by Tony West
BMW rolls out its 2014 4 Series lineup as an upgrade to the popular 3 Series; the 428i ($49,675) and the 435i ($55,825). The new 4 Series is up to 44lbs lighter than the previous model and packed with sportier features.
The 4 Series will be available late 2014 in a coupe or convertible with a 3-piece retractable hardtop. Sporty design elements work double duty to enhance efficiency and make the BMW look more like the BMW M’s younger brother. BMW enhances the athletic design of the 428i and 435i with a wider wheelbase and lower stance. The new 4 Series is swagged out with muscular wheel arches and 18-inch or available 19-inch wheels. Large front air intakes help cool the engine and reduce drag further enhancing fuel efficiency. With a near 50:50 weight distribution the BMW tears through corners and straightaways with precision. And with lowered suspension, these whips accelerate cleaner than the 3 Series with nearly 20% more efficiency.
The 428i comes with a standard 2 liter 4-cylinder engine, with 240 horsepower and 255 lb-ft of torque. The 428i has a top speed of 155 mph and goes from 0-60 in 6.2 seconds. The 435i has a standard 3 liter V6 with 300 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque. The V6 has a max speed of 155 mph and goes from 0-60 in 5.5 seconds. Both engines employ High Precision Direct Injection, the V6 Valvetronic valve control, twin turbocharging, and variable camshaft control. Aluminum components work with energy saving features like Auto Start Stop and Brake Energy Regeneration to maximize efficiency. Brake Energy Regeneration allows the electrical systems to use energy stored form braking, a popular function in hybrid vehicles.
Air conditioning and the electric power steering use energy only when used and the oil pump and coolant pump are designed to also reduce fuel use. Both the 428i and the 435i come with a standard 8-speed automatic transmission with intelligent control and paddle shifters at the steering wheel. Aluminum components add minimal weight and maximum rigidity.
The 4 Series’ suspension adds efficiency and athletic character. Double pivot “strut type” suspension in the front with an additional strut at the front axle subframe optimizes precision when cornering. That with 5-link rear suspension makes the 4 Series a beast on the road. The 428i and 435i also come with aluminum front brakes and vented calipers.As part of the Driver Experience Controls, drivers can select ECO Pro, Comfort, Sport, and Sport + driving modes. In ECO Pro mode, fuel consumption can be reduced by up to 20% with adjustments to the engine management system, climate, and with tips given on more efficient driving styles. Sport mode adjusts gearshift and throttle responses for greater agility and handling. Sport + mode activates Dynamic Traction Control and raises the threshold for Dynamic Stability Control.
Swanky Sedan-Styled Interior
Along with a noise reducing headliner and a top that closes in under 20 seconds, the interior of the BMW 4 Series is as swanky as a lux sedan. The interior has a wraparound design where leather and wood surrounds the driver and passenger and sweeps to the rear. A two-toned color scheme with optional chrome accents enhances the upscale styling.
The 4 Series also comes with the iDrive monitor with iDrive controller for infotainment. The iDrive 4.2 technology includes Real Time Traffic, Navigation, Voice Command, and Google search capabilities. Also available is the very popular Heads up Display (HUD). The BMW 4 Series has a configurable HUD that can project speed, speed limits, traffic restrictions, and navigation on the driver’s windshield area.
Sport, Luxury, and M Sport Lines
Drivers can opt for more customization with available Sport Line, Luxury Line, and M Sport line. The Luxury Line adds chrome inside and out with a high gloss chrome grille, chrome air breathers, chrome exhaust tips, and a chrome strip at the rear apron. Inside, chrome surrounds the media and climate controls. Also available with the Luxury Line is leather interior with 4 stitching options and Ash Grain anthracite wood trim. The Sport Line adds red stitching at the steering wheel, red door panel trim and red accents on the instrument panel. The M Sport Line adds M Sport suspension, M Sport brakes, and a special M Sport leather steering wheel. The M Aerodynamics package adds larger air intakes, a rear diffuser, and side skirts for track-like power.
Safety Features for the 428i and the 435i include radar enhancing Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Detection, and Parking Assistant. Available with the rearview camera is the optional Surround View, Side View, and Top View. The Surround View can be activated at speeds under 12mph to view cross traffic. Top View provides a birds-eye view of the car’s surroundings.
With all the reincarnated tech and luxury features the 4 Series convertible successfully swagger-jacks the 3 Series and M Series for a premium cool convertible under $60, 000.