November 19, 2018 By Kevin C. Limjoco Photo by by Andréas N. Delos Reyes

2018 BMW 440i Coupé

Holding Position

Well, I hope by now that you all are fully accustomed to BMW’s model identification strategy to cover as many current and future segments as possible without diluting the core brand values. So, I present a particularly heavily loaded 440i coupé model with the fast-becoming-extinct manual transmission. Even in North America with its extremely abundant road network, they are not immune from congestion and widely growing traffic conditions combined with the most aggressive environmental measures. So, it is rare to get even a BMW outfitted with a manual. The combination is getting very difficult to justify now as the usual arguments for a manual like fuel economy, dynamic performance and driver interaction continue to disintegrate. The new automatic transmissions are so good and universally effective that they are even replacing other default high performance dual-clutches and sequential gearbox systems on higher performance cars.

In essence,you almost look like a stubborn artifact when you browse around to purchase a brand-new vehicle specifically with a manual transmission. The old cult classics and genuinely special cars of the past can justify the transmission type but not in this day and age of autonomy and efficiency. The very last arguments remain but loosely steadfast:direct connection and control of the machine, in short, active driver involvement. So, you definitely still have the involvement but the performance results are not as attractive. The notchy stick isn’t as good as before either, despite having rev-matching on downshifts which engages only when shifting one gear at a time in sequence and is completely disabled, ironically, when you’re on the Sport+ driving mode. The 440i with the silky smooth and responsive 8-speed automatic gearbox is not only effortless and more fuel efficient, but it is also both quicker and faster at every speed.

Our Metallic Sunset Orange BMW 440i test unit sat four adults comfortably on its beautiful cognac leather with dark brown highlights. As a coupé,it may have grown a bit too big already. Then again,that is precisely why BMW has all its bases covered with model ranges to cater to almost every possible buyer looking for an ultra-premium high-performance mode of transportation on wheels. The new,mildly updated 4-series has slightly revised adaptive suspension and steering for a touch better comfort without sacrificing grip with slightly more responsive steering. Improving handling further were the mixed 18-inch alloys wrapped with sticky Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires, 225/45R18 95Y up front and 255/40R18 99Y at the rear. The test unit came with the optional Track Handling Package ($1,700.00) which adds the larger M sport brakes on all corners to support the new variable sport steering.

Other updates are the upgraded and redesigned full-LED lights on both ends, slight redesign of the front fascia with wider air intakes, liberal application of gloss-black trim, the dash has contrasting double stitching, the updated new iDrive interface with configurable tiles and not much more.

It is still a very satisfying car to drive without a doubt. It has its subtle but elegant presence and if the manual transmission is that important to you, then be happy that BMW still offers the option.

Specifications

Engine

Engine Inline-6
Displacement 2998 cc
Cylinder Head dohc 24V
Fuel Injector Direct Injection Intercooled Turbo, Valvetronic, Bi-VANOS
Max Power (bhp @ rpm) 322 bhp @ 5500 rpm
Max Torque (lb/ft @ rpm) 332 lb-ft @ 1380-5000 rpm
Transmission 6-speed MT

Performance

Top Speed 250 km/h (155 mph) Governed
0-100 km/h | 0-62 mph 5.2 seconds

Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions

Fuel Milage (km/l) 19 mpg City / 29 mpg Highway

Ratings

Price as Tested (PHP) US$ 58,295.00
What's Great A bit lighter and more dynamically balanced than the automatic version for better handling and driver immersion, opulent
What's Not So The automatic variant is actually still much quicker and more fuel efficient
C! Editors Rating 9.5/10
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