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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

BMW updates 4 Series Gran Coupe and electric i4 inside and out

While no dynamic changes have taken place, all combustion engine models now receive a 48-volt mild-hybrid system as standard.

Following the mid-life changes applied to the coupe and cabriolet at the end of January, BMW has now made the same revisions available on the 4 Series Gran Coupe and its all-electric sibling, the i4.

Smoother looks

Subjected to the same criticism as the coupe for its controversial styling at its world debut three years ago, the external changes to both model comprises restyled LED headlights and a reshaped grille with a mesh pattern, as well as a matte chrome or gloss black surround.

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While the M Sport package continues to be optional on the non M Performance variants, ticking it adds not only the M bumpers and door sills, but a new gloss black imitation diffuser and 100 mm in diameter exhaust outlets.

BMW debuts facelift M440i Gran Coupe
M440i sits atop the Gran Coupe range once again. Image: BMW

Further options include the M Carbon pack and the M Sport Pro, with the last external revisions being new taillight clusters with the optional Laserlight didoes from the M4 CSL, redesigned 19 or 20-inch alloy wheels, and two new colours; Fire Red Metallic and Cape York Green Metallic.

Digital focused cabin

As with the coupe and cabriolet, BMW has made no changes to the 4 Series Gran Coupe or i4’s CLAR platform, but inside, replaced most of the physical switchgear with touch-sensitive buttons it says is as a result of “consistent digitalisation”.

BMW debuts facelift M440i Gran Coupe
Interior of the M440i xDrive. Image: BMW

In this regard, the Curved Display, made-up of the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and 14.9-inch iDrive infotainment system, have been included, the latter furnished with the 8.5 operating system.

Elsewhere, the climate control panel has been redesigned, ambient lighting made standard, a Dark Graphite trim insert option added to standard models, and an alloy option to M Sport variants.

New BMW i4 M50 debuts
Interior of the i4 M50 with the M Sport Pro package. Image: BMW

Standard across all versions are paddle shifters, new air vents, the option of a Sensatec faux leather trimmed instrument panel, a new steering wheel for standard and M Sport models, and sport seats finished in Sensatec, Vernasca or Merino leather, or Performtex in the case of M Sport.

Hybrid diesel or petrol…

Up front, the Gran Coupe again follows the example of the coupe and cabriolet by receiving a 48-volt mild-hybrid system regardless of the fuel type used.

Excluding the system’s additional eight kilowatts, none of the powerplants have received more grunt, with the 2.0-litre turbo-petrol developing 135kW/300Nm in the 420i and 180kW/400Nm in the 430i xDrive.

Respective performance figures is a top speed of 240 km/h and 250 km/h, with 0-100 km/h taking 7.9 seconds and 6.1 seconds.

BMW debuts facelift M440i Gran Coupe
M440i keeps is ranking as the flagship Gran Coupe model. Image: BMW

As per its denominator, the 430i receives the xDrive all-wheel-drive system, while the 420i remains rear-wheel-drive. Both are, however, fitted with a now toggle switch operated eight-speed Steptronic gearbox.

Completing the petrol range, the M Performance flavoured M440i xDrive produces 275kW/500Nm from its 3.0-litre turbocharged straight-six, directed to all four wheels through the sports optimised version of the eight-speed ‘box. Top speed is limited to 250 km/h with the 0-100 km/h sprint taking 4.7 seconds.

On the diesel side, the 420d develops 140kW/400Nm from its 2.0-litre engine, but as in the coupe, can be had with the xDrive system as an option.

BMW debuts facelift M440i Gran Coupe
Seats can be finished in a number of different colours and materials. Image: BMW

Top speed numbers are the same at 240 km/h and 238 km/h, with the respective 0-100 km/h times being 7.3 seconds and 7.6 seconds.

At the top of the range, the 430d gets the xDrive system as standard, with outputs of 210kW/650Nm from its 3.0-litre straight-six. Top speed is limited to 250 km/h with 0-100 km/h taking 5.3 seconds.

Unlike the 4 Series Coupe, the Gran Coupe lacks the M Performance M440d that develops 250kW/700Nm from its straight-six unit.

…or 100% electric

On the i4 front, a total of four models are offered, the base variant being the eDrive 35 that makes 210kW/400Nm from its 67-kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

Upgraded BMW i4 revealed
i4 offers a choice of two standard models. Image: BMW

Its claimed top speed is 190 km/h with 0-100 km/h taking six seconds. According to BMW, the rear-wheel-drive only eDrive 35 has a revised range of up 500 km and supports DC charging up to 180 kW.

Next up, the eDrive 40 receives the bigger 83.7-kWh battery pack that develops 250kW/430Nm. In xDrive guise though, a secondary electric motor becomes part of the xDrive 40, resulting in power and torque increasing to 295kW/600Nm.

New BMW i4 M50 debuts
M50i again tops the i4 range. Image: BMW

The claimed top speed wasn’t disclosed, though the 0-100 km/h sprint times were at 5.6 seconds and 5.1 seconds respectively. The claimed maximum range is 600 km and 548 km.

Confirmed as the best-selling M Performance model of 2023, the M50i completes the range with the same battery pack and xDrive system as the xDrive 40, but with power and torque increases to 350kW/729Nm.

Upgraded BMW i4 revealed
Interior of the i4 eDrive 40. Image: BMW

Selecting launch control and the Sport Boost function though ups the amount of twist to 400kW/795Nm for 10 seconds, at which point the M50 will accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 3.9 seconds before reaching a restricted top speed of 225 km/h.

Upgraded BMW i4 revealed
Lack of exhaust outlets differentiates the i4 from the regular 4 Series Gran Coupe. Image: BMW

Despite being the most powerful i4 model, the M50 has less range than both 40 variants at 522 km. Similar though is its support of a DC charging network up to 205 kW.

Still to confirmed

Soon to go on-sale in Europe and North America, the facelift 4 Series Gran Coupe and i4 both remains unannounced for South Africa, however, given the confirmed arrival of the coupe in the third quarter of the year, expect BMW to make announcement in due course.

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