Following a series of exhaustive test drives held as part of the development process to prepare it for series production, the latest incarnation of the two-door model is now embarking on the final phase of dynamic testing.
After having their driving qualities honed at the winter testing centre in Arjeplog, Sweden, at the BMW Group’s test centre in Miramas in France, on the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife circuit and at various other race tracks, the prototypes are now returning to their roots: engineers will put the final touches to the chassis technology of the new BMW 4 Series Coupe on the motorways and country roads around the BMW Group’s Research and Innovation Centre (FIZ) in Munich.
Like its overall vehicle concept and design, the 4 Series Coupe’s chassis technology is a more individual composition than ever before.
The proportions, aerodynamic properties and weight distribution of the two-door car provide the ideal basis for a chassis set-up focused unerringly on exhilarating dynamic performance.
A direct comparison with the new BMW 3 Series Sedan highlights the new model’s unique profile particularly clearly. The new BMW 4 Series Coupe is 57 millimetres lower than its four-door counterpart and its centre of gravity is 21 millimetres closer to the road as a result.
This all combines with the increased negative camber at the front wheels and the 23-millimetre wider rear track to sharpen the car’s handling characteristics by a significant degree.
The range will now be spearheaded by a BMW M model in the shape of the new BMW M440i xDrive Coupe.
Powered by a straight-six engine delivering 275 kW/374 hp, it will also feature 48V mild-hybrid technology, with a 48V starter-generator and a second battery employed to both ease the load on the engine and act in unison with it. Besides improved efficiency, the principal benefit here is punchier power.
The power is channelled to the road via an eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission and the car’s intelligent all-wheel-drive system. The M Sport differential is also on hand to make sure that drive power is deployed to optimum effect in demanding driving situations. The locking effect is generated by an electric motor.
The final round of testing on the car’s home ground will allow the engineers to fast-track their latest findings into the fine-tuning process at the Research and Innovation Centre.
Needless to say it will be a unique experience to drive one… we can’t wait, and indeed, there is sun on the horizon after Corona times!
Hans Knol ten Bensel