If you haven’t kept track of things at BMW lately you might have missed the maker’s new naming strategy. To boil it down to basics: sedans have odd-number designations, such as the classic BMW 3-, 5-, and 7-Series models. Even numbers are reserved for two-door coupes and convertible.
That is, except when you’re talking about coupe-like four-doors such as the 2015 BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe, the latest in a fast-growing line-up of all-new models from the Bavarian maker.
The 4-Series is itself new, BMW moving to put a little more space between the classic 3-er sedan and the sporty coupe. The Gran Coupe, meanwhile, comes in about a half-inch longer and wider, albeit a good 1.5 inches lower, than the 3-Series sedan. That’s good news for rear seat passengers who appear to lose a little headroom due to the more coupe-like roofline.
To confuse matters a bit more, the Gran Coupe actually gets a fifth door, an electrically operated hatch that yields expansive cargo space of 17 cubic feet – even more with the rear seats folded out of the way.
“Taking its cue from a large BMW coupe, the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe combines a dynamic and sleek silhouette with additional functionality and more spaciousness in the rear passenger compartment,” says Won Kyu Kang, the exterior designer responsible for the BMW 4 Series.
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The powertrain options are the same as for the rest of the BMW 3- and 4-Series line-up, the top-line 435i fitted with a 3.0-liter inline turbo-six generating 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque through an eight-speed automatic gearbox. It will direct that power to the rear wheels.
The base engine in the 428i Gran Coupe is a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four good for 240-hp and 255 lb-ft. It shares the eight-speed but is available with RWD or BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system.
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The fuel economy of the BMW 435i Gran Coupe matches the 3-Series equivalent at 22 mpg City, 32 Highway but at 23/35, the 428i GC actually beats the equivalent 3-Series by an EPA-rated two miles a gallon on the highway.
BMW hasn’t explained the gap but it could be due to the lower ride height and better aerodynamics – which have also been credited with giving the 4-Series Coupe a more planted feel than the 3-Series sedan.
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Considering its track record, we’re expecting to soon hear about a third powertrain option – for an M version of the new BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe. For now, those who want an even more sporty package will have to settle for an M Sport alternative. The engine is the same but you’ll get a mix of features “that emphasize street performance,” BMW suggests, including a larger front air intake, a rear diffuser insert, body color rocker panel trim, and a choice of M-style 18- or 19-inch light-alloy wheels. Inside, the M Sport gets such details as M-style door sill finishers, an M steering wheel and other niceties. But the most important addition is the M Sport suspension and optional M Sport brakes.
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At $41,225 – including $995 for delivery charges – the 428i Gran Coupe comes in at $3,000 more than the 328i sedan. That jumps to $43,225 with xDrive. The 435i’s premium is a slightly more modest $2,400, at a ready-to-drive off MSRP of $46,725.