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    BMW 3-Series, Sorry 4-Series Coupe Gets Leaked



    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    December 5, 2012

    For the past year or so, we been reporting on whether the next-generation BMW 3-Series coupe and convetible would be sticking with the 3-Series or moving up to the 4-Series. Well, BMW has made the decision to go with the 4-Series for the next-generation coupe and convertible as evidenced by BMW revealing the new 4-Series coupe concept.

    The 4-Series coupe concept shares a similar style to the 3-Series sedan, but the coupe sports more aggressive body work, including dramatic sculpting on the front bumper, a more pointed front grille, full LED headlights, and fender gills. The 4-Series coupe interior is the same as the 3-Series, but the 4-Series seating arrangement is a 2+2.

    Engines will likely be a 2.0L turbo-four (428i) and 3.0L turbo straight-six (435i). A eight-speed automatic and six-speed manual will possibly be the transmission choices.

    BMW isn't saying where the 4-Series coupe concept will appear, but everyone believes it will be Detroit.

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    Press Release is on Page 2


    The BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe.

    Aesthetics, dynamics, individuality.

    Munich. BMW presents the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe.

    The latest generation of the BMW 3 Series Coupe and Convertible leads the way worldwide in the premium mid-range coupe and convertible market. Indeed few, if any, rivals have made such a defining impact on this segment in terms of design, dynamics and efficiency.

    Now, with the unveiling of the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe, BMW is looking ahead to the fourth generation of its sporty mid-range coupe – and reasserting its global leadership credentials in the process.

    The “4” – a sign of greater exclusivity and presence.

    The BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe adds a new dimension to the qualities of the BMW 3 Series Coupe in terms of aesthetics, dynamics and elegance. The “4” doesn’t just mark the start of a new cycle, it represents the zenith of a development curve. BMW has given the new model its own individual character and a standalone design – and, in so doing, has turned “4” into segment shorthand for aesthetic and dynamic appeal. The latest addition to a nomenclature that sees BMW building on the fine tradition of its large BMW 6 Series and BMW 8 Series Coupes, the “4” stands for greater sportiness, greater exclusivity and even clearer differentiation from the BMW 3 Series range.

    The design: a development curve reaches its zenith.

    The BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe allows the driver to experience the essence of this new, sporting and elegant generation of car in the lap of contemporary luxury. An array of high-quality details provide an exclusive showcase for the car’s perfectly balanced coupe proportions. Inside, the expertise of BMW Individual, skilled handcraftsmanship and carefully selected materials combine to create a supreme interior. The role of BMW Individual in the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe’s development clearly underlines the brand’s commitment to challenging itself constantly in pursuit of perfection.

    Lower and wider stance sharpens dynamics before a wheel is turned.

    The dimensions of the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe imbue the car with a dynamic presence even when it is standing still. The wheelbase (2,810 mm) is 50 millimetres longer than that of the existing 3 Series Coupe, while 45 mm has been added to the front track (1,545 mm) and 80 mm to the rear track (1,593 mm). At 1,826 mm wide, the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe is 44 mm broader than its predecessor, its roof line is 16 mm lower (1,362 mm) and it is also longer (4,641 mm) – all of which makes for exceptionally dynamic proportions.

    Perfection in proportions.

    A BMW Coupe is surrounded by a halo of fascination, and one glance tells the observer all he needs to know about the driving experience on offer. The elegant lines and athletic surface interplay of the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe embody the qualities and expertise of BMW design and shine out through its sporting silhouette. The car’s proportions also fit the familiar BMW template: 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 into life. At the same time, its stretched proportions exude a very athletic elegance – the rear wheel arches mark the widest point of the car, emphasizing the point – and taut lines and surfaces etch emotion and precision into the body. The Coupe’s sophisticated detailing also captures the imagination on closer inspection. Functional elements such as air intakes and vents, door openers and exterior mirrors are given a stylistic lift by classy satin-finish aluminum accents. The exceptional dedication of the designers in achieving the right look for each particular function is evident in every one of these details.

    Precision and sportiness in the front seats.

    Precise contours and multifaceted surfaces define the striking face of the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe. The hallmark BMW front-end features, notably the kidney grille and twin circular headlights, have a slim, sporty design and ensure the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe is immediately recognisable as a BMW. The front-end design displays a clear link with the BMW 3 Series family, but its sporting take on the theme accentuates the dynamic leanings of the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe.

