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Like an empty toothpaste tube BMW is throwing away one of its most respected vehicles. The sporty and sophisticated 3 Series Coupe is not long for this world. But do not despair my fellow automotive enthusiasts, they’re replacing it with something very compelling… the all-new 2014 4 Series.
Numerically four is bigger than three so it must be better, right? Right! Slightly larger than the outgoing 3 Series coupe the car features a wider track, a longer wheelbase and a lower ride height. These fundamental changes give it the lowest center of gravity of any current BMW. It also has near-perfect 50:50 weight distribution, another BMW hallmark.
This is the 428i model, sort of the base car in the lineup. It’s powered by the company’s superb 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It delivers 240 horsepower and can hit 60 miles an hour in a fleet-footed 5.7 seconds.
For more power a 3.0-liter turbocharged straight six is also available in the 435i. Is a car truly a BMW if it doesn’t have an inline six? That’s up to you. Output is a claimed 300 ponies with an equal amount of torque.
And there’s more great news for drivers, both engines are available with either an eight-speed automatic transmission or a proper manual with six gears. Believe it or not the stick is a no-cost option. Additionally, both models are available with rear- or the company’s xDrive all-wheel drive system.
Thankfully for mother earth these cars are also responsible, with fuel-saving features like automatic start-stop and special aerodynamic add ons. There are “air breathers” around the wheels for instance, which help cut drag.
There’s lots of good stuff with the new 4 Series and you’re probably wondering about pricing. An entry-level 428i starts around $42,000 while the more powerful 435i is roughly 47,000 bucks. Naturally versions with xDrive cost a couple grand more. Look for the exciting new BMW 4 Series at U.S. showrooms very soon.