The 4 Series Gran Coupe is emblematic of BMW's expanding product line. Even though the automaker sells the 3 Series sedan, wagon and GT, and now the 4 Series coupe, the luxury brand thinks there's room for something more. Enter the 4 Series Gran Coupe, a four-door car with sleeker, coupelike lines.
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There's some tradeoff in interior roominess in the name of style, but more cargo versatility than you might expect.
When BMW unveiled its updated M3 sedan and M4 coupe we knew it'd only be a matter of time before a droptop version joined the lineup. Today, BMW announced details of the 2015 M4 convertible, which will go on sale alongside the sedan and coupe this summer.
BMW says the M4 convertible is around 90 pounds lighter than its predecessor, the M3 convertible, thanks to heavy use of lightweight aluminum in the front fenders, hood and chassis. Lightweight carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic components also help keep the weight down.
As in the M3 sedan and M4 coupe (the M4 replaced the prior-gen M3 coupe), the convertible uses a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder engine that BMW says is good for 425 horsepower and 406 pounds-feet of torque; that's more powerful than the outgoing V-8. Two transmissions are available: a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual. The M4 convertible's top speed is 155 mph, and BMW pegs its zero to 60 time at 4.4 seconds with the manual and 4.2 seconds with the automatic.
Competes with: Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A4, BMW 3 Series sedan, BMW 3 Series Gran Touring
Looks like: The 3 Series sedan, only taller, or the 3 Series Gran Touring, only shorter
Drivetrain: 240-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder or 300-hp, turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engines; eight-speed automatic transmission; optional all-wheel drive
Hits dealerships: Summer 2014
Price: 428i GC, $41,225; 428i xDrive GC, $43,225; 435i GC $46,725 (all prices include a $925 destination fee)
There are some things you can never have too much of. Money, chocolate and apparently, according to BMW, car-model variants. That's the only explanation we can come up with for the introduction of this latest compact car from the German luxury brand, the 4 Series Gran Coupe.
What exactly is it? Well, take the 4 Series coupe, stretch the roofline slope about 4.4 inches, raise the roof a half-inch, add two doors and voila: The 4 Series Gran Coupe is born. With the exact same length, width, wheelbase and track as the two-door coupe but featuring a bit more headroom, the 4 Series Gran Coupe sports a tall hatchback sedan profile and a full 45.9 cubic feet of total luggage space inside. Sound like a "coupe" to you?
Formerly grouped under the M3 nameplate, the high-performance versions of BMW's compact sedan and coupe are now known as the M3 and M4, respectively. They share many styling cues inside and out in addition to a 425-horsepower, turbocharged inline-six engine, and the M3 and M4 bring a predictable aggressiveness to the cars' designs.
The new M cars have gaping, sharply creased lower grilles that ratchet up the aggressiveness, but the design is a little tame compared to the giant grilles showing up on Audi and Lexus performance cars. Both M cars have a nice stance, and flared rear wheel arches hint at the power under the hood.
Competes with: Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, Audi RS 5 and several cars in the rumor mill
Looks like: The 3 and 4 Series with some aggressive additional bodywork
Drivetrain: Turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six with 425 hp and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic or six-speed manual transmission; rear-wheel drive
Hits dealerships: Summer 2014
Witness the new M3 sedan and its M4 coupe sibling, which lop off two cylinders but add a whole heap of turbocharging. It had to happen, didn't it? Automakers — particularly the Germans — are swapping cylinders for turbos like displacement is the plague. The latest iterations of the Audi S8 and BMW M5 have dropped V-10s for turbo V-8s; even Mercedes-Benz downsized most of its AMG V-8s and added turbos.
BMW's new 4 Series is essentially the convertible version of the brand's 3 Series, and it looks similar to BMW's new 4 Series coupe. The power-folding hardtop goes up or down in 20 seconds and works at speeds of less than 11 mph.
Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays says cargo volume isn't a 4 Series strong suit, but BMW says it's better than the outgoing 3 Series convertible. Watch the video for more.
California is the perfect place to introduce a new convertible, with sunny warmth the normal condition for local residents. BMW agreed, holding the world premiere of the new 4 Series hardtop convertible at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show. Replacing the 3 Series convertible in BMW's lineup, the 4 Series convertible is a larger, more luxurious droptop that furthers the company's new naming convention-odd numbers for sedans, even numbers for coupes.
Power up and push the convertible top button and you'll begin a mesmerizing process of steel origami as the three-piece hardtop folds and descends into the trunk. It only takes 20 seconds to drop the top and it is quite a sight to behold. The new top also features more sound insulation than the old 3 Series model, resulting in a quieter ride with the top up.
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