BMW’s growing lineup of 3- and 4-Series models added another member to the family over the weekend, with the automaker announcing the 2015 4-Series Gran Coupe.
Essentially a normal coupe with a set of frameless doors grafted on, this latest model will debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March, BMW announced Saturday.
This four-door coupe isn’t a new idea in the BMW household. It follows the thinking behind the 6-Series Gran Coupe, another four-door coupe that’s based on the two-door version within the same model range.
The 4-Series lineup also includes a hardtop convertible and is based largely on the long-standing 3-Series sedan and station wagon. With this generation of its venerated compact sports sedan, BMW decided to separate the coupes and convertible and position them as slightly upmarket alternatives.
And though BMW insists on calling this new model a coupe, technically it’s a really sleek and good-looking hatchback. The kind that shows up to school and immediately gives other hatchbacks an inferiority complex. But the very word "hatchback" is toxic to U.S. consumers, so BMW’s reluctance to call it that is understandable.
Like much of the 3- and 4-Series lineup, this new four-door coupe will come with two engine choices.
The 428i Gran Coupe will come with BMW’s 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Horsepower clocks in at 240, and torque is 255 pound-feet. Zero to 60 miles per hour happens in 5.7 seconds, and BMW is expecting similar EPA ratings to the regular coupe’s 23 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway.
The beefier version of the Gran Coupe will be the 435i. Under its hood will be a 3.0-liter, turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine making 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. It will do zero to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds, and a fuel economy rating of 22 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway is expected.
An eight-speed automatic transmission will be standard on both models. So will rear-wheel drive, though BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system will be a $2,000 option on the 428i Gran Coupe.
Because this model is based on the 4-Series coupe, it has the same stance and wheelbase. Thus, the wheels are set wider and the suspension lower than the 3-Series.
As mentioned, this Gran Coupe is technically a hatchback, a setup that adds a nice degree of functionality to a body style (coupe) that traditionally lacks it. Furthering the cause are rear seats that are split into three sections 40:20:40, each of which folds separately.
If all this sounds like a tasty alternative to the more staid 3-Series, know that you’re going to pay for the novelty. A base-model 428i Gran Coupe will start at $41,225, a full $3,000 above the equivalent 328i sedan. The 435i version starts a little closer to its sedan brethren, with a $2,400 premium for a total of $46,725.
All versions of the 2015 4-Series Gran Coupe are to land in BMW dealerships in early summer.