At least in Germany, that is.
Whenever a new car is revealed, virtually all of the official images you see depict the range-topping version. Some automakers do share the occasional photo of a midrange model, but we can’t remember the last time we saw an entry-level trim in a press image. Thankfully, the online configurators offer the full picture by showcasing all the possible trim levels and how the cars look in different configurators.
BMW Deutschland has already fired up the 2021 Series Coupe configurator just days after the car’s world premiere. It’s the whole shebang, showing the base-spec 420i followed by the 430i and ending with M440i, with a couple of diesels thrown into the mix. It’s the entry-level car that caught our attention for one simple reason – it still has an analog instrument cluster. Indeed, the traditional tachometer and speedometer flank a 5.1-inch color display.
That’s a bit of a surprise considering the 420i starts off at €45,800 in Germany where the Volkswagen Golf begins from just under €20,000. Why are we mentioning Europe’s best-selling car? Because the eighth generation does away with physical dials and needles even in the base form. You’ll have to settle for 15-inch steel wheels and a puny 1.0-liter engine in the compact hatchback, but at least the digital driver’s display comes standard.
What’s perhaps even more interesting about the new 4 Series is the fact you can add fancy options such as laser headlights and a head-up display while keeping the old-school instrument cluster. That’s actually not a bad idea since some people would rather stick to the classic look rather than going digital. The screen does have numerous advantages thanks to its high level of customization, but there’s something special about the increasingly rarer (at least in the luxury segment) analog setup. Fun fact – even on the €66,900 M440i the 12.3-inch display is optional.
Gallery: 2021 BMW 4 Series Coupe base version (DE)
BMW USA hasn’t launched the configurator just yet, but we know the North American lineup will start with the 430i rather than Germany’s weaker 420i. In the US, the 2021 4 Series Coupe begins at $45,600 for the rear-wheel-drive version, followed by the 430i xDrive for an extra $2,000 and the AWD-only M440i from $58,500.