New Model News

Next-gen 2021 BMW 4 Series Coupe debuts with a distinctive face, mild-hybrid powertrain

BMW has debuted the first vehicle in the next-generation 4 Series lineup.

Photo by Fabian Kirchbauer Photography

BMW has unveiled the second-generation 4 Series Coupe six years after the last generation launched. The model puts forward a strong face, but has a long hood, sleek roof, and inoffensive back end while being powered by a fresh lineup of BMW engines.

The car will come in three trim levels: 430i, 430i xDrive, and M440i xDrive. BMW xDrive models come standard with all-wheel drive.

Exterior

Compared to the previous generation's 33i and 430i Coupe models, the 2021 BMW 4 Series Coupe is 2.2 inches longer, 1.0 inch wider, 2.2 inches lower and with a 1.0 inch wider rear track while sharing the same wheelbase. The car is more aerodynamic compared to the 430i Coupe as well.

2021 BMW 4 Series Coupe The looks of the car are sleeker with less folds and creases in this generation. Photo by Fabian Kirchbauer Photography

The face of the 4 Series Coupe is the most controversial. It features a new type of kidney grille that has been compared to the teeth of a beaver. BMW says that the new design, " provides adequate cooling for the [cars'] more powerful engines." The grille is surrounded by a three-dimensional mesh structure.

The air intakes take their position on the edges of the front bumper while standard LED headlights illuminate the way ahead.Two U-shaped daytime running light elements in each headlight give the car its BMW headlight signature. The turn signals consist of three glass blade units in the corners of each front light assembly.

Overall, the design of the 4 Series Coupe is clean but muscular with its long hood giving off sports car vibes. It has frameless windows, which add to its sophistocation. Acoustic glass is now used in the car to keep the cabin quiet.

For as much of a talking point as the front of the car is, the back is rather dull. There are darkened L-shaped LED taillights and vertical apertures at the rear corners mimic the air vents up front. BMW's signature trapezoidal exhaust finishers are tucked into the lower rear bumper cover.

2021 BMW 4 Series Coupe The grille is a point of controversy amongst critics. Photo by Fabian Kirchbauer Photography

Buyers opting for the M Sport Package get a uniquely styled front bumper with larger air intake openings and a restyled rear bumper with Shadowline inlays. The rear diffuser panel, front air intake trim, side window moldings and lower exterior mirror housings are all finished in high-gloss black.

Opting for the Shadowline Package gets buyers a high-gloss black finish to the kidney grille, exhaust tip trim and a black finish to the mirror caps.

The M440i xDrive Coupe's exterior styling is set apart by a rear trunk spoiler and by a Cerium Grey finish to the kidney grille, front air intake trim, exterior mirror caps, and rear trapezoidal exhaust tip trim.

All 4 Series Coupes are equipped with standard 18 inch alloy wheels with all-season run-flat tires. Nineteen-inch alloy wheels with all-season run-flat tires ad 19-inch alloy wheels with performance run-flat tires are available. The M440i xDrive Coupe also offers the additional option of 19-inch alloy wheels with performance non-run-flat tires are an option.

2021 BMW 4 Series Coupe The rear of the car is rather mundane compared to the front. Photo by Fabian Kirchbauer Photography

Performance

Every variant of the 4 Series Coupe is more powerful than the last-generation. The base 430i and 430i xDrive Coupe get their power from a twin-turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 255 horsepower and 294 pound-feet of torque. The 430i Coupe is capable of getting from zero to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds. The 430i xDrive Coupe is 0.2 seconds faster off the line. Both cars have an electronically limited top speed of 130 or 155 mph depending on the tires it wears.

The M440i xDrive Coupe is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that produces 382 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. The car is helped off the line by a 48-volt battery that is part of the car's mild-hybrid system. It can go from zero to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds and has a an electronically limited top speed of 130 or 155 mph depending on its wheel and tire combination.

Both engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, which utilizes data from the adaptive cruise control system to downshift in order to scrub off speed, reducing wear and tear on the brakes.

2021 BMW 4 Series Coupe The profile of the coupe is sporty, with its long hood and swept back windscreen. Photo by Fabian Kirchbauer Photography

Performance of the M440i xDrive Coupe is enhanced by its standard rear M Sport differential, which works in conjunction with the stability control system to reduce understeer.

