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BMW 4 Series Coupe: Aesthetics, dynamics, individuality

6th December 2012 Print
BMW 4 Series

The BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe builds on the success of the current BMW 3 Series Coupe and Convertible, while looking ahead to the fourth generation of BMW’s sporty mid-range coupe.
The “4” represents a new focus for the 3 Series with its own individual character and a standalone design with added aesthetic and dynamic appeal. This latest addition of nomenclature sees BMW building on the traditions of the BMW 6 Series and BMW 8 Series Coupes, while the “4” further stands out from the BMW 3 Series range thanks to its greater emphasis on sportiness and exclusivity.
The BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe showcases a new athletic and elegant generation of mid-size coupe. An array of high-quality details showcase the car’s perfectly balanced coupe proportions while the expertise of BMW Individual, skilled handcraftsmanship and carefully selected materials combine to create a luxurious interior.

The wheelbase (2,810mm) is 50mm longer than that of the existing 3 Series Coupe, while 45mm has been added to the front track (1,545mm) and 80mm to the rear track (1,593mm). At 1,826mm wide, the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe is 44mm wider than its predecessor, its roof line is 16mm lower (1,362mm) and it is also longer at 4,641 mm.  Longer, lower and wider, the dimensions of the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe give the car an exceptionally dynamic presence, even when it is standing still.
The BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe’s elegant lines and athletic surface interplay embody the qualities and expertise of BMW design which emanate from its sporting silhouette. The car’s proportions mean it’s instantly recognisable as a BMW: its long wheelbase, long sweeping bonnet, set-back passenger compartment and short overhangs propel the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe forwards even before its engine stirs. At the same time, its stretched proportions exude an athletic elegance with the rear wheel arches marking the widest point of the car, and taut lines and surfaces etching emotion and precision into the body. The Coupe’s sophisticated detailing combines with functional elements such as air intakes and vents, door openers and exterior mirrors to give the interior a visual lift with satin-finish aluminium accents.
Precise contours and multifaceted surfaces define the face of the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe. The characteristic BMW front-end, featuring the kidney grille and twin circular headlights, now has a slim, sporty design but is still clearly recognisable as a BMW. The BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe front-end displays a clear link with the BMW 3 Series family, but its features are enhanced to give it an even more dynamic look. To optimise aerodynamics and keep fuel consumption low, the kidney grille is closed off and the areas between the satin-finish grille slats are blanked off.
The full-LED headlights are a angular take on the customary BMW twin circular design. The dynamically chiselled, slimmer interpretation of this iconic design cue integrates seamlessly into the front end. The design of the headlights adopts the link between the lights and kidney grille familiar from the BMW 3 Series and takes it to the next level, rendering this connection visible at night as well as in the day. An optical fibre leads from the inner headlight tube and forms a visual link between the inner headlight and the kidney grille, giving the front end of the Coupe an even broader look.
The most radical feature of the car’s nose is the large air intake in the front apron. Its wide opening hints at the powerful engines encased within and guides the eye to the muscular flared wheel arches. The vent surrounds on either side replicate the contours of the headlights to give the front end an even wider and more sporting look. Three sculptured, satin-finish aluminium trim elements in the intake accentuate the width, giving the aperture a sporty three-way split. The sides of the two flanking vents are of differing thickness to define specific areas of the intake for brake and oil cooling and for the Aero Curtain.  This EfficientDynamics feature channels the incoming air around the outside of the wheels, ensuring the airflow “hugs” the wheel arches and fuel consumption is reduced as a consequence.
Typical BMW proportions and a stretched silhouette define the athletically elegant side view of the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe, with elongated lines and contoured surfaces providing a lively interplay of light and shadow. The gently downward-sloping roofline creates a smooth transition into the rear, stretches the overall appearance of the car and accentuates the athletic appeal. The exterior mirrors extend organically out of the shoulderline seamlessly integrating aerodynamic function with aesthetic form. The BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe boasts elegantly moulded shoulders where surfaces blend harmoniously as the roof slopes down and merges into the sleek silhouette.
Below the side windows, the double bodywork creases, familiar from the BMW 3 Series range, lend the car a dynamic sense of forward motion. The shadowed surface above the rear wheel shrinks below this line accentuating the muscular contours around the rear wheels, emphasising the car’s hallmark BMW rear-wheel drive.
The Air Breather, an aerodynamically effective aperture behind the front wheels, hints at the sophisticated aerodynamics of the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe. It draws a path between the two light surfaces of the car’s flanks, replicating the front-end elements. The Air Breather works in tandem with the Aero Curtain to minimise the drag around the wheels. Exclusive 20-inch light-alloy wheels, with three-dimensional multi-spoke design, complete the look with an air of sporting elegance.
The sporting character of the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe continues in the low-slung design of the rear. The prominent horizontal lines and stretched rear lights, positioned at the outer edges, draw attention to the muscular wheel arches and wide track. The design of the rear window has a lowering effect on the car’s tail and shows off the car’s broad shoulders.
The L-shaped rear lights blend harmoniously into the car’s overall design, continuing down the side they are an integral part of the exterior design. The tail lights taper in towards the centre of the rear end, but flare out towards the outer edges, underlining the Coupe’s broad, squat stance. A full-sized light element within the rear lights reproduces the signature BMW “double L” in three-dimensional form.
The most striking element of the rear end is the bumper, in which a clearly defined satin-finish aluminium trim element provides interest, as the lower edge of the car drops down towards the road. The trim element adopts a similar three-way split to the front air intake, but with the two exhaust tailpipes at the outer edges of the rear apron, diverting the gaze to the wheels. Small upturns next to the tailpipes lend additional dynamic flair.
The interior of the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe follows the traditional BMW recipe, blending sportiness and exclusivity seamlessly into a single package. The interior wraps around the driver in typical BMW driver-focused style. The most important controls are grouped ergonomically around the driver to ensure all functions are within easy reach. The “layering” approach underlines the dynamic feeling inside the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe.
This dynamic use of lines continues to the door with all the lines streaking backwards towards the rear of the car, pulling the focus of the interior towards the front. At the same time, clearly defined surfaces around the window sills and door trim panels converge at the B-pillar and into the rear in a tightly structured horizontal movement connecting the front and rear compartments. The arrangement of surfaces around the doors, side walls and window sills forms a cocoon around the passengers and generates a sense of security. The strong contouring of the rear seats makes them appear as two individual seats joined together, emphasising the sporting character of the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe.

Developed by BMW Individual, the colour and materials from the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe are tailored precisely to the geometry of the interior. The two-tone Black and Schiaparelli Brown trim provides a showcase for the interplay of forms in the front cabin, and light contrast stitching adds a freshness to the leather-covered surfaces, made from sustainably tanned leather.
The fine detailing of the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe’s exterior is continued inside the car with discreetly embossed “BMW Individual” lettering on the seats and door sill strips, and hand-braided leather trim elements, running vertically down the seats to enhance the interior’s luxurious feeling. The leather-covered cup holders also adopt the braiding, as do the floor mats.  A Natural Chestnut fine wood trim strip adds the finishing touch to the exclusive interior. The Liquid Metal Silver exterior colour has been developed exclusively for the concept car to show off its expressive exterior design to enhance the interplay of contours and surfaces.

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