Further changes are centred on making the body structure stiffer than that of the 3 Series. To achieve this, BMW has fitted the 4 Series with a new shear panel within the front bulkhead, a newly designed strut across the front suspension towers and an extra A-frame support at the front of the engine bay.
Inside, the layout is familiar, with a layered dashboard from the 3 Series, complete with standard 12.3in digital instrument and 10.3in infotainment displays – the latter of which can be operated via a rotary controller or touch commands as well as optional speech and gesture controls – in the M440i xDrive. Overall, the cabin features much higher perceived standards of material and finish than the previous 4 Series.
The driving position is quite different from that of the 3 Series, courtesy of a more heavily angled windscreen and lower mounting of the front seats, which in combination with the multi-function steering wheel offer generous adjustment. While you’re never going to buy the new 4 Series for its accommodation, it now offers greater space up front than the old model. There’s also claimed to be more room in the rear, although head room is quite limited in the back, even though the individual rear seats are set fairly low. Boot space, meanwhile, has been reduced by five litres to 440 litres.
Overall, there are six second-gen 4 Series Coupé models, with a choice of four engines. These include a base turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol unit with 184bhp in the 420i and 258bhp in the 430i – both of which come as standard with rear-wheel drive. The diesels, all featuring 48V mild-hybrid tech and standard four-wheel drive, start with a turbo 2.0-litre four-cylinder delivering 190bhp in the 420d xDrive. Next year, a turbocharged 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder diesel with 286bhp in the 430d xDrive and 340bhp in the M440d xDrive will also join the line-up in the UK.
The M440i xDrive heads the new range – and it has 43bhp more than the earlier 440i it effectively replaces, at 369bhp. Its turbo 3.0-litre six-cylinder is certainly no stranger, having already appeared in various new BMW models in recent times, including the M340i xDrive, with which the headlining 4 Series also shares its eight-speed torque-converter automatic gearbox, four-wheel drive system and electronically controlled rear M differential.