Images released of BMW's Concept Gran Coupe in the design studio and being sculpted
14 May 2010

BMW has released images of its Concept Gran Coupe, the star of last month's Beijing motor show, at its early design and development stage.

The five-metre, four-door, couple-like saloon is tipped to make production in 2012 as the BMW 8-series, although no new information was released alongside the images.

The Concept Gran Coupe has been designed to fuse the abilities of a GT and a sports car. Its 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.

“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,” said BMW design chief Adrian van Hooydonk at the car's launch. “We’re convinced that we should make a car like this.”

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.

Join the debate

Comments
3

11 May 2010

Very rakish - best BMW ... erm, rendering for a long time.

11 May 2010

What do they mean by asymmetrical kidney grill? I'm not seeing it...?

Anyhow, it looks brilliant, but is the name confirmed as 8 series? I thought it might be the 6 series GT. Can't wait to see more!

11 May 2010

[quote Giom37]

What do they mean by asymmetrical kidney grill? I'm not seeing it...?

Anyhow, it looks brilliant, but is the name confirmed as 8 series? I thought it might be the 6 series GT. Can't wait to see more!

[/quote]

What they mean is that the individual halves of the grille are asymmetric: they're much wider at the top than at the bottom, and they're taller towards the middle than towards the outside. You couldn't put the LHS one in the RHS aperture of visa versa.

What I'm more concerned by is the apparent abandonment of the monocoque in favour of a backbone chassis, a la Lotus Elan... not good for crash safety! For now, I'm going to assume that the blame can be laid squarely at the door of Autocar's incompetent journalism, not incompetent engineering on BMW's part...

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • BMW X3
    Car review
    19 January 2018
    The stakes have never been higher for BMW’s mid-sized SUV, now the X3 in its third generation. So can it deliver?
  • Nissan Leaf
    First Drive
    19 January 2018
    Better looks, better value, better range, stronger performance and a quiet and relaxing drive make the Nissan Leaf a leading EV contender again
  • Volkswagen Up GTI
    First Drive
    18 January 2018
    Funky, light, enjoyable and even reasonably priced, the Volkswagen Up GTI is a car to be appreciated on its own compelling terms
  • Skoda Fabia 1.0 TSI 110 Redline
    First Drive
    18 January 2018
    Our first flavour of the 1.0 TSI-engined Skoda Fabia on UK roads shows it’s versatile but not all that sporty
  • Ford Ecosport 1.0 Ecoboost 125 Zetec front
    First Drive
    18 January 2018
    Can the updated Ford Ecosport improve its reputation and become the small SUV of choice, or is it another misguided effort from the Blue Oval?