the i4 of the « old »!
After the electric versions of thermal models, here is the gasoline version of a battery-powered car. Yes: the greening of communication requires, this new 4 Series Gran Coupé can be tested several weeks after the BMW i4, the brand’s first 100% electric wagon. But if the aesthetic resemblance is striking between the two twins (only the open grille and the visible exhaust tips differentiate them), their technical content remains quite remote.
Like the 4 Series Coupé launched at the end of 2020, the Gran Coupé version relies heavily on the platform of the 3 Series and energizes its peripherals: the hull is stiffened. The tracks are widened by 6 mm at the front and 19 mm at the rear, respectively 50 mm and 29 mm more than the previous 4 Series Gran Coupé. The range of three engines is headed by this six-cylinder turbo 374 hp coming with a sports chassis, increased brakes, more direct steering and an xDrive all-wheel drive with controlled rear differential, just to keep a typical propulsion balance on re-acceleration. . If it weren’t for the presence of a slight 48V hybridization, it almost looked like a decade ago. Except for the ecotax …
BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé penalties and prices
By supporting the engine at low revs after recovering kinetic energy in a small battery, the 48V mild-hybrid system reduces CO emissions2 and generates 11 hp of boost during heavy loads. An electrification unfortunately insufficient to avoid the penalties, rather strong from 2022: € 7,850 minimum and up to € 14,273 with energy-consuming options. This adds up to the € 69,900 claimed for the purchase before any option.
If the standard equipment initially seems complete (see all the details on the next page), several lines must be added to the order form to have a simple hands-free key, leather upholstery or 19-inch rims. All paved with low rolling resistance tires, the BMW M440i can also opt for Performance compounds in 19 inches (Pirelli P Zero). They do, alas increase CO emissions2 of 8 g / km and the penalty of € 8,250 to € 12,000, bringing the actual additional cost of the option to € 5,750! Therefore, it is better to keep the classic mounts to order and then afford four Pirelli after-sales. A ridiculous tax penalty when it comes to handling.
Despite its raised floor compared to that of the Coupé, the 4 Series Gran Coupé still welcomes its driver in the same way: excellently. Sitting low, legs straight and flying close to the body, the latter imagines himself at the controls of a sports coupe. And the performance does not really indicate the opposite, since this august wagon of 4.78 m long sends the 0 to 100 km / h in 4.7 s, just 2 tenths more than a Porsche Cayman GTS of 400 ch (see video on next page). Its character is obviously different and already imaginable by examining the technical sheet: the 500 Nm of torque are constant from 1900 to 5500 rpm, then the maximum power takes over up to 6500 rpm.
This six-cylinder therefore monkey a giant elastic which triggers, whatever the speed or the gear engaged, an immediate push by a subtle unfolding of the right toe. Want more dynamic driving? All you have to do is press the Sport mode button, which reduces the steering assistance (unfortunately still a little silent), energizes the gearbox management and amplifies the sound. Artificially doubled by the speakers, the soundtrack retains the metallic accents of yesteryear and is accompanied by small explosions when upshifting, which generates a slight jerk beneficial to the sensations.
Pressing the magic button a second time makes the throttle even more responsive and allows the rear differential to send more torque to the outside wheel when cornering. The small commas of the posterior at the exit of a pin then become fun and, if the 1900 kg homologated with driver do not allow the agility of a ballerina in the pins, the M440i Gran Coupé provides more pleasure than its cousin i4 M50. Despite its superior performance (the electric peaks at 544 hp!), Its additional 390 kg and its authoritative traction control did not offer the same driving pleasure.
And since a car of this caliber is not only used to panic the lap times, the Series 4 Gran Coupé also knows how to be gentle. In town, its very discreet starter-alternator and its freewheeling phases when decelerating compete with the smoothness of an electric. The optional pilot-operated suspension of our test model guaranteed a good level of comfort on bumps, also served by the effective soundproofing of air and road noise on the motorway. At 130 km / h, the six-cylinder also purrs at less than 1,800 rpm in eighth and sips just over 8.5 liters of unleaded every 100 km. Not bad for a heavy 374 hp petrol sedan …
No, the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé does not have a monopoly on the gently sloping tailgate, low roof and frameless doors. The Audi A5 Sportback, launched before it, and even the Peugeot 508 adopt the same aesthetic codes. Corn these two rivals each go about it in their own way to match the 374 hp of our BMW M440i test. In execution S5, the Audi trusts a V6… diesel of 341 ch performance and (artificially) melodious, but unable to avoid the penalty. Count 10,000 € for a minimum ecotax in 2022, to be added to the 82,350 € of the official rate excluding options!
This is what makes our national 508 Peugeot Sport Engineered smile, whose plug-in hybrid propulsion of 360 hp accumulated exempts it from any environmental tax. If the richer endowment, the softer price (€ 67,100) and the possibility of traveling around thirty kilometers in 100% electric mode are attractive, the mechanical approval remains quite far from that of the BMW. Blame it on a 1.6 four-cylinder engine that is far too voiceless to forget the vocalizations of the German six-in-line. Have you ever mourned it? In the BMW range, the famous i4 eDrive 40 (340 hp, two-wheel drive, up to 590 km of approved autonomy) peaks at € 63,350 in M Sport, or € 14,400 less than the M440i by including its penalty minimum.
Find the test report, the technical sheet, the equipment prices and the video bonus of the 2022 4 Series Gran Coupé on the following page.