The 2021 BMW 4 Series; designed to polarise opinions

THAT’S the explanation from head of exterior design at BMW, Christopher Weil, about what many say is a controversial look, with the front end of the 2021 BMW 4 Series considered more than a little polarising.

“To polarise with design is a very good thing because I think there is enough cars in our line up addressing classical themes or classical beauty, let’s say, but we want to shift the boundaries with our product,” he said.

“With every product we want to kind of create something that is very special.”

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We spoke with Weil, and 4 Series project manager Andreas Ederer as part of an exclusive interview with Australian media ahead of the official launch of the new 420i, 430i and M440i xDrive, with the trio due in dealerships from 14 December this year.

Weil told us that the unique design for the 4 Series starts from the 3 Series and its technology platform as a base, adds bold design, and a good portion of dynamic enhancement.

“The 4 Series symbolises to us, the essence of a modern, highly emotional coupe that is the very core of BMW,” he said. “To us; an everyday dream car.”

The 420i and 430i models will be offered in rear-wheel drive, with the range topping M440i xDrive utilising BMW’s excellent all-wheel drive system. There is no plug-in hybrid planned for the 4 Series.

BMW’s head of design describes the new 4 Series as more expressive and more progressive than the 3 Series, and yet, also more elegant than its four door sibling. Stronger performance cues also feature.

When quizzed on the extended kidney grille that has split opinions on the look of the new models (with the same styling also found on the new M3 and M4) Weil noted how full on people’s initial reactions were.

“When people see it in real life, then they find out that it is working very well, it’s very well perceived [in the flesh],” he said. “Of course, first reactions were kind of intense, but the car is getting very much accepted now.”

The new 4 Series features a number of structural changes to enhance the driving experience and improve its dynamic handling, including the lowering of the entire car by 57mm, allowing for a 21mm lower centre of gravity.

Stiffening has been undertaken in the front end, along with body stiffening in the lower areas of the new model, and the rear axle. The combination of changes enables BMW to create a more precise setup of the suspension and dampeners, and improve steering.

“You can really feel it in the steering that the car is more precise than the 3 series,” Weil said.

Stay tuned for our Quick Drive review of the new 4 Series on December 9. We’ve driven all three variants and will tell you exactly what they’re like.

Andrew Jenkin
Andrew Jenkin
Andrew Jenkin is the ride editor at Exhaust Notes Australia, founding editor of Two Wheel Addicts, a contributor at Bike Review and panel judge for Harley Davidson's Breakout Boss competition. Andrew has a love for anything on two wheels whether that be sports, naked or adventure bikes, with a guilty pleasure for cruisers.


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