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The 2015 BMW 4-Series isn't just a 3-Series-based family of two-door models. It occupies the same space in the market as the BMW 3-Series Coupe used to, and starts with the 3-Series' underpinnings, engines, and equipment. But the 4-Series is longer, lower, and wider than its sedan counterparts.
The shape of the 4-Series is a little more low-set, aggressive, and alluring than the 3-Series Coupes that preceded, and it has more visual 'weight' than the current 3-Series sedans on which it's based. It has the same proportions of the long-ago 8-Series, as well as some of the styling cues of former generations of 3-Series coupes. The cabin's more adventurous, with some sweeping arcs and trim packages that lift its basic-black wardrobe into something a little more couture.
Every luxury coupe has to answer the same question: Is the 4-Series handsome enough and daring enough to be steered away from the sedan on which it's based (in this case, the esteemed 3-Series sport sedan)? The answer isn't entirely clear here.
The shape of the 2015 BMW 4-Series reminds us of the old 8-Series, and past 3-Series coupes as well. The rear roofline's kink is classic BMW, the side sculpting not so deeply gouged. It's more elegant, like a Regal or an F-Type or-shut your mouth-a Mustang.
With a lighter, more complex suspension than in its past, the 4-Series coupe and sedan benefit from a stiffer body and a wider range of tuning possibilities that comes with it. It's by default a grand tourer, but adaptive driving systems mean you can tailor its steering weight, shift schedule, and throttle maps. It's happy to loaf along in low-aspiration Comfort mode, but it only truly comes alive in Sport and Sport+ programs. The throttle zings toward redline, the automatic cracks off instant shifts, the steering tackles turns instantly.