Currently reading: BMW Concept Gran Coupe unveiled
New four-door, five-metre long coupe revealed at the Beijing motor show; full details + pics
Autocar
News
2 mins read
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

Advertisement
Advertisement

Find an Autocar review

Join the debate

Comments
70
Add a comment…
Rover P6 3500S 28 April 2010

Re: BMW Concept Gran Coupe unveiled

david RS wrote:

Interesting concept from BMW especially for the rear and the rear profile.

One thing worries me : the increase of the length of the front, and especially for a BMW...

But, as you see, the growth is almost all behind the front wheels: it'll keep that classic 50:50 weight distribution.

david RS 27 April 2010

Re: BMW Concept Gran Coupe unveiled

You make me think about the MB 190E.

Look at the 190 E 2.3-16 (or 2.5-16) : always a great sporty-premium compact sedan!

david RS 27 April 2010

Re: BMW Concept Gran Coupe unveiled

Interesting concept from BMW especially for the rear and the rear profile.

One thing worries me : the increase of the length of the front, and especially for a BMW...

Find an Autocar car review