BMW to Add 5 Series Coupé to Line-up?

Insider Scott27 (who goes by Herr26 on BF) seems to think so. The usually correct and (at least) always insightful man inside references BMW ‘s previous attempt to take the 5er into coupe and convertible territory with the E34 and how this time things might be a bit more successful. He also mentions that the 6 Series will be growing in size and price and that a smaller less luxurious coupé that slots between the 3er and the 6er could make sense. Here ‘s the man in his own words (courtesy of germancarforum):

Seriously considered in response to the Mercedes-Benz CE Coupe and Cabrio. BMW ‘s R&D chief Wolfgang Reitzle commissioned a Coupe and Cabrio proposal for the then BMW 5er (The E34) , The success of the 3er 2dr and cabrio prompted Reitzle to investigate if such a project would be feasible for the 5er , plus observations at the CE Mercedes-Benz proved an inticing concept to expand the 5er portfolio and increase the 5er ‘s image.

Both Coupe and Cabrio models were built to investigate the market and BMW ‘s board of management were impressed by the two concepts , especially at the salivating idea of an M5 Coupe unfortunately the world-wide recession was about to blow in killing the projects chances and with it some other propsals such as the 8er cabrio and M8 Super car.

Forced to concentrate all resources on the highly successful “recession ” buster the BMW E36 3er – the car that took the 3er in a new direction and of course BMW to new heights.

BMW always had the 5er Coupe and Cabrio at the back of it ‘s mind and finally decided to show a proposal as a Concept Car in this case a prototype Cabrio was created but as an M5. Internal politics especially with the arrival of the new 3er Cabrio in E36 form stopped the Cabrio dead in it ‘s tracks.

With the BMW portfolio now , the lower models such as the 1er and 3er offer a full range of versatile options which secure the 1er and 3er as the most profit driven BMW models a claim that will be further tested when the new platform strategy kicks in with an enticing new series of concepts aimed at forecast future growth in the lower segments.

The upper segments have not been forgotten aswell with the BMW 6er inheriting a sedan-coupe model entitled Gran Coupe an additional Shooting Brake has been designed and is being investigated as a concept.

The BMW 5er has also expanded with the 5er Gran Turismo. And it is within the 5er that BMW are looking for another solution.

The new 5er (F10) has been a huge success in the following of it ‘s launch and the Touring is following suit with some markets not be able to deliver Touring models until early 2011 due to huge demand especially for the most complete BMW ever the – 520d Touring.

“The big push in new models, entering new segments comes after 2012, But as recently announced BMW are investigating more concepts to increase sales and profitability. The Strategy for the 1er and 3er are nearing completion , as is the strategy for the 6er , the 5er opens doors to possibilities. especially to models that can be created using existing resources.

One of which is a 5er coupe and cabrio built using existing resources and filling the gap between 3er coupe and 6er.

In the proposal for the Coupe and Cabrio models of the F10 it is the identifed to use as much as available to lower costs , something similar Mercedes has instigated for it ‘s C-Coupe.

The look of the Coupe is similar to the sedan except with stretched two doors ,the rear lights come from the Touring models to push down costs and add extra identity.

The key differences is the windscreen raked a few inches more towards the rear but keeping with the 5er ‘s Coupe like profile. The front of the car receives a wider lower opening and reprofiled lights.

Interior and dash all remain the same except for a leather covered “hood ” on one the pillars on the centre console splitting driver from passenger, similar to the seperate cockpit idea on the CS Concept.

The Cabrio follows the same ideas but in response to the 3er cabrio especially it ‘s popular fully functional hard-top, There are investigations to drop the folding hardtop created for the BMW 6er between BMW and an outside company into the 5er Cabrio. The Hardtop was removed when it proved impossible to adjust to weight and size especially in the need for a large trunk space. Using a hardtop would mean BMW would generate a profit aswell as utilising their investment of the installation of a production line to manufacture hardtops within the Dingolfling werk where the cars would be manufactured.

In reality both concepts were presented beautifully, recognizeable as a 5er but with some differences to give it a very different identity, especially at the rear. The question remains whether or not BMW finally take the step to recognize that the range could benefit from a new mid-line coupe or that the car could be too close to the 6er for comfort. It all depends on the final breakdown but the idea is to use as much as resources as available to drive down costs and generate profit.

Perhaps What has gone before might pass..or this time become a reality.

So what do you think? Is there room in BMW ‘s stable for another large two door coupe and convertible? We think not and that this exercise (like the last one) will ultimately not see production.

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  • Herr26

    When I first started working for BMW it was on the back of the launch of the E34 around 1989. It was then the success of that car especially when they launched the M5 model that success of the E34 led them to consider a Coupe and Cabrio to emulate the 3er which the launch of the E36 3er was over the horizon.

    They built full scale models of the Coupe and Cabrio for evaluation , even down to a claymodel 1:8 of an M5 Coupe. They looked at it seriously but when the recession began to hit in the early nineties , both cars became casualties as did the M8 Supercar and 8er Cabrio. And all focus went on the E36 and of course the E38.

    The M5 Cabrio recently shown at the anniversary of the M5 was resurrected but abandoned as the E36 Cabrio was to be launched as an M in 1994. As for the current F10 it is an exercise but I do not think it will come to reality because of overall costs and proximity to both the next 3er and 6er Coupe , if anything the car although based on the matrix of the 5/6/7 will more likely be a “Z” car rather than a series Coupe.

    But at BMW they look at product advancement from all angles.

  • There is little sense in developing a 5 series coupe, that is what the 6 series is- if memory serves me correctly that is the reason BMW contemplated designating coupes even numbers and sedans odd; as there had been a 6 and 8 series already.

    The E63/64 shared much of its architecture with the E60 so it might as well have been a 5er coupe.

    I find it amusing that the Audi naming system is actually being considered for BMWs… Since Audi made their names one up on BMW-

    BMW 3er = A4 BMW 5er = A6 BMW 7er = A8

    You get the idea… if the bean counters would just let the engineers do their thing the marketing people would not have to spend as much money!

    -M

  • DK

    There’s a large price gap between the 3 and 6… a 5 series coupe could fill that. It wouldn’t appeal to the enthusiast market (too big, too heavy) although it could be profitable for BMW.

    Look at the A5/S5 and E series – there’s a market for softer, bigger coupes, and why wouldn’t a BMW version raise the game?

    Price wise, nobody in the market for an M3 would buy the price-equivalent 5 series, or vice versa. Market cannibalization seems unlikely.

    In a similar sense, a potential M5 coupe could be made far harder than a 650i, and we know that the M6 is going to be powered up relative to the already planned M5, so there’s plenty of upwards space.

    There’s room in the lineup, and profit to be made…

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