Nosing ahead – BMW’s vision for the next-generation 4 Series is daringly styled but there’s promise aplenty
Reports suggest the S58 turbo-petrol from the X3/X4 M is destined for the new M4
BMW’s adoption of ever-growing kidney grilles shows no sign of abating and, set against the Concept 4’s flowing sheet metal, the latest example is particularly attention-grabbing. According to BMW’s designers, this bold frontal treatment pays homage to the similarly prominent snouts which adorned the likes of the 328 and 3.0 CSi E9. There’s a chance a study such as the Four tests the waters with consumers as to just how large that kidney grille can get.
BMW is playing its cards close to its chest when it comes to technical specifications but we can expect the 4 Series engine line-up to largely mirror that of the new 3 Series. Perhaps there’ll be less focus on the four-cylinder turbocharged petrol and diesel, and greater emphasis on the inline-six petrol units. The ubiquitous but brilliantly applied eight-speed ‘box will remain the staple transmission.
What about M?
With the trend towards downsized powerplants now creeping into the performance segment, there’s been a great deal of concern BMW’s M models will soon be mounting four-cylinder turbo units in lieu of its charismatic inline-six and V8 engines. Thankfully, it looks as though the M4 will be spared. Recent reports suggest the S58 inline-six twin-turbo from the X3/X4 M is destined for the new M4. Capable of revving to 7300rpm, this unit will likely be offered in two states of tune: 352 kW/600 Nm in standard guise and 375 kW in Competition models. The seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is also likely to remain but could be allied with a torque-vectoring performance AWD system similar to that in the M5.