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2021 BMW 4 Series teasers preview mild hybrid power

A little extra juice never hurts.

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- 02:13

BMW's clearly saving a bit of money on the camouflage by keeping that part of the hood and roof uncovered. Besides, it's not like this bits give away the whole shebang or anything.

BMW

BMW played a pretty good practical joke on the universe when it debuted the Concept 4, which previewed the next-generation 4 Series, including what might be the most breathtaking (in the Seinfeld baby sense) grille ever produced. But as the real deal draws closer, it appears that everything looks a lot more harmonious.

BMW on Wednesday unveiled a host of teaser images and specifications for the upcoming 4 Series, which should debut later this year as a 2021 model. From what I can see in the previews, the 4 looks like it should bear more than a passing resemblance to the new 3 Series. The headlights look sharper, the body looks a little more sculpted and -- perhaps the best part -- the grille appears blissfully proportional, a far cry from what I saw on the Concept 4. Out back, there's a sporty roofline leading to a proper trunk, and I'd wager the taillights look pretty close to the 3 Series, too.

But that's where the points of comparison begin to drift apart. In its release, BMW promises that the 4 Series will better stand apart from its four-door sibling this time around. The body is slipperier, decreasing the coefficient of drag by 0.015. The 4 Series is also a full two inches closer to the ground, which means it should be more fun to toss around. Further boosts to its on-road prowess come from many of the new adaptive suspension components found in the 3 Series, as well as a whole bunch of bracing to keep the chassis nice and solid.

New powertrains are also coming along for the ride. The new BMW M440i xDrive Coupe will combine a 374-horsepower, 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system. The extra juice can be used for efficiency's sake, prolonging stop-start time and permitting lighter engine loads at times, but it can also provide an additional 11 hp (and an unspecified amount of torque) when a driver smashes the gas pedal. An eight-speed automatic transmission will send that hustle to all four wheels through BMW's M Sport differential.

Obviously, the automaker isn't quite ready to dish all the deets. BMW is still putting the new 4 Series through its paces in and around Munich, having already completed development stints in Sweden, France and the famed Nürburgring Nordschleife. We're not quite sure when the 4 Series will make its official debut -- and I wouldn't blame BMW for not exactly knowing at this moment, either -- but it shouldn't be too far off now.