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Business

June 22, 2014

BMW 4 Series gives sports coupes new shape

The BMW 4 Series Coupe is a substantial new luxury car. Wide, low-riding, ambitiously elongated and tightly composed, the 4 Series stands on the pavement with the presence of an actor on a stage. All eyes focus on it.

The new 4 Series is also impeccably styled, which also draws all eyes. BMW shaped the car like windswept sculpture. Its hood arches up defiantly from the nose, and is ridged by deft creases that look shaped by an airstream. Similar smooth creases vector along its long-running sides, creating dramatic shadow lines. The cabin of the 4 Series sits back, arches low and finishes with a long slant, the way the wind would carve any fast-moving shape.

The 4 Series Coupe is an all-new entity from BMW. The mid-size two-door sports coupe arrived in the Merrimack Valley at the end of last year. The new 4 Series replaces the 3 Series Coupe, which was the two-door version of BMW’s popular 3 Series Sedan, a four-door car. But in its first six months, the newcomer is accomplishing more than the outgoing 3 Series Coupe ever did, reports Matt Quelch, new-car sales manager at Tulley BMW, Nashua, N.H. The new model is changing the complexion of BMW cars and BMW drivers, Quelch says.

First, some explanation.

People approach two-door cars as personal vehicles, while four-doors are more for group travel, especially family use. It’s simply easier for back-seat passengers to climb in and out of a four-door sedan. Therefore car companies typically make two-doors versions – when one is available – stand apart from its four-door counterpart by adding some dashing, sporty details that give the two-door coupe greater panache. Less family, more personal expression.

The biggest alteration is usually a lower rear roof line that slants faster toward the tail. It makes a two-door look racier than its four-door kin, but the lowered rear ceiling also makes the coupe even less accommodating for back-seat riders.

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