    The new concept car lavishes both front-end design icons with meticulous detail and three-dimensional depth. The kidney grille is closed off in the interests of optimizing aerodynamics and keeping fuel consumption low, and the areas between the elaborately designed, satin-finish grille slats are blanked off by dark surfaces.

    The full-LED headlights are a hexagonal, extremely technical-looking 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 in darkness as well. An optical fibre leads out from the inner headlight tube and forms a visual link between the inner headlight and the kidney grille. In so doing, it gives the front end of the Coupe an even broader look.

    The most eye-catching feature of the car’s nose beyond the familiar BMW kidney grille and twin circular headlights is the large air intake in the front apron. Its wide opening hints at the extra air required by the powerful engines and guides the eye around to the muscular flared wheel arches. The two vent surrounds on either side of the intake replicate the contours of the hexagonal headlight graphics to lend the front end an even wider and more sporting look. Three strikingly sculptured, satin-finish aluminum trim elements in the intake provide added presence. Eye-catching and extremely width-accentuating, they give the aperture a sporty three-way split. The sides of the two flanking vents are of differing thickness and lend the front end a particularly dynamic appearance. At the same time, they mark off specific areas of the intake for brake and oil cooling and for the Air 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 noticeably reduced as a consequence.

    A side order of power and elegance.

    Flowing, typically BMW proportions and a stretched silhouette define the athletically elegant side view of the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe, with elongated lines and expressively contoured surfaces providing a lively interplay of light and shadow. The gently downward-sloping roofline – a classic coupe feature – creates a smooth transition into the rear, stretches the overall appearance of the car and takes the elegant route to accentuating the sporting appeal of the car’s flanks. The side windows also adhere to the slim and stretched theme. The striking exterior mirrors extend organically out of the shoulderline and provide another example of the eye for detail which allows aerodynamic function to be integrated neatly and with emotional appeal into the car’s form. The BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe boasts elegantly moulded shoulders, and surfaces and volumes blend harmoniously as the roof slopes down into the rear. The result is a sporty C-pillar design, which merges flawlessly into the sleek silhouette.

    Below the side windows, the “double swage line” familiar from the BMW 3 Series range lends the car a dynamic sense of forward motion. The shadowed surface above the rear wheel shrinks significantly below the swage line. This accentuates the muscular contours around the rear wheels, emphasising the car’s dynamic flair and hallmark BMW rear-wheel drive.

    The Air Breather, an aerodynamically effective aperture behind the front wheels, offers another pointer to the sophisticated aerodynamics of the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe. It draws a dynamic path between the two light surfaces of the car’s flanks, replicating the prominent form of the stylistic front-end elements. The Air Breather brings together the priorities of BMW EfficientDynamics and time-honoured BMW design, and works in tandem with the Air Curtain in the front apron to ensure an effective reduction in drag around the wheels. Exclusive 20-inch light-alloy wheels add the finishing touches to the car’s dynamically elegant silhouette. Their sophisticated, prominently three-dimensional multi-spoke design underscores their air of sporting elegance.

    Broad, sporty stance at the rear.

    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 tail lights positioned at the outer edges of the rear draw extra 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 gives the body as a whole an even more powerful look. It also shows off the car’s broad shoulders with satisfying clarity. The horizontal lines of the rear end frame a subtle three-dimensionality, while a tightly structured concave indent in the rear creates shadowed surfaces and gives the car a forward-surging energy. This contrasting interplay of light and shadow brings extra vivacity to the rear end.

    The L-shaped rear lights of the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe blend harmoniously into the car’s overall design. They continue the path of the swage line to the side and are absorbed as an integral part of the exterior design. The tail lights taper in towards the centre of the rear end, but flare out powerfully towards the outer edges, underlining the Coupe’s broad, squat stance on the road. The inner elements of the rear lights recall a sculpture of contorted surfaces. A full-sized light element here reproduces the signature BMW “double L” in three-dimensional form and with impressive depth. While the emitting surfaces shine brightly, those at the back are rather darker, rendering the strong sense of three-dimensionality visible when the lights are hot as well.

    The most striking element of the rear end is the bumper, in which a clearly defined trim element in satin-finish aluminium provides a classy lower edge as the car drops down towards the road. The trim element adopts a similar three-way split to the front air intake, but in a width-emphasising form. It picks up the two exhaust tailpipes in a dynamic sweep at the outer edges of the rear apron before diverting the gaze to the wheels. Small upturns next to the tailpipes lend additional dynamic flair and finesse.

