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Auto blogFri, 14 Jun 2013
Because embargoes were apparently made to be broken, images of the 2014 BMW 4 Series coupe have leaked onto the Internet ahead of the car's official debut thanks to Car Design News' Facebook page. As you'll recall, the 4 Series is the replacement for the outgoing 3 Series coupe, its nomenclature falling in line with the rest of BMW's lineup, where coupes and convertibles will be set apart from their sedan counterparts by one number.
As we can see in the photos, the 4 Series takes a lot of its design cues from the 3 Series on which it is based, but there's a lot more in the way of attractive body sculpting, and this production model stays true to the original 4 Series Coupe Concept that we saw at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year.
We don't have official details to divulge just yet, but we can discern from the photos that the range-topping coupe will be the 435i model, likely powered by BMW's turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six from the 335i. There will no doubt be a 428i model with a 2.0-liter turbo-four underhood, and we expect BMW to offer its xDrive all-wheel-drive system on both models. Much like the 3 Series, a variety of trim levels will be on offer, including a top-spec M Sport trim that you can see painted in Estoril Blue here.
The BMW Films series caused a stir in 2001 and 2002 by combining top-quality cinematography, Hollywood names and driving excitement to sell its sporty wares in a whole new way. By arriving five years before YouTube, they ranked as some of the earliest viral videos on the internet. By now, these sorts of films are almost commonplace, but back when BMW hit upon the idea, the idea of brand-integrated short films on the internet was still a novelty. Now, for the first time in over a decade, the German automaker is planning on bringing back BMW Films for a new season.
Trudy Hardy, BMW North America Vice President of Marketing, announced the series' return at the 2014 Automotive News World Congress in Detroit, according to Ad Age. However, neither the German brand nor Anonymous Content, the original production company, have been willing to comment further on when the new videos are coming.
The original series of eight films starred Clive Owen as the Driver (back then, Owen was largely unknown to American audiences), a mercenary who would take a variety of jobs and always drive a BMW. David Fincher executive produced the first season and directors included top names like John Frankenheimer, Ang Lee and Guy Ritchie. All of the second season movies had Owen driving a Z4, but in our estimation, the quality had fallen off a bit compared to the outstanding first season.
It won't be until 2015 at the earliest, but the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), Grand-Am and the Internationale Tourenwagen-Rennen have agreed to a licensing and cooperation deal that could bring a version of Germany's DTM series to the US.
When the American Le Mans Series and Grand-Am are officially combined next year, the resulting body will be called United SportsCar Racing (USCR). IMSA will be the sanctioning body for that series, and DTM races could be run as support events. It was also suggested by an ALMS chief that DTM races could be standalone or join NASCAR and IndyCar weekends.
With the so-called DTM America finally agreed to, there is now a way for manufacturers to run the same DTM-type cars in Europe, the US and Japan - last year Japan's Super GT series agreed to adopt "the basic technical regulations" of DTM for the GT500 class, the top class in the series. That already puts six manufacturers in play: Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW that run in Germany's DTM and Honda, Nissan and Lexus that run in Super GT. The DTM oversight body has invited American brands to Germany for the opening round of the 2013 season, and will begin actively courting their participation in the US series. Check out the press release from Audi with comments on the deal below.