BMW isn’t just downsizing engines, it’s shrinking whole niches. Following 2012’s 6 Series Gran Coupé, here’s its little sister, the new 4 Series Gran Coupé, featured in the UK magazine CAR. The four-door coupe has been spotted at BMW’s Nürburgring technical center wearing light disguise, looking almost ready for production.
The BMW 4 Series is the two-door coupe (and now convertible) model based on the 3 Series four-door. What the 4 Series Gran Coupé purports to offer is the same svelte coupe shape—and supposedly sportier driving experience—as the two-door, but adds a pair of rear doors and roomier rear accommodations. 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.
The Gran Coupe 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.
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 gas engines (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.
The M4 Gran Coupe is 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.
A 4 Series coupe costs at least £3000 more in the UK than an equivalent 3-series, so 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.—Paul Duchene