BMW maintains that the sometimes maligned 5-Series GT is a good seller despite the public perception, so much so that a scaled down 3-Series iteration has been under development for some time. Now it seems the development of this car is nearing the point of public release and so BMW has dropped the typical body cladding and now only covers the car up in a minimal amount of camouflage tape.
While the general shape of this car has been known to follow the 5-Series GT lines, what has not been known until now are the details. First and foremost, this car should not be confused with the upcoming 4-Series Gran Coupe [recent spy photos
]. The 4-Series GC will be a 'four door coupe' in a similar fashion to the 6-Series Gran Coupe, while this car takes a decidedly more utilitarian take on the concept of a cross-over vehicle with a taller roof and larger trunk. It is as the marketing folks remind us, a car designed for the person who wants a 3-series sized vehicle, needs the utility of wagon but doesn't actually want to own a wagon.
Whats clear from these spyphotos is the amazing resemblance to the F30 3-Series but with some changes to give a more bulbous front visage. Changes at the front include a wider and sleeker kidney grill design with an increase in the height of the headlamp units which trade angles for curves. The headlamps still connect to the kidney grills via the characteristic 'whiskers' debuted on the F30. The overall effect is to give a more rounded appearance to the front which will surely be less polarizing. Whats really interesting is the hoffmeister kink. It seems to now be curved in a move sure to ruffle some feathers.
The 3-Series GT is expected to arrive with the same engine offerings as the F30 3-Series sedan, including four and six cylinder petrol and diesel variants.
What is not clear is if this car will be offered in the US. If it does come to the US, expect the official reveal of the car around the time of the 2013 NAIAS in January, otherwise the 2013 Geneva show in March
With the 4 Series Gran Coupe as an addition, here is a summary of the upcoming 3 Series / 4 Series lineup:
- F30 3 Series Sedan
- F31 3 Series Touring
- F32 4 Series Coupe
- F33 4 Series Convertible
- F34 3 Series (GT) Gran Touring
- F35 3 Series Long Wheelbase (China only)
- F36 4 Series Gran Coupe