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BMW 4 Series introduced

  • Next 3 Series Coupé will be badged 4 Series
  • Previewed in concept car form this year
  • Arrives 2013, 420d should appeal to fleet drivers

BMW has confirmed that the next generation of its sporty two-door 3 Series Coupé will be badged as a separate model, called the BMW 4 Series.

The current-generation BMW 3 Series Coupé, a sleek two-door version of the regular 3 Series, has proven popular with company car buyers thanks to its ability to combine sporty looks and handling with an efficient range of engines. The frugal 320d model, which emits less than 130g/km of CO2, is a particularly popular choice.

It’s due to be replaced in the second half of 2013, and BMW has revealed that the next-generation model will be called the BMW 4 Series rather than the 3 Series Coupé.

The car maker says repositioning the Coupé as a stand-alone model will allow them to give it a sportier and more exclusive character than a 3 Series badge would allow. It has followed a similar strategy previously with the BMW 6 Series model line, which is based on the 5 Series but has its own separate model name.

The biggest clue as to what the production 4 Series will look like has been unveiled in the form of a concept car called the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupé. Longer, lower and wider than the outgoing 3 Series Coupé, BMW’s design team have aimed to make the car look more aggressive and athletic than before. Although, as ever, the concept is likely to be toned down a little for production, we can expect the majority of its styling to make it onto the road, including the distinctive sharp line along the car’s shoulder.

Fine handling and a firm ride were key characteristics of the last 3 Series Coupé, and given BMW’s stated aim to give the new 4 Series a sportier image than the 3 Series, that is likely to continue.

Definitive technical details are yet to be announced, including what engine and gearbox choices the BMW 4 Series will be made available with. Given the wide range of engines made available for the last 3 Series Coupé, however, we can expect the 4 Series to have plenty of choices for both petrol and diesel buyers. It’s reasonable to expect the engine line-up to be similar to that of the current 3 Series saloon range, so a BMW 420d could well be in the sights of company car drivers in 2013.