Can M Performance parts make the new BMW 4 Series coupe more palatable to BMW enthusiasts? Like it seems with just about any new BMW models these days, the automaker has released a fresh lineup of M Performance parts. Slotting above the treatments and changes which accompany M Sport package or the standard visuals of an M Performance model like the M440i, M Performance parts are among the best ways to modify a BMW without detracting from its value. That’s quite the contrast with other modifications, which are often viewed as a negative when it comes time for the second hand sales negotiation. In fact, various rare BMW Performance and M Performance parts from models long out of production now change hands for significantly more than their original MSRP.
The 4 Series is no exception to BMW’s practice with M Performance parts, with an entire selection revealed along with the digital launch of the model this week. Continuing with established norms, BMW has applied the entire array of parts to a white example of the M440i. The result is a 4 Series coupe with greater presence than the unadorned models featured in the main press photo array, but the individual pieces may not be for everyone.
Although its easy to appreciate the unique intersecting spoke design of the M Performance wheels (which are shared with the G20 3 Series), finishing them in a dark color (Jet Black matte here) just seems to diminish their presence, as they tend to get lost with the tires and the dark wheel wells. Nonetheless, you can probably bet on them saving a bit of weight, and again, the design is a nice one that seems to work better on BMW’s bold new coupe than on the venerable 3 Series. Not to mention, if you look at them closely, they’re framing a set of red BMW M Performance brake calipers which grip dimpled rotors, just like what’s available for the G30 5 Series LCI and the Three.
Ah yes, the elephant in the room. Or perhaps we should say rodent, as that’s the comparison we’ve seen drawn at least a few times between cars like the i4, iNext, and now, the new 4 Series coupe. Regardless of how you feel about BMW’s new bold styling and design language, the company isn’t waiting for approval from a test panel to start offering modifications for it. If you’re looking to put a new spin on the already attention-demanding front end, BMW has you covered with carbon-fiber replacement pieces for the grille surrounds and air breathers, along with additional touches like a front splitter and dive planes, or canards for the corners (BMW calls them aero flicks), not unlike what comes stock on the M4 GT4 customer race car.
The treatments continue inside, but we can save you some time here. As usual, the best accessory in the entire catalog is most likely the steering wheel. The unit in the new 4 Series appears indistinguishable from that which is available for the G30 5 Series LCI, and our thoughts are unchanged as well. The steering wheel is how we directly interact with our cars in the most tactile, fundamental way. You touch and use the steering wheel every time you drive your car, and there’s almost nothing better than the units that BMW has sold under its BMW Performance and M Performance names over the past decade. You can’t go wrong with the trim either, but it’s hard to consider it an improvement over the selections BMW already offers.
The rear end can be dressed up similarly to the front. There’s a carbon-fiber diffusor insert, but there’s no word on an exhaust—BMW is probably saving that for the upcoming M4 M Performance part selection. Nonetheless, you will be able to add some tailpipe finishers, which replace the standard chrome design with black.
Not everyone likes carbon-fiber bits, and not everyone likes black wheels, but for a car with a design as polarizing as the 4 Series, we’re willing to examine all sides. What’s your impression of BMW’s M Performance parts array for the new 4 Series coupe? We know many of the parts are simply model-specification versions of what we’ve seen before, but are they capable of doing one of the boldest automotive designs in recent memory any favors?—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]