suspension employs a double-joint spring and shock setup. The rear suspension involves a five-link format.

“The varying wall thicknesses of the front shocks, tubular anti-roll bars and lightweight control arms act together to reduce unsprung weight, improving the suspension’s responses,” BMW wrote.

“Increased shock damping forces, firmer springs and anti-roll bars give the new BMW 4 Series Coupe its more sporting character.”

If the customer bought the optional M Sport suspension, which comes standard on the BMW M440i xDrive Coupe, they receive “firmer spring settings, stiffer bushings and mounts, firmer anti-roll bars and a greater negative wheel camber.”

Moving out to the exterior, the 2021 4-Series Coupe’s shape might contribute to what BMW called a “noticeable improvement” in aerodynamics. The OEM said the outgoing 4-Series Coupe posted a Cx coefficient of 0.29; the next-generation model knocked this value down to 0.25.

“The arrow-shaped lines of the hood come together at the grille while the Air Curtain intakes at the edges of the front bumper highlight the 4 Series’ width,” BMW wrote of the 2021 4 Series Coupe. “… Vertical apertures at the corners of the rear bumper mimic the front Air Breather openings.”

Customers who pick the M Sport Package receive “a uniquely styled front bumper with larger air intake openings and a restyled rear bumper with Shadowline inlays,” according to BMW. The M440i xDrive receives a spoiler on the trunk.

BMW called the trademark kidney grille a new design that helps cool “the more powerful engine” and extends to the bottom of the bumper fascia. Meanwhile, the rear bumper fascia incorporates exhaust finishers.

The exterior of the BMW also includes an acoustic-glass windshield and standard LED headlights and taillights, with the taillights extending somewhat into the quarter panels.

The 430i and 430i xDrive Coupes offer two standard non-metallic paints and options for seven metallic colors. The M440xi xDrive Coupe comes in one standard nonmetallic color or seven optional metallic finishes, including “Individual Dravit Grey Metallic” and “Individual Tanzanite II Blue Metallic.” The M440i xDrive configuration also paints the kidney grille, front air intake trim, mirror caps and exhaust tips Cerium Grey finish.

Customers who buy the M Sport package receive high-gloss black finishes on the rear diffuser, side window moldings, lower mirror housings and front air intake trim. Adding the Shadowline Package means a high-gloss black kidney grille and exhaust tip trim and black mirror caps.

The base 430i Coupe starts at $45,600, while the all-wheel-drive 430i xDrive Coupe begins at $47,600. The primo M440i xDrive Coupe carries an MSRP of $58,500.

Advanced driver assistance system-wise, the 4 Series Coupe includes standard lane departure warning and mitigation, autobraking, pedestrian autobraking and automatic high beams.

Speed limit sign recognition and dash display (including known speed limit data from the navigation system) also comes standard.

“Active Blind Spot Detection,” “Park Distance Control,” “rear cross traffic alert” and “rear collision preparation,” and “Fatigue and Focus Alert” also all come standard. It’s unclear if any of these have the power to take corrective action (i.e. autobraking or autosteering).

The vehicle also can deploy the brakes after a crash, tense at least one front seat belt and close the windows and moonroof as collision severity measures.

An optional Driving Assistance Professional Package adds adaptive cruise control and an “Extended Traffic Jam Assist” hands-free option for limited-access highways, “lane keeping assistant with side collision avoidance, evasion aid, front cross-traffic alert and emergency stop assistant – which can help guide your BMW to the shoulder and bring it to a halt in a medical emergency situation.”

A 4 Series Coupe with that adaptive cruise control feature will have the transmission actually adjusts itself based on data from the ADAS’ radar and the vehicle’s navigation system.

“This makes it possible for the transmission to avoid unnecessary gear changes by shifting down early in order to use engine braking to scrub off speed and be in the correct gear to accelerate out of a turn,” BMW wrote.

The optional Parking Assistance Package includes panorama and 3D surround camera views (the latter view can be seen from a smartphone) and allows the vehicle to autopark itself and auto-back-up itself. An additional option for such vehicles “uses the cameras of the various driver assistance systems to record video footage from the front and/or rear view points of the vehicle.” It can shoot up to 40 seconds upon command, and it automatically records up to 20 seconds if the vehicle detects a collision.

Other items potentially of interest to collision repairers:

  • Connected BMWs send hazard warnings to each other.
  • An optional “Live Cockpit Professional” feature produces “3D visualizations of the surrounding area, depicting all of the cars, trucks and motorcycles registered by the cameras and sensors in the driver’s current lane as well as those in any adjacent lanes. … Vehicles within a critical distance are highlighted. Graphics indicate maneuvers which can be carried out with the help of the assistance systems. This ensures the driver has an overview of the situation and relevant courses of action at all times.
  • Ambient, customizable interior lighting is available as an option.
  • The exhaust manifold is incorporated into the cylinder head, “allowing for better thermal efficiency from the integrated water cooling passages.”
  • The 6-cylinder M440i xDrive Coupe is a 48-volt mild hybrid.
  • All-season run-flat tires come standard, as do a moonroof,
  • An option exists for a head-up display.

More information:

“The New 2021 BMW 4 Series Coupe”

BMW, June 2, 2020


A BMW 430i Coupe is shown. (Provided by BMW)

A graphic related to the European version of the 2021 BMW 4 Series Coupe is shown. (Provided by BMW)

The front of a BMW 430i Coupe is shown. (Provided by BMW)

A BMW M440i xDrive is shown. (Provided by BMW)

A BMW M440i xDrive is shown. All 2021 4 Series Coupes have acoustic windshields. (Provided by BMW)

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