BMW 4-series Gran Coupe: First lookSat, 01 Feb 2014
BMW has revealed the new 4-series Gran Coupe, over a month before it is due to make its public debut at the Geneva motor show. The introduction extends BMW's new 4-series lineup to three individual models, joining the recently introduced 4-series Coupe and Cabriolet in move similar to that taken by rival Audi with the A5, which also comes in Coupe, Cabriolet and Sportback guises.
All three 4-series models share the same front-end styling. But while the Coupe and Cabriolet retain a classic two-door body in their latest incarnations, the new Gran Coupe receives a more versatile four-door body that BMW is hoping will attract new customers.
While similar in appeal to the larger and more expensive 6-series Gran Coupe, BMW's design team, led by Adrian von Hooydonk, has eschewed the conventional trunk of that model in giving the 4-series Gran Coupe a more practical liftback.
The result is a car similar in layout to the Audi A5 Sportback, with a shallow glasshouse, frameless rear doors, coupe-style roofline and a heavily angled tailgate that opens automatically either via the press of the button on the key fob or an optional foot-operated sensor incorporated into the rear bumper, providing prospective buyers with a stylish but practical alternative to traditional executive-class sedans.
At 182.6 inches in length, 71.9 inches in width and 54.7 inches in height, the 4-series Gran Coupe is 0.6 inches longer and 0.6 inches wider but 1.6 inches lower than the 3-series sedan. At 17 cubic feet, trunk capacity is claimed to be the same as its more conventional sibling.
Underpinning the new car is the same chassis as that used by the 4-series Coupe and Convertible, with a 110.6-inch wheelbase and track widths of 60.8 inches at the front and 62.8 inches at the rear.
In the U.S., powertrain choices will be familiar: 428i Gran Coupe models get the 240-hp turbo four-cylinder and 435i Gran Coupes get 300 hp via the company's TwinPower 3-liter turbo six. An 8-speed automatic is the only transmission offered, and xDrive AWD will be available on the 428i, at least at launch.
The 4-series Gran Coupe is BMW's second Gran Coupe model, following on from the 6-series Gran Coupe launched in 2012.
Speculation surrounding a possible third Gran Coupe model, the 2-series Gran Coupe, has been denied by BMW officials. However, the new Audi A3 sedan and Mercedes-Benz CLA may push BMW to add one as part of an extended range of new front-wheel drive models set to be kicked off with the introduction of the 2-series Active Tourer at the Paris Motor Show later this year.
BMW says the 4-series Gran Coupe will go on sale in North America in July at a starting price of $41,225 for the 428i; xDrive models start at $43,225, while 435i Gran Coupes sticker starting at $46,725. All prices include destination.
By Greg Kable