Originally Posted by mkoesel
Just look at the 5 and 6 series for the precedent:
5 - sedan, touring, GT
6 - coupe, cabrio, GC
You can apply the same pattern to the 3 and 4 series, and at least partially, to the 1 and 2 series (no 1 series sedan or touring, at least not for this generation).
A 2er Gran Coupe was considered but BMW have now rejected any proposal. relying on the 2er Coupe and Cabrio and alternative Roadster and Coupe to satisfy the needs of enthusiasts. Although Audi are introducing an A3 Sedan and Mercedes-Benz with its baby CLS the CLC.
They will impact on the profitability of the C-Klasse and A4 respectively , especially when fleet sales are considered which is why BMW did not want a four door 1er either in previous generation or current to impact on lower engined 3er's either in E90 and now the F30. These fleet sales are crucial to BMW.
BMW see the 1er as the "Alternative" to what you get with the competition.
Which is why the emphasis is on the Sporthatch and Coupe and Cabrio.
This time around a Touring will be satisfied by the introduction of the BMW FAST Family Activity Sports Tourer - A three concept FWD/AWD variant that mixes the commanding aura of an SAV, The looks of a higher riding Touring and the space of an MPV which is very crucial market within Europe. And the Compactive Sports Tourer - BMW's answer to the B-Klasse , Mercedes-Benz again another crucial market for BMW.
Because of BMW's unique platform flexibility with the modular matrix that supports its own individual wheelbase , track width and RWD/AWD. Currently the 5 6 7 supports ten BMW models - 5er ,5erLi , 5er Touring , 5er GT , 6er Coupe , 6er Cabrio , 6er Gran Coupe , 7er , 7er Li. It is easy for BMW to adapt more variants via this flexibility.
The BMW 1er and 3er also adopt a similar strategy which will see even more variants adapted from. The matrix under the 1er and 3er can also be adapted to FWD which BMW will underpin its small Sub-1er City Compact and its subsequent variants along with the MINI family.
A 4er Gran Coupe is considered because of the scope of flexibility on the platform.
In style 4er Gran Coupe will be a 4er Coupe with standard front and rear styling, it will adopt a longer , flatter roof , conventional B-pillar and rear doors. The Platform for the Gran Coupe arrives from the China-only market 3er Li in a shortened version which is also found underneath the Gran Turismo 3er. This will benefit the interior and the length will provide adequate seating for four adults. In height the 6er Gran Coupe is lower than the new 3er (F30) current Coupe (E92) , 5er and 7er. The 4er Gran Coupe will be a few inches shorter than the 6er Gran Coupe.
Although a 4er Gran Coupe is not entirely a new idea. BMW did build a design proposal model of a four door E92 in 2005 but was rejected in favour of a more upmarket approach which eventually led to the illfated 2007 CS Concept. Which had the economic crisis not occurred , we would be seeing the production car around now. The 6er Gran Coupe is the "replacement" for the CS if you will. But with the next generation 7er they would like to bring a similar CS option to the 7er.
Another Option being considered and will be shown first as a 6er is a Shooting Brake model. encompassing the attributes of the Gran Coupe but with a larger load area and sleek sloping roof making it lower than a conventional wagon. And especially in markets where the wagon is all but dead thanks to the larger SAV options. Shooting Brake could be offered as a more sportier concept than a regular wagon. Again a 4er Shooting Brake in hypothetical terms could be considered thanks to the modular platform flexibility.
Because of each model having its own unique wheelbase under the platform flexibility. It means BMW can maximize profitability on each model also it is easy to adapt each model to have its own unique dynamics and still be ablt cater for enthusiasts. As this is not one standard platform shared across multiple brands.