The previous model didn’t look all that different from the 3 Series on which it was based, however this new model offers enough differentiation which, in my opinion, has completely changed the character of the overall offering.
The view is more appealing from angles where the front can’t be seen, as the Gran Coupe demonstrates nicely. Accommodations for rear passengers elevate the roofline, which trails into a shorter deck emphasizing the rear-drive stance. A black checkmark running from behind the front wheel lessens the visual weight. There is an extra roof pillar that the true coupe doesn’t have, but frameless windows sleeken the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s profile, as do flush-mounted door handles. The exterior architecture is rounded up by a pair of vertically oriented nostrils where BMW’s classic kidney grilles used to live.
For all 2022 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe models, Sport seats in SensaTec faux leather are standard. Featuring contrast stitching, the upholstery is now perforated for extra softness. The vegan leather is offered in four mostly dark hues, while the genuine Vernasca leather adds an off-white to its palette.
The seats are firm yet comfortable and with plenty of supportive bolstering for when you decide to take the long way home and detour through a dynamic road or two – especially in the M440i Gran Coupe, equipped with raised knee pads on the center console just for those enthusiastic driving sessions. 430i owners can add them as part of the M Sport package.
The 4 Series Gran Coupe interior is laid out well with plenty of soft touch points, such as on the center console storage top and door panels. The Sport leather steering wheel feels solid in your hands. Long drives in the 4 Series will feel shorter than they are and less taxing on the body – unless you make a lot of those detours mentioned above. Other amenities like a moonroof, dual-zone climate control, power-adjustable seats, and keyless entry are standard.
BMW takes a conservative approach regarding buttons and knobs. Don’t worry; they still exist. But what you won’t find in the 4 Series Gran Coupe are screens and only screens. Having the vehicle for only a short time, hopping in and quickly accessing climate control and audio settings without having to dig through multiple settings screens, create a user profile, connect my phone, etc., is appreciated.
Being unfamiliar with the car won’t be detrimental to operating its in-car functions. For all the grief BMW gets for its iDrive system and controller knob, the operation is only as complicated as you make it. I just wish it wasn’t made of cheap-feeling plastic, of which the 4 Series has more than a necessary share. The air vents, for example, felt dinky. For 70-grand, I’d prefer a more substantial feel, especially in the details. The iDrive controller would be utilized as often as the steering wheel and should feel equally high quality, but it doesn’t.
Standard on 2022 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe is Live Cockpit Professional. An upgrade over Live Cockpit Plus, which is standard on the 4 Series coupe and convertible models, the Pro version includes a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen, and the latest telematics in iDrive 7. In addition to features like navigation, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, USB ports, and 4G LTE connectivity, the multimedia system also offers many digital services.
Integration with the user interface is a crucial point as well. When connecting a smartphone, rather than having app information only accessible via the infotainment screen, the data will appear within the IP or optional head-up display as well. This keeps one’s eyes on the road instead of searching a 10.25-inch screen with multiple pages. From Amazon Alexa and Apple Siri to Google Maps and WhatsApp, pertinent info is now easier to manage.
There is no lack of safety technology, either. The 2022 4 Series Gran Coupe comes with standard advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS) under its Active Driving Assistant suite of safety features. These include lane-departure warning, speed limit assist, active blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and rear-collision avoidance. Also standard are adaptive front headlights with automatic high beams, a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, and front-collision warning with pedestrian/cyclist detection.
Two optional safety packages, available for both the 430i and M440i Gran Coupe, offer even more semi-autonomous ADAS features. They include adaptive cruise control with stop & go, automatic parking assistance, lane-centering, 360-degree surround camera views, and more. According to BMW, standard and optional ADAS features total around 40 for the 2022 4 Series Gran Coupe.
Six tips on how to properly take care of your car
According to the US-based Car Care Council, vehicle owners often ignore the warnings their vehicles give them when things start to wrong. Here are six tips from motus.cars, supported by Motus Toyota (previously Imperial Select), to keep your vehicle trouble-free and help protect your investment.
- TAKE COGNISANCE OF WARNING LIGHTS
Ignoring an illuminated “check engine” light, for instance, can result in serious engine trouble and costly repairs. At the very least, the warning light could alert you to an engine problem that is negatively impacting fuel economy, such as an improperly secured fuel cap. Other warning lights have similar important functions. Do not ignore them in the hope that the problem will go away.
- CHANGE FLUIDS AND FILTERS
Many fluids are required for the operation and protection of vehicle systems and components. Checking fluid levels regularly – and having filters and fluids replaced at recommended intervals – helps to ensure that your vehicle runs dependably and extends vehicle life.
