The BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe is what BMW is choosing to call what is a near-production-ready version of what the BMW 3 Series coupe will evolve into. The 4 Series is the new name for the old two-door 3 Series, and the Concept 4 Series Coupe that was shown off in Detroit this week gave us a very clear look at where the styling of the popular entry-level luxury car is heading. BMW was coy about drivetrain details, but there is no reason not to expect the current crop of 3 Series sedan motors to migrate over to the 4 Series' engine compartment.
The BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe is intended to match step-for-step Audi's A5, and this means that the longer, lower, and wider looks of the car are meant to pump up the premium image of the compact vehicle in the eyes of potential luxury buyers. Not everyone is a fan of small cars getting bigger and bigger with each passing year, but with the trend fully underway there is little BMW can do but follow the tide and let 4 Series shoppers fantasize that they are slipping behind the wheel of a baby 6 Series coupe.
An aggressive air dam dominates the front fascia of the Concept 4 Series Coupe, but this seems like one of the elements of the car that will be toned down before it reaches production. Many other aspects of the vehicle are likely to remain, however, including the long hood, the wide twin kidney grilles, the aggressive headlights, and the tucked rear exhaust outlets that peer out from behind a somewhat overwrought rear bumper. Overall, the 4 Series Coupe cleans up a lot of the busy-ness that is the 3 Series sedan, which is an excellent move in our book.
The BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe is definitely going to appeal to the legions of luxury buyers who are already enamored of the BMW 3 Series sedan and older-generation 3 Series coupe. The automaker hasn't taken any big risks with the Concept 4 Series which is a refreshing change from the past decade's unusual styling thrusts that have repeatedly asked brand loyalist to embrace radically different design conceits on a wide range of BMW passenger cars. Will a bigger-looking 4 Series eat into 6 Series sales? Certainly not among the well-heeled, but with a more affordable coupe that looks this good in the lineup, there's a chance that fewer BMW shoppers will aspire to upgrade to the larger, heavier, and more expensive 6 when their 4 Series lease is up.
Photos by Megan Green