First seen about a month ago on the back of a transporter truck, the next-generation BMW 4 Series Coupe has now been spotted going through its paces at the Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit in Germany. Its convertible twin has been seen to mark a return to a folding soft-top arrangement last seen in the E46 era.

Here, we get a better look at the G23 4 Series’ lighting, with a headlamp cluster that bears resemblance to those on the G20 3 Series, in particular with the arrangement of its hexagonal LED daytime running lights. At the back, the tail lamp cluster appears to house similar elements as those seen at the coupe’s previous, stationary sighting.

Certain visual cues mark this out as a possible ‘M440i’ variant. The wheels photographed appear to have a square-cut design more akin to those on the M340i xDrive than on the 330i, while the side mirror caps and exhaust trim on the development car seen here appear to be finished in Cerium Grey metallic, the latter being a trapezoidal shape and with the colour used, signifier of the M340i from lesser 3 Series M Sport variants.

As with most, if not all of the forthcoming 4 Series line-up, the M440i seen here is likely to mirror the outputs of those from the equivalent 3 Series. In this case it’s the M340i xDrive, namely 374 hp at 500 Nm of torque from its 3.0 litre inline-six turbocharged petrol engine. This will be the top of the 4 Series powertrain line-up comprising four- and six-cylinder petrols and diesels, until the full-fledged M4 arrives.

Running gear shared with the M340i xDrive means the M440i will most likely also turn out to adopt xDrive all-wheel-drive. The six-cylinder just short of full ‘M’ status will likely be paired to an eight-speed automatic. The coming generation of full-fledged M3s will get both autos and manuals, albeit the DIY gearbox will be for the lesser of two output levels; the next M4 could likely follow this approach.

The G23 coupe’s interior should be just about identical to that of the G22 4 Series convertible we’ve also seen, which is to say it will carry over the dual widescreen instrumentation and dashboard architecture seen on that car. Between now and the 4 Series’ expected debut next year, more information and sightings will surely trickle through. Until then, do you like what you see so far?