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      07-11-2012, 11:04 PM   #1
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Drives: F80 M3
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Exclamation BMW 4 Series Coupe (F32) and Convertible (F33) Expose Kidney Grilles!

BMW 4 Series Coupe (F32) and Convertible (F33) Expose Kidney Grilles!
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The F32 4 Series Coupe and F33 4 Series Convertible have finally shown one of its most important signature design elements (and on any BMW) - the kidney grilles!

As expected, the kidney grilles of the coupe are sportier (thinner, shapelier and wider) than that of the F30 3 Series sedan. A close look reveals a different number of slats and differing designs for the grilles on each side - 11 flatter slats on the driver side versus 9 'kinked' slats on the passenger side. We are likely looking at the separate grille designs for the different 'lines' that the F32 and F33 will be offered in (just like the F30 sedan). The closeup image of the hood and front end also reveals extra camouflage panels on top the hood (on each side) which give the false impression of a more bulbous and raised hood.

The F32/F33's styling and stance are sportier, lower and wider than the F30. The F32 coupe may also have a small integrated bootlid spoiler which we've spotted in previous pics (reposted below). These prototype still wear some heavy camouflage and although the actual production headlights are still covered, once exposed should reveal a sleeker version of the F30 headlights, but also connecting with the grilles like on the F30.

This first look at the F32/F33 grilles also confirms what we have speculated before - that the F80 M3 sedan prototypes we've spotted possibly share the F32/F33 grille design instead of the F30 sedan's (see the similarities in the comparison image below).

In case you haven't followed previous news and are surprised about the 4 series moniker, BMW is likely set to split up the 3 series lineup -- the sedan, touring and GT models will retain the 3 series badge, while the coupe, convertible and Gran Coupe models will be newly designated as 4 series. The jury is still out if this will hold true for the M3 models as well, but BMW's tradition is to name its M models after the production series on which they are based. (which may yield an "M4" coupe) - something which M boss Dr. Nitschke alluded to in our previous interview.

The 4 Series Coupe and Convertible will be powered by the same or similar engines as the F30 and F31 - 2.0L twin-turbo inline 4 and 3.0L twin-turbo inline 6 petrol engines. Both engines will be available with either a manual transmission or 8-speed automatic, and both should also be available with xDrive. Maybe (but only maybe), the 4 series models will get a slight power bump over the current engines producing 240hp and 300hp, respectively. There have also been rumors that perhaps the F32's introduction will be an occasion for BMW to introduce a successor engine to the current 6-cyl N55 engine powering the F30, but that's purely rumor for now.

The F32 4 Series Coupe will begin production in July 2013 and the F33 Convertible's production will follow in November 2013.

* Click on image for higher resolution images *

This closeup of the hood and front end reveals extra camouflage panels on top the hood (on each side) which give the false impression of a more bulbous and raised hood, masking the sleeker bonnet underneath.

Comparison of F80 M3 Sedan grilles with F32 4 Series Coupe grilles, showing a possible match between the two.

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Most recent spy video of and rear photos of F32 coupe (showing small trunk spoiler).