BMW says that the 4 Series Coupe is the more rigid than the last model. That, along with equipment upgrades, allow the model to have sharper steering and better handling than the outgoing model, as well as delivering a more comfortable drive.

The optional M Sport suspension (standard on the new BMW M440i xDrive Coupe) features firmer spring settings, stiffer bushings and mounts, firmer anti-roll bars, and a greater negative wheel camber.

Variable Sport steering, part of the optional M Sport Package and standard on the M440i xDrive, adjusts to changes in the steering angle to maximizing cornering agility and low speed comfort.

Sport brakes are also available.

2021 BMW 4 Series Coupe The car is set up to have a driver-centric cockpit. Photo by Fabian Kirchbauer Photography

Interior

The car features much fo the same from BMW. It has driver-centric cockpit with a start/stop button now located on the center console adjacent to the newly designed shifter.

Newly designed front power Sport seats and leather Sport steering wheel are standard. The four-seater 4 Series Coupe's rear seating with integral head restraints is designed for two passengers and features split-folding functionality.

Infotainment

BMW's Intelligent Personal Assistant responds to "Hey BMW" and can perform unique actions like automatically opening a window the the vehicle reaches a predetermined GPS point.

The car comes standard with an 8.8-inch infotainment touch screen and a 5.1-inch driver's information screen. Buyers can upgrade to a 10.25-inch center touch screen and a fully digital 12.3-inch instrument display.

2021 BMW 4 Series Coupe The interior of the car is very BMW with design that blends in with the rest of the automaker's lineup.Photo courtesy of BMW

BMW has also made navigation, which uses new cloud-based functionality, standard on the model. The system has been updated to allow for better user flexibility with inputs and route guidance. Buyers who opt for Live Cockpit Professional get a system with enhanced 3D graphics that highlights obstacles surrounding the car.

The new 2021 BMW 4 Series Coupe offers standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Compatibility. Additional apps available include Google Assistant, Google Maps, Spotify, Amazon Music, and WhatsApp.

Safety

The list of standard safety technology on the model includes lane departure warning with steering correction; frontal collision; pedestrian warning with braking function; blind spot detection; rear cross traffic alert; rear collision preparation, automatic high beams; and speed limit information.

The Driving Assistance Professional Package which adds adaptive cruise control with stop and go and traffic jam assist, which allows for extended hands free vehicle operation, lane keeping assistant with side collision avoidance, evasion aid, front cross traffic alert, and emergency stop assistant – which can help guide your BMW to the shoulder and bring it to a halt in a medical emergency situation.

2021 BMW 4 Series Coupe The car features a fresh light signature in the front and rear.Photo courtesy of BMW

Buyers can upgrade to the Parking Assistance Package, which delivers a panorama view and 3D surround camera views to assist with parking. It can steer the car in and out of a parking spot on command. The remote 3D view function gives drivers the ability to call up a three-dimensional live image of their parked vehicle and its immediate vicinity on their smartphone. Additionally, the package allows the driver to use the car's cameras to record video footage from the front and rear of the vehicle then display them later.

Pricing and on-sale

MSRP pricing is $45,600 for the 430i Coupe, $47,600 for the 430i xDrive Coupe and $58,500 for the M440i xDrive Coupe. Pricing does not include the $995 destination fee. The model goes on sale later this year.

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NXP Semiconductors has two chip plants in Texas that were effected by Winter Storm Uri.

Photo courtesy of NXP Semiconductors N.V.

The effects of Winter Storm Uri are still being felt across Texas and it's impacting the auto industry. Reporting by Reuters tells that chipmakers, like Samsung Electronics, are still weeks away from resuming normal operations in Texas.

Traditionally, this sort of production slowdown wouldn't much impact the industry. There would typically be enough dealership and inventory and automaker back stock to make up for many, if not all of the shortages for a short period of time. However, COVID-19 has put a strain on the chipmaking industry and is already slowing production, limiting sales, and hurting automaker bottom lines.

There's also been increased demand for semiconductor chips as sales of laptops, gaming consoles, and other entertainment and exercise equipment soared as coronavirus-related lockdowns changed lifestyles globally.

Ford and General Motors have both said that their 2021 sales and profits will be hit hard by the shortage. Additional analysis by Reuters says that Toyota has enough inventory to last four months while Hyundai and Kia, which share common ownership, purchased a stockpile of chips when production was going full steam in late December and are thus far unaffected.

