4 Series US Line-up Uncovered With N20/N26 & N55 Engines

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After a tip from a very crafty forum user and BF reader who had claimed to have uncovered 4 Series production info, we started to do some digging ourselves. Here ‘s what we uncovered.

Indeed it is possible to find the last seven digits of prototypes (yes those cars with the swirls running around the arctic and Germany) and see their exact build data. And yes this includes US spec models. You can even see the internal BMW order code for that wonderful camouflage wrap – 9AC. We won ‘t go into details about the process but it ‘s all there down to the specific options that each test car is equipped with.

Based on everything we ‘ve learned, here ‘s what the US market will see when the 4 Series are introduced later this summer. In addition to the general details around the car (type of engine etc) you can also see the exact color of the test mules in this configuration:

435i manual a-435i_man

435i auto a_435i_auto

435i xDrive manual a-435i_man_x

435i xDrive auto a-435i_auto_x

428i manual a-428i_man

428i auto a-428i_auto

428i xDrive auto a-428i_auto_x

A couple things to note. For starters the 300 hp N55 will be carried over in the new F32 range. We had heard from sources that BMW would use this opportunity to debut a new inline six engine. However that likely will be saved for another vehicle released in the next 18 months. And yes that engine will certainly make it ‘s way to the F32 and all other BMW models. Secondly the manual transmission remains across the line-up with the exception of the 428i xDrive – not exactly the enthusiasts choice so no loss there.

Looking deeper at the options for these cars we see no real surprises yet. For instance if BMW is planning on offering LED headlights (as they are with the 2014 MINI for example) there ‘s no signs of it in these cars. (Update – we can now confirm they are in other examples not listed).

Yet that doesn ‘t make this any less exciting. In fact this helps to whet our appetites just a bit more.

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  • recursiveiterator

    LED headlights are there, just not standard. And obviously there’s no guarantee that the first car in the series will be fully optioned. So it’s worth iterating through VIN numbers if options is what you’re after. To see LED listed, look at F729005, for example.

    And btw, F33s are in the system already too, though they haven’t been built yet (01-01-01 as production date). Start at J867400 and increment by 1000 to see all the variants.

    • JRobUSC

      Two questions: 1) How are people getting the VIN’s of the test cars? 2) How are people decoding these VIN’s once they have them? I had my BMW Center put in both VIN’s and they show us not being on file with BMW NA.

      • recursiveiterator

        1) By iterating through all possible VINs. 2) BMW ASAP online. It’s public. No special secret backdoors or dealer only tools needed. Your dealer is probably using a different system.

        • MINIBro07

          Us Dealers use BMW/MINI’s internal system DCS Net and these VINs are not US VINs so we don’t have access to them.

          • recursiveiterator

            VIN lookup is gone from public ASAP as of last night. The balance is restored.

  • BimmerFile_Michael

    This whole thing is absolutely nuts to me! Having looked at the info on other models it is clear that BMW has a giant whole in their system that needs to be plugged. Having spent a lot of time with Germans to me it may be that they did not think people would sit there and try to figure out vin numbers- but the truth is that people do!

    There are some nice surprises coming according to the builds on some of these prototypes and much of the tips we had been given by sources are panning out into these preproduction models (especially with the M4).

    • recursiveiterator

      You’re right, this totally fits the German approach (I worked for a German company for six years, so this is speaking from experience). The designs I saw coming from them always lacked in fool-proofing, because the engineers expected them to be used only as intended. The thought that someone would want to do anything else just didn’t enter their heads.

  • Babak

    What’s the difference between the N20 and N26 in the 428i lineup?

    • johnparke

      the N26 is the SULEV (lower emissions) version. U.S. wise they are only really prevalent on the east and west coast.