- INSPECT YOUR VEHICLE’S TYRES
Your vehicle’s tyres should be checked frequently for damage, inflation pressure and tread depth. Under-inflated tyres can wear out more quickly, needing to be replaced sooner, and can negatively impact safety, fuel economy and performance. Damaged tyres are a high safety risk, as are worn tyres.
- FOLLOW A SERVICE SCHEDULE
Because many car parts and components wear out or become damaged over time, so vehicles need to be routinely serviced in order to perform optimally. Routine inspections and timely repairs will help keep your car running efficiently and will help you to avoid more expensive repairs down the road.
- KEEP YOUR CAR CLEAN
Allowing your vehicle to go too long without a wash leads to a build-up of damaging chemicals and dirt, and increases the potential for rust. Also, dirty windows interfere with proper visibility needed for safe driving.
- DRIVE SMART
Whether you’re dealing with stop-and-go traffic, extreme weather, rough roads or heavy loads, it can sometimes be difficult to limit severe driving conditions. However, you can drive smart and improve fuel economy by observing the speed limit, avoiding fast pull-offs and sharp, aggressive braking, and driving as safely as possible in accordance with prevailing traffic and weather conditions. Remember, routine maintenance can go a long way towards saving you money, avoiding motoring headaches and protecting your vehicle investment!
2022 World Rally Championship Calendar Announced
- New Zealand joins a 13-round calendar that includes one ‘tba’ event in August
New Zealand is set to return to the World Rally Championship for the first time in a decade, having been given a firm place on the latest version of the 2022 WRC calendar.
Nine of the 13 events had already been confirmed back in July but the latest update confirms that New Zealand, Croatia and Finland will join the already announced Monte Carlo, Sweden, Portugal, Italy, Kenya, Estonia, Greece, Spain and Japan on the schedule. One spot on the calendar remains a ‘TBC’ but with an August date, and DirtFish understands that could be filled by Rally Northern Ireland.
It is understood that there remains a strong desire from both WRC Promoter and Belfast for a British round of the WRC to return and the original penciled date for Rally NI was in mid-August. The return of New Zealand – for the first time since 2012 – means the WRC will be held on four different continents (Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania) for its new hybrid Rally1 era, but there will be no visit to the Americas with none of Mexico, Chile or Argentina on the calendar.
The calendar was approved at an FIA World Motor Sport Council meeting in Paris on Friday, with a note that “the WMSC pledged that as soon as the situation eases, the FIA World Rally Championship calendar must return to a more global presence beyond Europe” to reflect the lack of the Americas in the 2022 schedule.
Of the 12 confirmed events, nine of them are European with three flyways spread across the season. The WRC hasn’t visited Asia for Rally Japan since 2010 but has intended to for the last two seasons only for COVID-19 to enforce new plans.
WRC 2022 CALENDAR:
- Monte Carlo Rally (January 20-23)
- Rally Sweden (February 24-27)
- Croatia Rally (April 21-24)
- Rally Portugal (May 19-22)
- Rally Italy (June 2-5)
- Safari Rally Kenya (June 23-26)
- Rally Estonia (July 14-17)
- Rally Finland (August 4-7)
- TBC (August 18-21)
- Acropolis Rally (September 8-11)
- Rally New Zealand (September 29-October 2)
- Rally Spain (October 20-23)
- Rally Japan (November 10-13)
The Shelby GT500KR is a supercar eater
Shelby American has concocted something truly special to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the tuning company that was formed after Carroll Shelby teamed up with Ford to create the original Shelby Cobra.
For only the third time in its history, Shelby is attaching its ‘King of the Road’ label to a GT500 model and the new creation will be a very rare machine, with just 225 set to be built. 45 of these will be exported outside of the US, although it has yet to be confirmed whether any are on course for South Africa.
The Shelby GT500KR, as it is dubbed, takes performance to a whole new level. Set to produce 671kW of power, the new edition is over 100kW beefier than the ‘regular’ GT500. This is largely thanks to a brand new 3.8-litre Whipple supercharger that’s equipped with a larger throttle body, cold air intake, updated pulley system and dual-core pass intercooler. Owners can also look forward to a rumbly Borla cat-back exhaust system.
But the Shelby GT500KR doesn’t just add power, it “adds lightness” as Colin Chapman would have said. The key ingredient here is a carbon fibre bonnet that cuts over 13kg off the kerb weight, while also employing water managed side vents to improve engine cooling. The exterior package also includes a front splitter, rear diffuser and Gurney flap all made from carbon fibre.
Chassis mods include adjustable front and rear springs as well as recalibrated adaptive dampers. The car rolls on 20-inch forged alloy wheels that are available with a polished or gloss black finish. Although the Shelby GT500KR was built for the 2022 model year, owners of existing MY2020 and 2021 GT500s can have their cars converted to KR spec too, although only the MY2022 versions will have 60th Anniversary badging.