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four blimey The front grille may divide opinion, but this new BMW 4 Series packs a serious punch

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The new BMW 4-Series coupe is incredible but expensive

The new BMW 4-Series coupe is incredible but expensive

The new BMW 4-Series coupe is incredible but expensive

BMW 420d M Sport Pro edition

A BIT like myself, the new BMW 4 Series has piled on the pounds during the last 12 months of lockdown.

Its front grille has grown as big as my belly and its sporty rear end is as chunky as my backside.

It’s as if it has been munching on all those crisps and chocolates with me on the couch out of boredom during this Level 5 nightmare.

Love it or loathe it, the new oversized front grille catches your attention from the moment you first lay your eyes on it – and it makes a massive statement.

It has caused heated debate among my motoring peers (to say the least) but, then again, BMW has always been a little different from the rest.

There is no doubt that the new-look trademark kidney grille, with its upright elements connected in the centre, reprises a design feature from the company’s past – but it now adds a modern twist.

Apart from that, the new 4 Series coupé introduces mild hybrid technology, the latest weight-saving chassis technology and the first BMW to be available with the specialised M Sport Pro package (which was my test car for the week).

As well as that sleek and distinctive new exterior design, the new coupé delivers both stunning performance and amazing handling capabilities, and features high-quality interior, upgraded driver assistance technology and even greater efficiency with the introduction of the mild hybrid technology.

Full-LED headlights are fitted as standard, with two U-shaped fibre-optic light guides in the lower section serving as the daytime driving lights.

Adaptive LED headlights with BMW Laserlight, including BMW Selective Beam non-dazzling high-beam assistant, are available optionally.

On the inside, you will discover cleanly designed surfaces, high-quality materials and a driver-focused cockpit layout, all of which combine to define the premium and performance feel.

Surprisingly for a four-seater sports car, the space in the rear seats is not too bad. Now, it’s certainly not a family car for school runs, but it has ample leg room for a tight coupé.

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However, taller passengers might struggle with the headroom in the rear seats and they are more suited to those less than six-feet tall. The boot space is also generous for a sports car and the whole body dimensions have grown to make it more spacious in most departments.

The 4 Series coupé two-door model is also the first BMW to be made available with the new M Sport Pro package. This option includes all the elements of the M Sport model and adds the Sprint function for additional bursts of speed and a sporty engine soundtrack in the cabin when sport mode is activated.

In addition, the M Sport brakes are featured on the 420i coupé, 420d and 420d xDrive, as well as 19-inch M light-alloy wheels, a rear spoiler in high-gloss black, individual high-gloss 'shadowline' trim with extended features and M seat belts.

On the road, the 4 Series coupé is a dream to drive and it sticks to the tarmac like a piece of chewing gum.

Under the bonnet, BMW has tweaked its 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine. It does sound much quieter than the one I remember in the outgoing model. And, for the first time, every model in the range has been fitted with an eight-speed steptronic gearbox as standard.

The latest version of this has been revised to provide even sharper shift characteristics with greater efficiency and refinement and all models are fitted with shift paddles on the steering wheel if you fancy having a bit of fun.

Now down to the bad news: to get your bum in one of these M Sport seats, you will have to fork out €56,215 for the entry-level model.

However, even this model comes equipped with an abundance of technology included as standard. Upgrade to my test car that features the new M Sport Pro package and you are looking at digging a good bit deeper again into your pockets in search of €67,986.

That is quite a big figure for a 4 Series coupé. It is a seriously excellent all-round car, but a little bit out of my own price range.

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