‘BMW’s new coupe is shapely and gorgeous with a dose of attitude, thanks to the M Sport body kit,’ says Dan Scanlan.
It all began in 1968 with the 2002 – a streamlined bathtub-shaped BMW sports coupe with a 2-liter 100-horsepower Four. Then the first of the most popular BMW was born – the 3-Series - with the 100.9-inch wheelbase, 110-horsepower 320i coupe. Four more generations would follow with the same formula – sleek body, precision handling and powerful motors that expanded to turbocharging, inline sixes and turbo-diesels in a coupe, sedan and wagon. Then BMW expanded its line and the coupe became a separate 4-Series, as in our 428i.
Our test car’s M Sport aerodynamic package added large air intakes on a much more aggressive, wider and deeper lower center intake with a lower air dam. It’s flanked by chiseled side intakes with slim outboard air intakes. That’s no design vent aft of the gently flared front fenders. Called the Air Breather, its glossy black shape is said to reduce drag and connects to those slim vertical inlets up front, improving airflow around the outside of the front wheels and cutting fuel consumption at higher speeds, BMW says.
You settle into deeply sculpted, comfortably soft and nicely supportive tan faux leather sport bucket seats with eight-way power adjustments, manual thigh support and dual memory presets for the driver. Silver-trimmed gauges – 160-mph speedometer and 7,500-rpm tach – hang over a small color trip computer screen.
twirl-and-tap iDrive knob.
BMW’s new 4 Series Coupe comes in two flavors - our 428i with a twin-scroll turbocharged 2-liter Four with 240 horsepower at 5,000 – 6,500 rpm and peak torque of 255 pound-feet, or a turbocharged 302-horsepower 3-liter inline Six. Both are available with either eight-speed sport automatic or six-speed manual transmissions.
the power down while the transmission upshifts sooner and remains in a higher gear
longer for improved fuel mileage. The engine shuts down at stoplights to save fuel, then
fires up quickly when you lift off the brake.
Our car body’s front end is 60 percent more rigid than the last-gen 3 Series Coupe and up to 99 pounds lighter. There’s lots of aluminum for lightness and M Sport modifications with a firmer spring/shock absorber setup, stiffer anti-roll bars, and also adaptive to vary the feel between comfort and sport.
Set in COMFORT, the BMW 428i became plusher on bumps than any other recent Bimmer. While fine for puttering around, the car didn’t feel like a BMW of old – a bit too floaty. Snap on SPORT and the steering becomes more direct and noticeably firmer. That’s where this felt like a BMW of old – a firm and responsive suspension that buffered bumps quickly as the car just went through curves with precise steering input. It just tracked through turns beautifully with minimal body roll, a flick of the wheel to change direction. Push harder in turns and a touch of understeer shows up, easily dialed out with some throttle.
The final price: $47,125.
I don’t know why BMW birthed the compact 4-Series coupe off the 3-Series. But the result is a thoroughly modern, sexy, sporty and very capable coupe that is very livable when you commute and almost exactly what you expect when you want to drive – hard. Can’t wait for the M4!
For more information about the latest from BMW, please visit http://www.bmwusa.com/default.aspx