Where better to try BMW’s latest driving machine that on the Gairloch loop in the north west of Scotland? Here are some of the finest of roads with swooping curves and refreshingly little traffic.
The 4-series is the successor to the 3-series coupe, but with more attitude. It has a stunning profile and looks more beefy, especially around the rear end. This adds up to a car that stands out much more than the very popular 3-series saloon on which it is based.
Those muscular haunches are a reminder that this is a rear-wheel drive car that combines power with precise handling – the original BMW recipe for success. The flagship 435i lives up to this visual promise with a vengeance. You get the beautiful gurgle of BMW 3.0-litre straight six that turns out 302bhp.
Driving this car combines effortlessness with satisfaction. It can dash to 62mph from rest in just over five seconds, yet feels so smooth and refined. A car that flatters the driver with its responses and stability on twisting roads, the 435i is special. It even manages to be more frugal than the last 335i coupe with 39mpg combined.
Other engines available from launch are the 181bhp turbo-diesel in the 420d and the zingy 242bhp turbo 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine of the 428i. There is a choice of a slick six speed manual gearbox or a sophisticated eight-speed automatic that works superbly. BMW is also offering the option of four-wheel or X-drive on some models for those who need extra grip.
The 420d will be the big seller in these parts and it offers decent performance with outstanding economy. Acceleration to 62mph takes just 7.5 seconds and top speed is 149bhp. No slouch to drive then, and what about a combined consumption of 60mpg and emissions of just 124mpg from a sports coupe?
Prices span from £31,575 to £40,795 and this is a premium of £3,000 over comparable 3-series saloons. Given the image and fine handling of the coupe, enthusiastic drivers will find this attractive.
Inside, the 4-series coupe feels familiar with the fine finish, controls and instruments that BMW drivers are used to. The starter version is well kitted to SE level. That means you get leather, parking sensors, Bluetooth, auto lights and wipers on the cheapest model.
It all adds up to a much better coupe than before with more distinctive styling and room for four adults. I also found it surprisingly comfortable even with the larger M sport wheels. This is a clever car that you will just want to drive and drive…..
Review by Derek Black. You can contact Derek here.