    Interior bathed in subtle beauty.

    The interior of the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe follows the traditional BMW recipe, blending sportiness and exclusivity stylishly into a single package. The interior wraps around the driver in typically BMW, driver-focused style. The most important controls for driving the car are grouped ergonomically around the driver to ensure all functions are within the easiest possible reach. The “layering” approach – whereby volumes are arranged into layers through the clever use of lines and surfaces – underlines the dynamic feeling inside the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe.

    This dynamic use of lines continues into the door design. All the lines streak backwards towards the rear of the car, thus pulling the focus of the interior clearly towards the front. At the same time, clearly defined surfaces around the window sills and door trim panels converge via the B-pillar into the rear in a tightly structured horizontal movement and connect the front and rear compartments. The arrangement of volumes around the doors, side walls and window sills forms a kind of cocoon around the passengers and generates a sporty and secure sense of space. Added to which, the strong contouring of the rear seats makes them appear like two individual seats joined together, emphasising once again the sporting instincts of the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe.

    Craftsmanship, sustainability and technical refinement.

    Developed by BMW Individual, the colour and materials design of the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe is tailored precisely to the geometry of the interior. The two-tone Black and Schiaparelli Brown trim provides a particularly effective showcase for the interplay of forms in the front cabin, and light contrast stitching adds a fresh touch to the leather-covered surfaces. This exclusive trim consists of sustainably tanned leather, which makes a convincing case for itself with its natural feel and soft texture, as well as the environment-friendly tanning process used to produce it.

    The fine detailing of the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe exterior is continued inside the car, numerous elements of which reflect the exceptional attention to detail with which the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe has been put together. As well as discreetly embossed “BMW Individual” lettering on the seats and door sillstrips, the seats are also home to very special hand-braided leather trim elements, which run vertically down the seats and enhance the interior’s feeling of class. The likewise leather-covered cup holders also adopt the braiding theme, as do the floor mats.

    A Natural Chestnut fine wood trim strip adds the finishing touch to the exclusive interior. The combination of carefully selected, high-grade materials, sophisticated details and the extensive use of hand craftsmanship fills the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe with an ambience defined by contemporary luxury. The Liquid Metal Silver exterior colour developed exclusively for the concept car shows off its expressive exterior design to excellent effect and injects an extra dose of energy into the interplay of contours and surfaces.

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    While the exterior body work is nice and a good evolution of the 3 series, the interior especially the dash is a mosh posh of mix and match and really does not flow or blend well and just comes across to me as an after thought.

    I do not think BMW will be that successful in selling people on this 4 series at a higher price compared to keeping them where they should have kept it as part of the 3 series family.

    Guess the German lemmings that are 5'8" tall on average will love it and still buy it even when they have to depart with an extra 5 or 10K.

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    Look at that an all new 2001 BMW interior...

    Is that how old that interior is? I was wondering where the hell it came from considering the parts bin thrown together look of old and older. :P

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    Looks good...like the roofline..the rear fascia is overwrought, but I assume the details will be toned down for the production...like the interior and wheels.

    Really you like the interior? The zones, chopped up look. It has no flow it just has the start trek pop up window in the middle, a couple random sections that to me do not mesh, the round control knob seems like an after thought by the stick shift. It just seems dated on the inside with plenty of after thought.

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    Their naming schemes are getting a big crazy, they should have stuck with 3-series and had different body styles. And shouldn't a 428i have 4 doors, if anything, the 228i should have 2 doors. I think this is a way to charge more money for a coupe by making people think a 4-series is better than a 3-series. We'll see how long this lasts too when 3-series sales get split up and the C-class outsells the 3-series, then BMW loses bragging rights.

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    Looking to see if BMW introduces new engines with this car as has been the tradition. If not, another sign of BMW is flubbing.

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    I think the exterior looks great, it's one of the best looking BMW's in quite a long time IMO. That being said, what the hell is going on with that interior.

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    I like it, but I am unwilling to accept that the M3 will be a sedan only and this would be an M4. that is a bad move.

    That said, I'm a fan of the exterior design. But BMW needs to come up with a new idea for interiors; If I didn't know any better, I'd think it was an E36.

