Radical new 2020 BMW 4 Series ready to take centre stage

Huge grille set to dominate next BMW 4 Series and our exclusive images preview how the new model could look

BMW has another busy year ahead, and the company is poised to reveal six new models. The most divisive of these will be the all-new 4 Series Coupe, which is due to be officially revealed in the summer, before going on sale at the end of the year.

The firm’s recent design language – including ever-larger front grilles – has been a major talking point, and that is set to continue. Heavily disguised prototypes of the 4 Series are being put through the final stages of their development testing, and they’re hiding a big surprise.

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The 4 Series will be BMW’s first coupe to adopt an enlarged vertical grille since the E9 of the seventies. Previewed in our exclusive images, the more polarising look is designed to put greater distance between the coupe and the 3 Series saloon on which it’s based. Indeed, the BMW Concept 4 that previewed the forthcoming new model at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show is said to be “85 per cent” the finished article.

There will also be a focus on performance with the 4 Series line-up. A hot M440i xDrive version of the coupe is illustrated in our exclusive images, and marked out by its more aggressive bumper design. It will be powered by a 3.0-litre turbocharged six-cylinder engine developing 369bhp, which deploys its power through an eight-speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive.

Above that, BMW will also engineer a flagship M4. This isn’t due until 2021, but it too will be powered by a 3.0-litre motor – one developed specifically by BMW’s M Division. This will be twin-turbocharged and generate upwards of 500bhp. Plus for the first time in an M4, a selectable four-wheel-drive system will be used.

Elsewhere at BMW, the German marque will unveil the final production version of the pure-electric iX3 SUV. This is due to be officially revealed in the coming months, and BMW has confirmed that the model will be able to cover at least 270 miles on a single charge, thanks to the use of a large 74kWh lithium-ion battery.

It will also be the first BMW to use a new fifth-generation eDrive system that combines the electric motor, electronics and transmission into one central housing. The firm says the set-up is more compact and lighter than the previous system.

The iX3 will develop 285bhp and 400Nm of torque, and power will be sent to the rear wheels, although an extra motor at the front could be introduced for four-wheel drive.

The addition of an electric option to the X3 makes it the first BMW on offer with petrol, diesel, plug-in hybrid or fully electric power.

Later in the year, updated versions of the 5 Series saloon and Touring, along with the facelifted M5, will be introduced. An all-new M3 will arrive at the end of the year.

BMW’s 2020 product plan 

New BMW iX3

Due: Spring 

Arrival of the iX3 in the spring kicks off BMW’s mass assault on the EV market. It will be the first model to use a new generation of electric powertrain, and it promises at least 270 miles of range on a single charge. 

BMW 5 Series facelift

Due: Summer

Big-selling saloon is due a mid-life facelift in the summer. Cosmetic changes will be minor, as spy shots reveal, with BMW’s focus being on improving powertrain efficiency to help reduce its fleet CO2 average. 

BMW 5 Series Touring facelift

Due: Summer 

Load-lugging Touring estate is due to follow shortly after the saloon, and is expected to get the option of a plug-in hybrid powertrain for the first time. Around 40 miles of EV range will be possible, and CO2 emissions should drop below 50g/km. 

BMW M5 facelift

Due: Summer 

Final member of the updated 5 Series line-up will be the flagship M5. It will stick with its 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 and four-wheel-drive set-up, but power could rise beyond the current car’s 625bhp output.

New BMW M3

Due: Winter

A radical overhaul for the Mercedes-AMG C 63 rival will see the saloon adopt a selectable four-wheel-drive system for the first time. New 3.0-litre straight six will also appear under the bonnet, developing more than 500bhp.

Is the grille too big on the next BMW 4 Series? Let us know your thoughts below…