FIRST DRIVE: 2018 BMW 440i CoupeApril 26, 2017
With the 2018 BMW 4 Series, BMW enhances an already great car with a raft of very subtle changes that add up to a more driver oriented enthusiast car. The 4 Series uses the same platform as the 3 Series, but comes with a wider front and rear track and lower center of gravity for better handling. The 4 Series leads its segment in sales and since it debuted at the end of 2013, the 4 Series has racked up over 400,000 sales. So BMW was wanting to tweak it, but not drastically change it.
Changes are not only about appearance, but also include re-worked chassis dynamics and updated electronics. Cosmetically, starting from the front the new BMW 4 Series gets new LED headlights standard with adaptive LEDs optional and were optioned on our test car. The front apron has been changed slightly as has the rear apron on the car. Two new colors are available Snapper Rocks Blue, which looked fabulous in the sun against the back drop of the mountains, and Sunset Orange. The new 4 Series also has new LED rear lights, fog lights as well as new wheel options.
If you think the new hexagonal day-time running lights look familiar, it is because that design debuted on the 4 Series Coupe Concept back in Detroit in 2013. They were stunning then and we are glad to see they have made it into a production 4 Series Coupe.
On the interior, BMW has developed a new instrument cluster that is more digital than the previous, but displays tachometer and speedometer in a traditional dial style graphic. Head-Up display projects your current speed as well as the existing speed limit, and remains best in the business. Interior materials have been refined and move up-scale with high-gloss black and chrome applications.
One example of the new accents is the deviated double stitching. Further, three new upholsteries are now available including Ivory White Dakota leather, Cognac Dakota leather, and Midnight Blue Dakota leather. In addition now, the new 4 Series has tree new interior trims which are fine-line light, high-gloss black and carbon aluminum.
Back in spring of 2016, the 4 Series all got all new engines and represent the current engine line up in BMW. There are a staggering 31 variants of the 4 Series when you account for three different body styles, RWD or AWD, and motors. The 440i Coupe we drove through the tight Bavarian Alps switch backs, and blasted down the Autobahn wide open, is fitted with BMW’s B58 twin turbo in-line 6 cylinder. This motor twists out a stout 320 hp, 330 lb-ft of torque and runs 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds. Mash the throttle and the response is instantaneous while we perceived zero turbo lag.
The power output of the petrol-engined BMW 4 Series models range from 135 kW / 184 hp in the BMW 420i up to 240 kW / 326 hp in the BMW 440i. When it comes to the diesel line-up, which doesn’t come to the United States, the power spectrum extends from 140 kW / 190 hp in the BMW 420d up to the 230 kW / 313 hp of the BMW 435d xDrive.
The new 2018 4 Series now come with a stiffer suspension which sharpens the handling yet somehow does it without loss of ride comfort. Both the lateral and longitudinal dynamics have been improved, regardless of the load on board. This applies not only to the standard suspension, but also to the M Sport suspension and the Adaptive suspension. All new BMW 4 Series models now boast even more assured straight-line stability and more communicative steering.
The changes sound like a lot of little things, but the overall results is a much more driver focused, engaging sports coupe. Our 440i Coupe test vehicle came equipped with the M Sport suspension and given the way this thing handled in the twisty mountain roads is definitely the way to option the car if you like sports car feel.
The overall package of the 440i is a well balanced car, lots of power, great handling and great brakes. Sometimes I feel like M cars can over power the chassis, but I feel the overall balance of the 440i M Sport Coupe is a better. It really puts the power down well and has great handling to match its stout power plant.