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      The interplay of the exterior lines and surfaces is accentuated by a newly-created Forged Bronze paint finish, with three times the amount of metal flake compared with standard production paint finishes.
      In profile, the hood is shaped like the rise of a snake's head, with a pair of sharp creases extending upwards from the base of the A-pillar, then plunging down the hood, leading into the edges of the expansive 'double-arch' grille. These lines disguise the hood's relatively short length, suggesting how the appearance of a production car could be adapted for a more compact engine, such as INFINITI's VC-Turbo, applying power to the road through an intelligent all-wheel drive powertrain.
      Functionality is a necessity in the mid-sized crossover segment and is central to the QX50 Concept's design. More practical than its QX Sport Inspiration progenitor, the QX50 Concept has a 'cabin-forward' silhouette and a slightly more vertical rear hatch, both reference points for a versatile and accommodating interior. The new shape of the crescent-cut D-pillar provides clearer over-the-shoulder visibility for the driver and a better view out for rear passengers.
      Interior: Challenging conventional thinking on premium cabin design
      Concept cabin demonstrates new direction of thinking with premium materials and craftsmanship Authentic materials and artistic design execution is at the heart of the concept's carefully curated cabin Driver-centric, yet passenger-minded, the cabin places similar importance on both form and function Blending progressive design with elevated levels of modern craftsmanship, the cabin of the QX50 Concept demonstrates INFINITI's desire to challenge and reinterpret conventional thinking on premium crossover interior design and material usage.
      In the place of high-gloss woods and soft-touch plastics, the interior of the QX50 Concept features a more modern application of wood, leather and stitching. Each material is treated and applied in a way to establish new trends in the design of premium crossover interiors.
      Deliberately articulating a sense of advanced human artistry, the QX50 Concept's cabin espouses a handmade feel and is the result of two Japanese approaches to craftsmanship – 'mitate' (pronounced "mee-ta-teh") and 'shitate' ("shee-ta-teh"). 'Mitate' relates to the practice of curating and bringing together the best possible selection of materials. 'Shitate' is the desire to tailor the chosen combination of materials, bringing out the best. With fine attention to detail and finish, such an approach creates an appearance and ambience throughout the cabin greater than the sum of its parts.
      The combination of materials and the way in which they have been applied has allowed INFINITI designers to demonstrate some of the highest levels of craftsmanship ever seen in a crossover in this segment.
      The QX50 Concept is wrapped in a variety of different leathers – genuine, semi-aniline, and synthetic nubuck – for a rich variety of textures and visual depth. The eyes naturally follow each different surface as it flows around the cabin. The QX50 Concept's cabin hints at a widening range of interior finishes for INFINITI customers to choose from, including a carefully selected three-tone color scheme.
      Adopting different leathers for the interior allows INFINITI to imagine how this three-tone cabin could look. Rich, brown leather lines the upper layer of the cabin, contrasted with white leather for the lower dashboard, door trim and seats. Between the two runs a line of navy blue synthetic nubuck, which also finishes the front center console. A line of close twin stitching runs along the top of the dashboard and doors, and around the seats.
      INFINITI has applied for a patent for a new 'dot quilting' method for the leather that lines the doors and seats. Inspired by classic buttoned leather sofas, dot quilting is sewn into place at individual points. The physical characteristics of the leather produce a more informal interpretation of the diamond lozenge shape that gives classic Chesterfield lounge chairs their distinctive appearance.
      Where many expect premium vehicle interiors use high-gloss wood surfaces to create the perception of quality, the QX50 Concept is trimmed in real, open-pore ash. The wood is treated to retain its natural, and sometimes irregular, characteristics in texture and appearance. Running a hand over it, the grain of the ash is still present, providing an authentic, modern appearance and enhanced tactility.
      The natural, flowing shapes of the cabin harmonize with those of the QX50 Concept's exterior, contrasting with the technical, linear – even austere – designs of other vehicles in the segment. A blend of positive and negative surfaces adds a level of visual depth to the cabin, with a complex interplay of light and shade. The organic lines of the cabin follow a similar form to the interior of the QX Sport Inspiration, referencing how they could be progressed from the original concept to a production car.
      Both 'driver-centric' and 'passenger-minded,' the layout of the QX50 Concept's cabin is divided into distinct zones for the driver and passengers. Consistent with its conceptual predecessor, the dashboard is focused on the driver, using its form and appearance to engender a true sense of confidence at the wheel.
