Following a shadowy teaser and online bookings starting in mid January, BMW Malaysia have officially introduced the all-new 4 Series into the local range, starting specifically with the 430i M Sport priced at RM454,800 (on-the-road without insurance).
Though technically the top tier high performance M4 Competition was the first ‘4’ to arrive in the Malaysian market, this fully imported G22 version is the entrance of the non-M family of the 4 Series proper, the 2nd-generation of BMW’s mid-tier two-door coupe, wedged below the 8 Series Coupe and above 2 Series Coupe, succeeding the F32 that was brought here in late 2013.
That said, there’s many traits that are shared with that particular beast born of BMW M. The underlying structure is derived from the automaker’s CLAR platform, which at this point forms the basis of all current-era models save for those with transversely-mounted engines and a predominantly front-drive layout - 1 Series, X1, X2, 2 Series Gran Coupe.
Four exterior colours are available: Arctic Race Blue Metallic, Portimao Blue, Alpine White, and Black Sapphire. However, the main talking point about the 4 Series is its design, particularly its front end snout. Think of it what you will, but BMW seems to happily feed on the reactions to its controversial design. Any publicity, even notoriety, could be what they’re after.
In their press release, perhaps in an attempt to warm us to the reasoning behind why it looks the way it does, BMW aren’t sparing words on the topic, calling the new grille design “bold”, a “strong statement”, and that “the All-New BMW 4 Series is the manifestation of that inquisitiveness that has helped spur us ever-forward in the field of design.” - OK.
The much larger front ‘kidneys’ now resemble a pair of lungs, as has been pointed out many times, and run almost the full height of the fascia itself, featuring an internal honeycomb mesh weave in contrasting aluminium. Being an M Sport model, the 430i also includes larger air intake curtains on either side of the bumper to give it wider and more aggressive.…um, cheeks.
There’s also BMW Laserlight headlights and LED fog lamps as standard with the remaining black accents finished in high-gloss Shadow Line from BMW Individual.
Along the sides we have character lines to accentuate the athletic profile we associate with a BMW 4 Series along with 19-inch wheels (Style 797 M Bicolour). Meanwhile, the rear is framed by the car’s wide hips to reveal a tail end that echoes cues from the 8 Series, concealing a 440-litre boot within and a pair of chrome exhaust exits below, nicely integrated with its rear bumper and diffuser-like element.
Under the bonnet we have the familiar B48 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, tuned to output 258hp and 400Nm for a 0-100km/h sprint in an impressively rapid 5.8 seconds. As usual, it’s mated exclusively to the excellent 8-speed automatic sourced from ZF and sends power to the rear wheels. Top speed is electronically limited to 250km/h.
At a fundamental level, BMW have made driving dynamics a top priority with the new 4 Series by, among other measures, adding new advanced control systems to mitigate wheel slip. Taken as a whole, these have the potential to introduce marked handling improvements over its predecessor by a significant margin, and so far the verdicts on this matter have been pretty unanimously in favour. The 430i’s M Sport suspension sharpens the drive even further, and the standard package includes beefier M Sport Brakes and Variable Sport Steering.
Compared to the F32, this G22 is longer by 130mm with a wheelbase extended by 41mm, making for a larger footprint on the road as well as a more expansive cabin. Those already familiar with the G20 3 Series will quickly recognise this dashboard layout finished in Sensatec with pearl chrome and satin aluminium accents. The interior’s dual tone palette can be had in Black, Tacora Red, or Cognac brown.
Perched on the centre stack is a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment display with iDrive angled slightly toward the driver running BMW’s latest Operating System 7 software, paired with a larger 12.3-inch digital instrument display behind the M leather steering wheel. Among some other nice feature inclusions are a 16-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, a Qi wireless charging pad, 3-zone climate control, and ambient interior lighting with 11 presets.
All occupants enjoy supple Vernasca leather upholstery, though the front seats are considered ‘sport’ thanks to its extra semi-bucket bolstering. Speaking of which, the rear seats do look large enough to be usable even to adults, and they fold down in a 40/20/40 split to make even more use of that big 440-litre boot.
The 430i M Sport also comes with the Driving Assistant Package which adds an ensemble of driver assist and active safety systems, including Front Collision Warning with Brake Intervention, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Change Warning, and Rear Collision Prevention.
BMW Malaysia provides all owners of the 430i with their 5-Year Unlimited Mileage Warranty with Free Scheduled Service Programme as well as BMW Roadside Assistance.