New four-door, five-metre long coupe revealed at the Beijing motor show; full details + pics
23 April 2010

BMW has stolen the headlines at the Beijing show by unveiling its Gran Coupe coupe, a five-metre, four-door, coupe-like saloon that’s rumoured to be headed into production as a new 8-series flagship.

The Gran Coupe 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.

See the official BMW Concept Gran Coupe pics

“It’s true that the Gran Coupe points to a specific model, a saloon with the presence and elegance of a 7-series but a more dynamic, sporty character: much more of a driver’s car,” says BMW design chief Adrian van Hooydonk. “We’re convinced that we should make a car like this.”

The Gran Coupe’s production version will come along in 2012, according to BMW insiders. 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.

“We all liked the idea of a more dynamic flagship four-door back then,” explains van Hooydonk, “but we put the car ‘on ice’ while working on ‘Project I’ [BMW’s new Megacity electric-only brand], which has been a bigger prority.”

“Now we’ve had the opportunity to revisit the CS and update it, and I think everyone inside of BMW is pleased with the results.”

“We drew inspiration from classic BMWs like the 3.0 Csi. Our intention was to create a car with a distinct character: I’m hoping you can tell that it’s not a 7-series replacement. The Gran Coupe is much lower, and a little wider than a 7, and has a much more fluid roofline.”

And will BMW bring back the 8-series badge for the car? “It’s not my decision to make,” says van Hooydonk. “I don’t think of this car as an 8-series, but our marketing department may think differently. Either way, their work is just beginning, and I know that often it can take longer than our design work!”

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.

Jim Holder / Matt Saunders

Latest news from the Beijing motor show

Join the debate


23 April 2010

From what I can see of this it looks absolutely stunning. BMW are finally getting their styling back on track in my view. The new 5 and 7 are lovely and much more handsome than previous efforts. So much presence on the Mway too. Would very much like one of these.

23 April 2010

What a radical change from the BMW CS from exactly 3 years ago !!!

23 April 2010

What a cracking looking car! Makes the Panamera look even worse! Expect to see this front end appear on the new 6 series i would think. Finally BMW are sorting themselves out and making cohesive designs again!

23 April 2010

[quote Olidanides]What a radical change from the BMW CS from exactly 3 years ago !!!

Yeah, doesn't exactly move things on, does it? The CS looked much tauter, more coupe than saloon.

This concept is how I wished the Seven looked.

23 April 2010

[quote scrap]

[quote Olidanides]What a radical change from the BMW CS from exactly 3 years ago !!!

Yeah, doesn't exactly move things on, does it? The CS looked much tauter, more coupe than saloon.

This concept is how I wished the Seven looked.

[/quote] difference is the CS never really looked like a production car. this looks almost production ready

23 April 2010

Right, let's start in my usual style, by being negative.

  • The tail-lights look awful.
  • The registration plate needs to be moved up into the bootlid
  • It's not a hatchback, unlike the A7 and Panamera - a split tailgate like the 5GT's or the Superb's would be better (albeit heavier and bulkier, which, I suppose, might be why this doesn't have such a thing).
  • I'm not sure about the asymmetric kidney grilles, though I suspect they'll grow on me
  • The exhausts look really gimmicky - let's just have two pairs of plain, circular-section pipes, like at the back of the M cars
  • The wheels look a bit too big and too bling - the Chinese may like that, but I'll take mine with boggo 17-inchers, thanks.
  • I think that the front overhang is a bit too long - no doubt forced by safety legislation. Move the front wheels forward, please, lads!

Now, let's look at the positives.

  • I really like the Lamborghini-style lower air intakes at the front.
  • I love the shape of the headlamps.
  • In profile, it's drop-dead gorgeous, much more what the Jaguar XF SHOULD have been (note - please, no more sharply rising beltlines! This is OK in that respect, though could still be better). However, the boot could do with being longer, with more of a rear overhang, which would make it look more balanced.

I think it's a good car overall, but, sadly, it'll still have a compulsory autobox, it'll still be made of steel, it'll still have electric power steering. It really needs to go back to hydraulic steering, offer a ZF six-speed manual as an option (use the rear-mounted transaxle one like Aston Martin do, please, boys!), be made of aluminium, and, most of all, it needs a Touring version. Same goes for the 7-series.

Oh, and, if this is to be called the 8-series, please, do a 2-door version to go after the Merc CL with, please!

23 April 2010

BMW's Panamera rival me think's!?

Peter Cavellini.

23 April 2010

It's a looker, no doubt about it and is much needed in this segment. However, I'm dissapointed that BMW has jumped on the "4 door coupe" marketing nonsense in a cynical move to charge more money for a lowered 4 door saloon. Still, call it what you will, it's lovely and I would still like one !!

23 April 2010

This actually looks really nice compared to their currently uninspiring lineup of vehicles. Nothing about this is very concept-y and all of the cues on display here should have filtered through to BMWs production models long ago. Alas, they haven't but the Audi-like attention to detail here should in my eyes go a long way to improving the brands reputation of design.

23 April 2010

At last a perfectly named car a coupe for your Gran ( or Grandad)

I hope it comes with a pipe rest and a mug holder....

Actually it's a lot better than a 7 series.


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