BMW isn’t just downsizing engines: it’s shrinking whole niches. So, following on from 2012’s 6-series Gran Coupe, here’s its little sister, the new 4-series Gran Coupe. The four-door coupe has been spotted at BMW’s Nurburgring technical centre wearing light disguise, looking almost ready for production.
What exactly is the BMW 4-series Gran Coupe?
The BMW 4-series is the two-door coupe (and now convertible) model based on the 3-series saloon. What the 4-series Gran Coupe purports to offer is the same svelte coupe shape and supposed sportier driving experience as the two-door, but adds a pair of rear doors and roomier rear accommodation. As a mid-sized four-door coupe, it’ll split the difference between Mercedes’ A-class based CLA, and the executive saloon-sized CLS. Target: Audi A5 Sportback customers.
So what changes for the 4-series Gran Coupe?
Immediately, the car pictured appears longer and taller than the regular 4-series coupe, and seems to have a larger wheelbase – which will increase rear legroom. The dimensions stretch is mirrored by the 6-series Gran Coupe, which is a touch longer, taller and lengthier in the wheelbase than a regular 6-series coupe, but no wider, meaning no styling changes around the front or rear.
The 4-series Gran Coupe is expected to be slightly heavier than a 3-series saloon or 4-series coupe too, due to its more generous proportions. However, thanks to the same widened track and lowered ride height as the 4-series coupe (which boasts the lowest centre of gravity of any current BMW model), a touch of ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’ prowess should trickle down to the 4GC.
What’s expected to go under the bonnet?
As per the 6-series Gran Coupe, which uses all of its two-door stablemates’ drivetrains, BMW is likely to mirror the 4-series Gran Coupe’s engine line-up with the existing car. So, expect turbocharged four-cylinder petrols (420i and 428i), a four-pot turbodiesel (420d) and a straight-six, twin-turbo 435i boasting 302bhp. A standard six-speed manual gearbox, or an optional eight-speed paddleshift automatic, is the potential transmission line-up.
But the version we all want is the M4 Gran Coupe!
And it’s on the way, with a public reveal slated for summer 2015. Like the M4 coupe and new M3 saloon, the M4 Gran Coupe will wear a stout M4 bodykit, lightweight carbonfibre panels, and be powered by a 424bhp twin-turbo straight six. You can find out everything you need to know about BMW’s new M Division hardware in the November issue of CAR magazine, on sale now.
How much is it going to cost?
Consider a 4-series coupe costs at least £3000 more than an equivalent 3-series, and the premium for a Gran Coupe versus a two door could be, if the 6-series is anything to go by, as much as £2000. What price a sexy roofline and that 4-series badge…
The 4-series Gran Coupe is expected to arrive in summer 2014, positioned to fight the Audi A5 Sportback head-on.
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