Premium automaker BMW has led a charmed existence over the last few years, especially with regards to their smaller sedans. While 3 Series is remains strong seller, even against some younger competition, things aren’t so rosy with their more niche models.
In particular, the 3 Series GT and the five-door fastback version of the 4 Series, called the Gran Coupe, aren’t selling to their expectations. Consequently, according to an Autocar report, Bimmer is planning a shuffle that should see a more logical spread of cars.
First off, if accurate, the Gran Turismo will be axed entirely from 3 Series range, only to resurface in the sportier 4 Series, replacing the current Gran Coupe. However, while the names are interchangeable, BMW will merge cues from both models, resulting in the five-door body style with a hatchback and larger interior/boot - a’la Gran Turismo - but feature a sleeker roofline as defined by the GC without compromising rear headroom as much. This new design could be a more fitting form to wear the Gran Turismo moniker, we reckon.
More interestingly, BMW is also plotting entry into the EV market with an electric variant based off of the aforementioned 4 Series GT. While a ‘conventional’ model could reach showrooms by 2020, the report projects a fully electric sibling to join the ranks shortly after, competing with the Tesla Model 3 and the other EVs due to take the world by storm within the next decade.
In terms of performance, the report claims that BMW is shooting for an equivalent of today’s most rapid 3 Series GT as well as a 500km range on each charge. The automaker previously revealed it was working on next-generation battery tech that could enable that, though it has also admitted that it’s earmarked for a 2026 launch.
As such, it follows that the 4 Series EV should debut with traditional lithium-ion cells totalling between 70kWh and 90kWh. It’s possible that they will choose to keep a single motor configuration to maximise range and retain that rear-driven feel.
BMW also hinted that a new four-door fully electric and autonomous-capable saloon is due to join the i3 and i8, possibly as something of a high-end forerunner to the more mainstream 4 Series GT electric as well as EV variants of other models.