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New BMW 4-Series

Hot on the heels of the 6-series will be BMW's new 4-series coupe and convertible range topped, it's rumoured, by a 400bhp V8-engined M4. The new 4-series will be designed as a separate model line and won't be simply a mildly modified spin-off from the next 3-series. BMW is expected to demand a premium price.

Under the bonnet of sub-M4 models will be a new range of Valvetronic straight-six engines and it's thought that both the new 3- and 4-series will have an aluminium front structure, much like the 5-series.

The styling has been toned down after a raft of highly controversial shapes from Chris Bangle's studio. The 4-series proposal shown here, by graduate designer Rimon Ghobrial, apparently didn't get beyond the scale model stage. However, the 4-series will differ significantly from the 3-series saloon and Touring, with a different nose and tail, longer doors and a lower roof.

The 4-series is expected to arrive in 2006, following the 3-series which is unveiled next year. The 3-series features much more conventional styling than the 5-series and is already pounding the N

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