That massive grille is coming. Prepare yourselves.
It's a busy time at BMW's Dingolfing production facility in Germany. The refreshed BMW 5 Series, M5, and overseas-only 6 Series Gran Turismo have begun rolling off the production line, but it's a certain all-new coupe that has the most attention. The 2021 BMW 4 Series has officially begun series production although it's not slated to arrive in dealerships until October.
The new 4 Series features new lightweight construction, such as its hood, front side panels, and doors all being constructed out of aluminum, in order to achieve improved handling over that of its predecessor. What's interesting about the 4 Series production is that many of its components are built in-house, such as its chassis, at an adjacent BMW factory.
The Dingolfing facility supplies the front axle support, front and rear axle, and axle transmission. The first vehicles off the line appear to be current range-topping M440i xDrive, powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six that sends 382 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. Eventually, a RWD version will arrive.
A 48-volt mild-hybrid system will improve performance and further aid the stop/start system. This system should also enable better efficiency over the M340i sedan. The 430i will come powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 255 hp and 294 lb-ft of torque.
BMW is fully aware that the global market for luxury coupes is not quite what it used to be, so it went to great efforts to ensure adequate interior space. For example, rear-seat passengers have 34.5 inches of legroom and 35.2 inches of headroom compared to 35.2 inches and 37.6 inches, respectively, in the 3 Series sedan. Pricing for the 2021 M440i xDrive will begin at $58,500 while the 430i can be had from $45,600. Adding the xDrive AWD system is an extra $2,000. In general, these prices are about $5,000 more than equivalent 3 Series models.
Dingolfing is BMW's largest manufacturing facility in Europe, so it's no surprise it's been tasked with building a majority of the automaker's lineup, specifically the 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 Series.