      The horizontal forms of the dashboard wrap around the driver and passenger, with twisting, uninterrupted character lines flowing from the center console, along the dashboard and out to the rear of the cabin. The seats feature an ergonomic hexagon motif, for a wide and welcoming appearance, and maximum back and shoulder support for occupants.
      The QX50 Concept places form on the same level as function, with utility at the heart of its remit.
      In moving the base of the A-pillar further forward than on the QX Sport Inspiration, and shortening the hood to accommodate a more compact engine, the QX50 Concept's cabin-forward design creates a longer, more spacious passenger compartment. The upright stance of the rear hatch – more vertical than its forebear – is designed to give the QX50 Concept exceptional cargo space. The Concept's cargo bay is, for instance, long enough to store a stroller, suggesting how such a vehicle could suit a young family.
      The QX50 Concept's Graphic User Interface shows how new technologies could be incorporated into future INFINITI vehicle cabins.
      The center of the dashboard features a wide touchscreen HMI (human-machine interface). As well as displaying navigation and infotainment features, the QX50 Concept's touchscreen could display to occupants the current status of other technologies in the vehicle. The dashboard could display to all occupants the status of the vehicle's various driver assist technologies, as well as how the VC-Turbo variable compression ratio engine adapts as it shifts seamlessly between offering greater fuel efficiency and performance.
      INFINITI engineers continue to develop autonomous driving support technologies
      INFINITI's future autonomous drive support technologies will allow the driver to  retain ultimate control over their vehicle Future package of technologies will take a proactive approach to driver assistance and delegate elements of driving to the car The INFINITI QX50 Concept's driver assist system is part of the company's development of autonomous driving support technologies.
      The development strategy for all future INFINITI autonomous drive support systems is that they should ensure the driver retains control over their vehicle – in keeping with INFINITI's focus on driver engagement.
      In the future, INFINITI autonomous drive support technologies will continue to make driving less stressful – such as navigating stop-start traffic on the highway or keeping track of the positions of surrounding vehicles.
      Since its inception in 1989, INFINITI has brought pioneering driver-assistive technologies to the customer. The company has been responsible for a series of world-first technologies, including Predictive Forward Collision Warning, drive-by-wire Direct Adaptive Steering® and Active Lane Control.
      The QX50 Concept's INFINITI driver assistance technologies preview the first production-ready incarnation of this package.
      With a proactive approach to safety, the QX50 Concept assists the driver in identifying and responding to other road users and potential hazards. Future technologies will draw on inputs from a network of laser scanners, radar and cameras to read the road ahead and monitor the vehicle's surroundings, allowing the car to react accordingly.
      This framework of sensors will be developed in future production models with a series of new functionalities.
      VC-Turbo – the world's first production-ready variable compression ratio engine
      QX50 Concept suggests a potential application for INFINITI's VC-Turbo engine Packaging benefits for a mid-size crossover, powered by a compact engine with high specific power and efficiency INFINITI engineers target a 27-percent improvement in fuel efficiency compared to V6 gasoline engines The INFINITI QX50 Concept demonstrates a potential production application for INFINITI's advanced new VC-Turbo engine. INFINITI has yet to confirm which of its future vehicles could benefit from its variable compression ratio engine, though a mid-sized crossover could be one of the ideal applications for the 2.0-liter VC-Turbo power unit revealed by the company in 2016.
      The QX50 Concept's packaging efficiency and spacious cabin are due in part to a compact, space-efficient engine bay design. With its proportionately shorter hood, the QX50 Concept suggests how the 2.0-liter gasoline engine could power a front-biased intelligent all-wheel drive system.
      INFINITI's production-ready 2.0-liter VC-Turbo engine represents a compelling alternative to diesel powertrains, particularly in the mid-sized premium crossover segment. The VC-Turbo engine is able to adapt its compression ratio according to driving conditions to deliver optimal levels of performance and efficiency. It challenges the notion that hybrid technology and diesel are the only powertrains capable of offering high efficiency and torque. For its application in the QX50 Concept, the human-machine interface (HMI) demonstrates to the driver and passengers how the VC-Turbo is adapting according to driving conditions. The HMI displays the engine's current status as it intelligently chooses appropriate levels of performance and high efficiency.
      With a downsized capacity and high power and torque, the 2.0-liter VC-Turbo engine boasts an impressive specific power output – higher than many competing four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engines, and close to the performance of some V6 gasoline powertrains. In time for the engine's production debut in 2018, INFINITI engineers are targeting a 27-percent improvement in fuel efficiency over V6 gasoline engines of similar power output.

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