Last year, BMW offered its 3 Series lineup in sedan, coupe, convertible, and station wagon format. This year, the automaker split the coupe and convertible apart from the sedan and wagon, renaming them the 4 Series in the process. The company also introduced a new version of the 3 Series called the Gran Turismo, a taller 5-door hatchback version of the 3 Series sedan equipped with extra rear-seat room and more cargo space.
Now, for the 2015 model year, BMW debuted the new 4 Series Gran Coupe, a taller 5-door hatchback variant of the 4 Series Coupe that offers more rear-seat space and a larger cargo area.
Confused? Don't be. The new 2015 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe is sleeker than a BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo, but is less utilitarian in terms of design and is less practical in terms of space. It is also more expensive when comparably equipped, and is predicted to get better fuel economy thanks to its more aerodynamic shape. Equipped with 4+1 seating, the 4 Series Gran Coupe features a 40/20/40 split rear seat that nearly triples cargo capacity when it is folded down.
The 2015 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe will be available as the 428i, 428i xDrive, and 435i equipped with standard, Sport, Luxury, or M Sport trim. The 428i model has a turbocharged, 240-horsepower, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine while the 435i variant gets a turbocharged, 300-horsepower, 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder engine. Both engines include fuel-saving automatic start/stop technology and Driving Dynamics Control with EcoPro, Comfort, Sport, and Sport+ driving modes.
An 8-speed automatic transmission is standard, and BMW makes no mention about offering a manual gearbox in the U.S. market. The company's xDrive all-wheel-drive system is optional for the 428i Gran Coupe, and BMW says it plans to provide this upgrade to 435i Gran Coupe buyers at some time after the car's arrival.
In addition to selecting Luxury, Sport, and M Sport trim, buyers of the 2015 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe can option the car with numerous extras, including a suite of performance-, infotainment-, and safety-related technologies. The standard power tailgate can also be fitted with gesture recognition, allowing it to swing open with a simple swish of a foot under the rear bumper.
BMW says to expect the new 4 Series Gran Coupe in showrooms early in the summer of 2014, with a starting price of $41,225 for the 428i Gran Coupe with no options. For more in-depth information about the new 4 Series Gran Coupe, read our full preview.