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2014 BMW 4-Series Styling

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On Styling

The 4-Series poses the usual luxury-coupe quandary. It's more sensually styled than its four-door cousins, but it's too content with that. Handsome? Yes. Daring? No.

It would overlay almost perfectly with the old 8-Series Coupe--if the wheelbase weren't actually a half-foot longer, that is.

Sure, it's pretty--but has any BMW two-door escaped the 8-Series orbit yet?
The shape has the same general feel and proportions of the 8er, and of the past generations of 3-Series coupes. It could use new inspirations. The Hofmeister kink long ago lost its kinky appeal, once every other automaker started to copy it. The front end is a collection of massive negative spaces, pronounced more because of the low roofline. The side sculpting's steered away from the heaviest Frank Gehry touches into a safe, simple stamping that could be on a Mustang or an F-Type or a Regal. In spite of all that, it has a perfect balance of glass to metal, a decathlete stance (especially from the rear quarters), and some spot-on details, like its sharply creased shoulder line.

The sweep of the 4-Series' cockpit works better in the coupe than in the sedan, too, despite the reminders of the same theme that divides some Toyota cockpits. It's an aesthetic leap forward over the old 3-Series Coupes, with a traditionally appealing driver setup walled off from the passenger by those arcs of plastic and wood and metal across the center stack. The 4-Series' cockpit tends to get dominated by the wide, bright screen that rides on the dash permanently--where you expect it might tuck itself away--and by the much larger iDrive control knob. That can all be corrected by applying the trim packages that elevate the 4-series out of its most basic, blandest look. Luxury versions get glossy wood trim, for example, while Sport-package 4-Series cars have red accents and blacked-out details, while Modern coupes get satin trim, grey or black leather, and inlaid wood trim.

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