BMW Stuns All with Concept Gran Coup頩n Beijing

Staff - CAP staff
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Some time ago BMW teased us with a full-size four-door coupe concept simply called CS Concept, and we all got pretty excited that it might see the light of day.  After all, it was the most beautifully styled BMW we'd seen in years, and would have made a flagship worthy of the vaunted CS nameplate.  But alas the automaker officially killed any plans to produce it, if there actually ever were any, dashing the hopes of millions of roundel fans. 

Now there's new hope, and while the Concept Gran Coupé might not possess quite the fluidity of form that the CS captured, it is mighty good looking and appears close enough in design to the upcoming 5 Series to be a likely four-door coupe candidate. 

Mercedes set the ball rolling with its CLS, forever changing the auto industry with a new four-door coupe segment, although now that the segment is established many give the honour of first four-door coupe to Maserati and it's ultra-sleek Quattroporte that arrived on the scene a year earlier.  Since then a variety of players have entered the scene, from the comparatively entry-level Volkswagen CC to the decidedly upscale Aston Martin Rapide, as well as Porsche's shockingly good Panamera and Audi's upcoming A7. 

The Concept Gran Coupé, if produced, would fill the D-segment and target its main rivals directly; the CLS is based on MB E-Class architecture and A7 shares Audi's MHB "modular architecture" with the A6; the Passat CC, also midsize, is not considered to be a direct competitor and the Rapide is in a different class altogether. 

Those that have seen the next 6 Series are reporting that the Concept Gran Coupé is much the same other than side profile, the 6 will feature two doors instead of one and sport more rake in the C-pillar.  Still, the Concept Gran Coupé boasts particularly attractive lines, especially the roofline that is 100 mm (4 inches) lower than either the 5 or 7 Series sedans and features frameless doors for a coupe-like presence. 

The Concept Gran Coupé and new 5 Series show signs that BMW is evolving from its previous flamed surface design language initiated by the famed (or infamous) Chris Bangle and 7 Series designer Adrian van Hooydonk.  While some have lambasted van Hooydonk for the 7, and his Rolls-Royce Phantom design, it's important to remember that he was also responsible for the much-lauded CS Concept mentioned previously.  Likewise, van Hooydonk, still in charge of BMW's global design, is also responsible in part for the current 1 Series, updated 3 Series, new 5 and, ahem, 5 Series Gran Turismo, new 7 Series and, of course, this new Concept Gran Coupé. 

The Concept Gran Coupé is a sign that BMW's future design language is in good hands; it will be interesting to see how the new prototype affects upcoming production cars.

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Sedan, Sports Coupe, BMW, Concept Gran Coup, $50,000 - $74,999,

Organizations: BMW

Geographic location: Beijing

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