BMW 4 Series Spied Testing with Audi A5

Spy Shots

Serendipitous encounter enables us to size up the new 4 Series Coupe against one of its key competitors.

It’s been awhile since we last spied a BMW 4 Series coupe prototype. This time it wascaught winter testing with an Audi A5 – one of its main competitors – looking strikinglysimilar to the 4 Series coupe concept BMW unveiled at the 2013 Detroit AutoShow back in January, most notably in the front end. The camouflageis doing a fine job disguising the taillights and headlights, but certainexposed details offer insight into the new car.

For instance, the exhaust tips indicate the test mule is being powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six that currently resides in the 2013 BMW 335i coupe: the car the 4 Series will succeed. The German carmaker will also use its latest four- and six-cylinder units, including a new 240hp 2.0-liter four-pot gasoline engine. Given that BMW is testing it in the snow, it’s also fair to assume engineers are testing the xDrive all-wheel-drive system with the A5’s Quattro acting as a benchmark. Then there’s the front fenders’ functional air vents that BMW dub "Air Breather" and "Air Curtain."

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These are said to enhance aerodynamics by routing air from the intakes to the outside of the front wheels. The BMW 4 Series coupe is expected to arrive later in the year, so we’ll have to wait until then to see how much of the concept’s styling is carried over to production.