Our spy shooters managed to catch a glimpse of the upcoming 2014 BMW 4 Series totally undisguised. It's our first real look at the car -- although regular readers will note we have spied the new BMW coupe several times and saw it in concept form at the Detroit auto show.
The BMW 4 Series is really just the two-door version of the 3 Series sedan, but BMW has moved to even numbers for coupes and convertibles, necessitating the name change. The car was previewed in January as the Concept 4 Series, and very little has changed from that show car.
The 4 Series coupe spied here wears the same kidney grille, squinty headlights, and brash taillights with LED strips as its sedan progenitor. The sharp crease that runs from the front to the rear fender and intersects the door handle, as well as the unique scallop vent behind the front wheel, carry over from the concept to this production model. (The vent is called the Air Breather and will improve aerodynamic performance.) The lower fascia of this 4 Series, however, has more pronounced and sportier openings for the foglights than on a standard 3 Series sedan.
A leaked order guide tells us that in the U.S., BMW will offer the new coupe in both 428i and 435i configurations. The former uses a 240-hp, 2.0-liter turbo-four engine, while the 435i gets a 300-hp twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-six. Rear-wheel drive is standard but xDrive all-wheel-drive models are available. The BMW 4 Series coupe will go into production this July. BMW will also start building a 4 Series convertible in November, although the droptop will only be available with rear-wheel drive when it arrives in America next year.
BMW has yet to announce when it will officially introduce the 4 Series, but we should see it before production begins in July.