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Rumor: BMW Working On 4-Series Line

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On: Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 6:17PM | By: Tim Healey

Rumor: BMW Working On 4-Series Line

According to several sources, BMW is working on a 4-Series line that could compete with the Audi A5 Sportback. Many observers have speculated that BMW was readying a new 3-Series GT four-door coupe/hatchback design (think 5-Series GT, but smaller) and now the rumor mill is saying that perhaps the 3-Series GT is actually a 4-Series GT.

If BMW comes out with a 4-Series GT, it would be one of several vehicles in the 4-Series family. There would be a sedan, conventional coupe, and convertible, as well.

It sometimes seems like the German automakers are trying to fill every possible niche, and the rumored 4-Series is a prime example of that. It's unclear if it would be sized between the 3-Series and 5-Series, although that seems likely. The bigger question: Is there a market for the 4-Series?

It would appear that BMW thinks so, and a 4-Series or 3-Series GT (assuming the two are actually different models) could appear by 2013.

Details of a 4-Series are sketchy, but we'd expect the car to be rear-wheel drive with all-wheel drive available, and the engine line-up would likely be a combination of inline-six cylinder engines and small V-8s. We'd expect hybrid and diesel models to be available, along with some combination of manual and automatic transmissions. The likelihood of an "M" model would probably depend on the overall success of the line, but we wouldn't put it past BMW. After all, they did create the X5 M and X6 M.

It's hard to understand why BMW would chase after the four-door crossover hatchback market, given that this particular niche is small and struggling. Crossover hatches like the Acura ZDX and BMW's own 5-Series GT haven't sold in great numbers, and neither have more mainstream wagon/sedan combos like the Honda Accord Crosstour. Tall SUV-like wagons such as the Toyota Venza haven't been flying out of showrooms either. Even BMW's own X6 has been a rare sight on public roads.

At this point, the rumors are just that: Rumors. And even if these products are in the planning pipeline, market forces could change before 2013, affecting any decision to actually build the 4-Series.

We'll know BMW's future plans soon enough.


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