Samsung and NXP Semiconductors shut their factories in Texas last month when Winter Storm Uri took hold. Like Lone Star State households, Texas businesses lost access to electricity, natural gas, and water.

Samsung's logic chip plant is located in Austin. It began operating 2017 and makes chips using Samsung's 14-nanometer, 28-nm and 32-nm chip production technologies. The facility is Samsung's biggest logic chip production facility outside of South Korea, where the company is headquartered. The company also has a NAND flash chip facility in Austin.

NXP's plants are also in Austin where the company has its corporate headquarters. While there are nine other NXP offices in the U.S., there are no other manufacturing sites.

Edward Latson, CEO of the Austin Regional Manufacturers Association, told Reuters that chipmakers now have the power, water and gas they need to operate, but they need time to restart tools and clean the factories. He characterized the process as being slow and "very expensive".

The one month of lost production is most likely to hit automakers hardest five months down the road, in the third quarter.

Many analysts had been predicting an uptick in new vehicle sales for 2021 after car sales rallied in the fourth quarter of 2020. However, these chip shortages are deeply impacting those sales predictions.

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The Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo brings an adventurous spirit to the table.

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

Imagine a Porsche 911 with a long, wagon-like back end and you end up with something like the Porsche Panamera. Make the 911 a Taycan, Porsche's fully-electric sports sedan, give it a wagon-like back end and increased ground clearance, and you have the 2022 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo.

Porsche says that the new model "draws on the strengths of its sport sedan sibling" giving buyers an idea of what to expect - a performance-focused driving style, sure-footedness, and a refined interior. The increased ground clearance via a standard air suspension and added cargo capacity make the Taycan Cross Turismo more adventure-ready.

The fresh body style give rear seat occupants 0.35 inches more legroom and 3.62 inches more headroom. With the rear seats folded, there's 42.8 cubic feet of cargo space, about 10 cubic feet less than what's in the 2021 Porsche Macan. With the seats erect, the differential is in the Macan's favor by just under two cubic feet (15.7 vs. 17.6). The Taycan Cross Turismo has 2.9 cubic feet of cargo space in the front, something the Macan doesn't have (because that's where its engine is).

2022 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

Roof rails are standard. A roof transport system and rear-mounted bike rack are available via Telequipment. The Off Road Design Package adds additional body cladding and raises the ride height an additional 10 millimeters (0.39 inches).

The boutique automaker will launch the model in four grades: Taycan 4 Cross Turismo, Taycan 4S Cross Turismo, Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo, and Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo. All models will features dual-motor all-wheel drive, a two-speed rear transmission, Porsche Adaptive Suspension Management in conjunction with air suspension, Performance Battery Plus and its 800-volt battery architecture, adaptive aerodynamics, a panoramic glass roof.

The Taycan Cross Turismo will come standard with a Gravel drive model, meant for driving situations that need more traction than most. But, in no way should the car be considered anything more than dirt-path ready. The car is quipped with more cladding than the traditional Taycan in order to prevent paint chips and body damage.

Porsche says that Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo can accelerate from a stop to 60 miles per hour in 2.7 seconds while the Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo can make the sprint to 60 mph in just 3.1 seconds. The Taycan 4S Cross Turismo and Taycan 4 Cross Turismo can get to 60 mph in 3.9 and 4.8 seconds respectively.

Three years of free Electrify America charging is also included with every model.

Buyers will be able to order theres in a number of color ways, interior schemes, and Cross Turismo specific items such as the Off Road Design Package and 20-inch Off Road Design or 21-inch Cross Turismo Design wheels. There are 21,000 total combinations based solely on variant, wheel choice, exterior color, and interior selection.

Porsche's PCM infotainment and navigation system are standard. Wireless Apple CarPlay, Function on Demand, Plug and Charge capabilities, Apple Music, over-the-air updates for three years. Bose and Burmester audio systems and 14-way power-adjustable seats with massage functionality are available.

Adaptive cruise control, park assist, a head-up display, and lane keep assist will also be available.

The Taycan Cross Turismo models start at $90,900, not including the $1,350 destination charge. The Taycan Cross Turismo is expected to arrive at U.S. dealerships in summer 2021. EPA range figures will be announced closer to market launch.

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