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December 6, 2012

BMW’s Concept 4 Coupé the clearest sign yet there will be a 4-series

Jack Yan/13.05


As early as 1978, there was a rumour that BMW would release a 4-series. That time, Motor magazine (the UK one, from IPC) hinted that there would be a sporting 3-series, possibly a sporting fastback.
   The rumour returned for the latest F30 generation of 3-series saloons: that BMW would introduce the 4 moniker for the coupé and cabriolet versions, mirroring what it did for the 5- and 6-series.
   The clearest sign that there would be a 4er-Reihe has come with the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupé, which is not far removed from the production model. Coincidentally the new model happens to be the fourth generation of the Dreier, which started off in 1975 with a range of two-door saloons (though a cabriolet was converted by Baur).
   Shown yesterday, the 4 ‘stands for greater sportiness, greater exclusivity and even clearer differentiation from the BMW 3 Series range,’ says the company.
   The Vierer is lower and has a wider stance than the saloon on which it is based. Compared to the existing 3-series Coupé, it has a longer wheelbase (2,810 mm, up 50 mm), a wider front track (1,545 mm, up 45 mm) and a wider rear track (1,593 mm, up 80 mm). The car is longer, lower, wider: 4,641 mm by 1,362 mm, by 1,826 mm.
   BMW says the 4er-Reihe has more of a wheel-at-each corner stance, with the long hood–short deck proportions found with sports cars. The car does look more purposeful than the current 3-series Coupé, and there is greater surface tension, reminiscent of the larger 6-series. The greatest change from the other coupés are the air vents in the front wings, while the aluminium accents create emotive detailing, such as around the intake under the front bumper. Inside, the cabin of the Concept 4 differs from the Dreier by being more driver-focused and lavish, especially with the use of wood extending across to the passenger side and the use of leather stitching, also reminiscent of the 6.
   The remaining question is whether calling the new generation of coupés the 4 will harm the equity built up over 37 years. On the one hand, the rumours have been around for many years, long enough for BMW fans to become used to the idea. On the other hand, two-door 3-series have been around since the beginning of the model line, with the four-door an extension, not the core.—Jack Yan, Publisher






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Filed under: branding, design, living, Lucire
  • http://rcd.typepad.com/ Robin Capper

    I can see the logic of 5/6′like 3/4 series naming but, as you say, the 4 door was the original range extender.

    More of a concern is the heavy handed detailing around the nose & rear. Quite like the overall shape & evolution of the kidney/lights but wonder about that bumper vent treatment.

  • http://jackyan.com Jack Yan

    Maybe they will tone things down in production. It’ll be hard for me to get used to the 4—when you think about it, 3 and 6 make some mathematical sense, too, and the 8 hardly comes in to it given that it was only around for one generation.


 

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