A new version of the RegCM regional climate modeling system, RegCM4, has been recently developed and made available for public use. Compared to previous versions, RegCM4 includes new land surface, planetary boundary layer, and air-sea flux schemes, a mixed convection and tropical band configuration, modifications to the pre-existing radiative transfer and boundary layer schemes, and a full upgrade of the model code towards improved flexibility, portability, and user friendliness. The model can be interactively coupled to a 1D lake model, a simplified aerosol scheme (including organic carbon, black carbon, SO4, dust, and sea spray), and a gas phase chemistry module (CBM-Z). After a general description of the model, a series of test experiments are presented over 4 domains prescribed under the CORDEX framework (Africa, South America, East Asia, and Europe) to provide illustrative examples of the model behavior and sensitivities under different climatic regimes. These experiments indicate that, overall, RegCM4 shows an improved performance in several respects compared to previous versions, although further testing by the user community is needed to fully explore its sensitivities and range of applications.