The BMW Gran Coupe concept will go into production in the second quarter of 2012, and is likely to carry a 6-series badge, a BMW source has confirmed.
The five-metre, four-door, coupe-like saloon has been designed to fuse the abilities of a GT and a sports car. It’s roof is 100mm lower than a current 7-series saloon, and its rear quarters slightly more restricted. As such, it’s expected to sire a direct production rival for the Maserati Quattroporte, Audi A7 and Porsche Panamera.
Underneath it will use the same ‘backbone’ platform that underpins the current 5-series, 7-series and 5 GT. The car will offer the same mix of six- and eight-cylinder petrol and diesel engines as those cars, and an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
The Gran Coupe picks up on the work started four years ago with the Concept CS show car, which appeared at the Shanghai motor show in 2007.
As well as testing the water for a BMW-built rival for the Audi A7, the Gran Coupe is intended to distill and concentrate BMW’s design values. As such, it’s likely to have a far-reaching influence throughout the styling of many of BMW’s future model lines.
That means we should expect to see the Gran Coupe’s long wheelbase, vaulted bonnet, shark nose, rearward set glasshouse, low silhouette and short front overhang become part of BMW’s trademark design language, as well as its asymmetrical kidney grille, wide frontal air intake and frameless doors.