By Maxmilian Wechsler
IMPORTED from Germany and launched in Thailand in July 2014, the BMW 420d Coupé M Sport boasts outstanding handling and execution – qualities which feel even better thanks to the M Performance Power Kit offered by the Millennium Auto dealership.
That’s the conclusion I came to after road testing a 420d M Sport with the M Kit for five days, both in congested Bangkok sois and on the open road, and in all kinds of weather conditions, including heavy winds and rain.
Another feature I adore (that is now available on all BMW models) is the start/stop technology. Every time the car comes to a stop the engine automatically switches off, and restarts after you have placed your foot on the accelerator pedal. This fuel-saving function can be switched off for those who don’t feel comfortable with it.
You can learn how to use these and other features after just a few minutes thanks to the simple and practical layout of the console. The cabin is quite comfortable with seats that fit the body very well.
The blue 420d Coupé M sport loaned out by Millennium Auto attracted a lot of attention from motorists and pedestrians wherever I drove it, partly because of the unique decorative stickers designed specifically for this test car by Danop Limpasathaporn, an accessories specialist at Millennium.
As you would expect from BMW, the acceleration, braking and steering are marvelous, and these were accentuated by Millennium’s performance Kit (see box story). Throughout the five-day road test the car sailed along quietly without any hiccups, as if bolted to the surface of the road. It doesn’t swerve in a curve and the acceleration is remarkable. More important, the brake system is spectacularly responsive. In fact this is what impressed me most about the car: When you hit the brake pedal in a real or simulated emergency, the 420d comes to a quick stop and, most importantly, in a straight line.
When the weather turned stormy the car continued to perform exceptionally well, so much so that I felt little need for extra caution as I barreled down the highway through very heavy rain and strong winds.
The windshield design and state-of-the-art wipers banished water immediately and the steering was so responsive that I could control the wheel with one finger if I wished. The car kept to its straightforward course without a hint of deviation, and it felt safe and comfortable inside the cabin.
No car review is complete without some negatives, so here goes: I didn’t like the shaking every time the engine switched on from its auto stop function. Second, I was hoping the 4 Series Coupé would have some significant exterior design changes to distinguish it from the 3 Series, but this is not the case. Then again, the look is still a winner, and the handling, technological prowess and overall driving experience, not to mention the low fuel consumption of the 420d, should make this model a popular choice in Thailand.
More information on the 4 Series M Sport or the M Performance Kit is available from Millennium Auto at their Bangkok or three upcountry dealerships.
THE M Performance Power Kit consists of a high-gloss black radiator grille, dual spoke 624M 20inch forged wheel with run flat tires, carbon exterior mirrors, rear carbon spoiler, high performance brakes, real diffuser and tail exhaust pipe, and a modulator that can push engine muscle up to 200 horsepower.
Millennium Auto is offering a substantial discount on the M Performance Kit until the end of December. A Performance Kit is also available for 4 Series models with gasoline engines.