If even amidst the leaked photos, the early spy shots and BMW’s assurances that the controversial Concept 4 was 90 per cent production-ready, you’ve been in denial, there can no longer be any doubt. The next 4-series will be getting a huge set of kidney grilles whether you like it or not, as confirmed by this latest set of pictures.
Splitting with BMW convention, though, it’s more a grille singular, with the two sides joined in the middle. This “expressive face,” as BMW has referred to it in the past, also appeared on the recent Concept i4, and it’ll be used for the production version of that vehicle too.
The test mule you see here was photographed in Munich near BMW’s HQ, wearing a lot less camouflage than the last prototype we studied. Along with the uncovered grille, the 4-series is also clearly displaying other elements of its front end including lower intakes and some prominent brake ducts. But you’re not looking at those, are you?
The engine line-up isn’t hard to predict - it’ll be largely carried over from the current ‘G20’ 3-series, to which the 4er will be (styling aside) closely related. Expect a range of inline-four petrol and diesel engines to appear, with a six-cylinder M440i sitting at the top of the 4-series tree. For anyone wanting to go further, there will also be an S58-engined M4, and yes, it’ll have the same big face as the regular 4er. Mirroring the new X3 M, it’ll likely be available in a single-turbo base version, with a Competition variant given a 503bhp, twin-turbo six.
The 4-series will be revealed in full around late summer or early Autumn, with the M4 keeping us waiting until 2021. It’ll probably be beaten to the punch by the M3, which we’re hoping to see before the year is out.