BMW’s（宝马会） ever-expanding range of compact executive models has just welcomed a new family member that will either up the confusing surrounding the type of models it encompasses or satisfy a need you never knew you had.
The Bavarians call it the 4-Series Gran Coupe and it joins the two-door Convertible and Coupe, and yes, it is directly related to the 3-Series range that comprises a four-door sedan, the Touring (station wagon), and the Gran Turismo liftback.
Think of the 4-Series Gran Coupe as BMW’s version of the existing (but not available in the USA), Audi A5 Sportback, which is also a five-door liftback edition of a Coupe model.
“Taking its cue from a large BMW coupe, the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe combines a dynamic and sleek silhouette with additional functionality and more spaciousness in the rear passenger compartment,” says Won Kyu Kang, exterior designer responsible for the 4 Series.
Contrary to previous reports, the new Gran Coupe does not have the same extended wheelbase as the 3-Series Gran Turismo, instead sharing the same length, width, wheelbase and track with the 4-Series Coupe. Where it differs from the latter is the roofline that is 4.4 inches (112 mm) longer and slopes to the rear of the vehicle, while it’s also half an inch (12 mm) taller to offer more headroom and comfort for rear-seat passengers.
And for those of you wondering, at 4,638mm (182.6 inches) long, 1,825mm (71.9 inches) wide and 1,389mm (54.7 inches) tall, it’s 14mm longer, 14mm wider and 40mm lower than the 3-Series sedan, so that should give you an idea of how it compares in terms of passenger space.
The GC retains the Coupe’s frameless style doors, but gains a wide, electrically operated tailgate instead of a regular boot. The volume of the trunk stands at 17 cu-ft (480 liters), while the back of the rear seat can be folded down in a 40:20:40 configuration to increase the load capacity to 45.9 cu-ft (1,300 liters).
There’s also an available or standard (depending on the model) Smart Opener function of Comfort Access that automatically opens the tailgate via gesture control, or in BMW’s own words, “namely a foot movement underneath the rear bumper when arms are full carrying groceries, packages, etc.”
And that about wraps it up for the 4-Series Gran Coupe’s differences compared to other models, with the rest of the car’s specs and features being identical or similar to the other body styles.
That said, you will find the same Luxury, Sport and M Sport trim grades and engine options as the other 4-Series models.
In the USA, there will be two available gasoline powerplants, a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four with 240hp for the 428i GC that can hit 60mph (96km/h) in 5.7 seconds, and a 300hp 3.0-liter turbo’d inline-six for the 435i GC that completes the same acceleration in 4.9 seconds. Both models come with a standard 8-speed automatic transmission driving the rear wheels, or optionally, all four via BMW’s all-wheel drive xDrive system.
BMW said that, while official US EPA numbers are not yet available, they are expected to be in line with the Coupe, at 27 mpg combined for the 428i GC and 25 mpg combined for the 435i GC.
European consumers will have many more engine options to choose from, as besides the 245PS (241hp) 2.0-liter turbo 428i and the 306PS (302hp) 3.0-liter turbo 435i, there will be one more gasoline model, the 420i with a 184PS (181hp) 2.0-liter turbo, and two diesels at launch: the 418d with a 143PS (141hp) 2.0-liter turbo, and the 420d with a 184PS (181hp) 2.0-liter turbo. More diesel models will be added down the line.
The new 4 Series Gran Coupe will make its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March, and its U.S. premiere at the New York International Auto Show in April.
In the States, prices are set at $41,225 for the 428i Gran Coupe, $43,225 for the 428i Gran Coupe xDrive, and $46,725 for the 435i Gran Coupe, with all MSRPs including a $925 destination and handling charge. The xDrive version of the 435i will be introduced later in the year.