2013 bmw 3 series
2013 bmw 3 series

2013 bmw 3 series

2013 bmw 3 series

BMW is poised to add a big but slinky "4-door coupe" to answer the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class and Audi's upcoming A7. It may not be badged 8-Series, but it should be the new flagship car for the world's top-selling premium-vehicle brand.

What We Know About the 2013 BMW 8-Series

It seems BMW will offer a "4-door coupe" after all, patterned on the Gran Coupé Concept revealed during the April 2010 Beijing Auto Show. The swanky long-wheelbase sedan should be the new flagship of a BMW car fleet that keeps adding new members like a college fraternity. It's also a belated reply to the strong-selling Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class, which is being redesigned for 2012, and targets Audi's similar A7, which is expected in the U.S. that same model year.

Significantly, the Munich-based powerhouse all but confirmed a production Gran Coupé at the Beijing show, issuing a press release citing "the aspiration of the BMW brand to build 4-door high-performance models with the sportiest proportions and the most elegant design." Though the name is apparently still to be decided, some think BMW will revive the 8-Series moniker from the burly 2-door coupes that replaced its 6-Series models in the 1990s. Others believe the production Gran Coupé will be a new body style in the redesigned third-generation 6-Series that's due for 2012 in 2-door coupe and convertible form.

New-Car Reviews

    * 2010 BMW 5-Series
    * 2010 BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo
    * 2010 BMW 6-Series
    * 2010 BMW 7-Series

If all this sounds familiar, it should. Remember the Concept CS from the 2007 Shanghai Auto Show? That exercise set tongues to wagging, with many predicting a little-changed production version to be named Gran Turismo. But nothing came of it, and now we know why. As BMW design chief Adrian van Hooydonk told Britain's Autocar magazine in Beijing, "We all liked the idea of a more dynamic flagship 4-door then, but we put the [CS] 'on ice' to work on Project i, which has been a bigger priority." The designer refers to what BMW now calls its "Megacity" program, which is expected to spawn several pure-electric small vehicles to be marketed as a separate brand. It's part of a larger "Sustainable Mobility" effort that also involves developing hybrid powertrains and battery-powered versions of existing products like the Mini E at BMW's British brand. Apparently, the company feels its eco-vehicle efforts are far enough along that it can resume work on the kind of sleek, fast, "aspirational" products that have made BMW the world's top-selling premium-vehicle brand.


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