New Coupe To Remain a 3 Series?

 We ‘ve just heard from a reliable source that the next generation coupe based on the newly revealed 3 Series will retain the 3 Series name. According to this source, the F32 coupe which has begun more formal testing will be offered in several forms including a 340i as a way to further differentiate the coupe from the sedan.

The source added, that the next generation convertible based on the 3 Series F30, will use the “4 Series ” name, a Gran Coupe version is also planned and will be in the 4 Series equation as well.

The 4 Series will be a significant departure from both the coupe and sedan 3 Series models not only in exterior design, but offering larger engine choices and differentiated interiors. WHile this source has been reliable in the past we are still marking this as a rumor as we have no further corroboration on this information at this time. The launch of the new 3 Series based coupe is about 12-18 months out still so there is plenty of time to sort through all the info making its way out of Munich.

Thanks to our friends at Kilometer Magazine for the great spy shot- note that this car is HEAVILY cladded!

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  • Evan

    I understand the desire to keep lines consistent, but the 3er has too much history in all body-styles to lose the coupe to the 4er moniker. It makes sense to keep the F30/F31/F32 all 3er. Maybe the convertible can be the 4er and the Gran Coupe certainly as it’ll be different and more upmarket.

    Also, this would make the next M3 be both sedan and coupe. As it should be! Although, I would personally kill for an F31 M3. I know, not a large enough market… but I would have to have quite the windfall to buy an F31 and an F80 and combine the two… 🙂

  • Adam

    Maybe someone at BMW AG heard the forum trolls’ outcry? Interesting.

    • Anonymous

      I’m really not sure if the original plan was not this from the getgo.

      The source seemed to think the marketing department would have trouble if the car being raced in the DTM was an M3 with no series car to be based on. Motorsport is not going start from scratch with an M4 after decades of racing as an M3. Or would they?

      We have no second source on thus yet but we are efforting.

  • Nick Dawson

    This idea is in conflict with BMW’s intention to move the F32 Coupe and F33 Convertible upmarket from the F30 Sedan and F31 Touring, to a higher premium sector and thus justify higher premium prices, as Audi has done with the A5 Coupe, Convertible and Sportback. However, F32 and F33 are not due until mid-2014 so things could change before then. In the meantime, F34 3 GT is due in early 2013 and the last model, due in early 2015, will be F35 4 Gran Coupe which shares its platform with the 3 GT and a China-only 4 Sedan.

    It is interesting that BMW sources had previously revealed that the next M3 would not appear in F30 Sedan form, but camouflaged F30M’s are currently being tested at Nurburgring. Apparently BMW was impressed by the speed at which Mercedes introduces AMG versions of its new models, often in just six months. Since F32 and F33 are not due until mid-2014, BMW decided to introduce an F30 M3 after all, due in 2013, leaving the door open, it is said, for a more driver focused F32 M4 without damaging the iconic M3 halo.

    • Anonymous

      Not sure I follow how this does not move them upmarket. The convert will be a 4 series and the coupe will offer larger engines, creating a larger premium. Audi is nothing in sales worldwide compared to BMW- in the US Audi is less than Infinity.

  • Dr Obnxs

    Whatever happened to K.I.S.S.? This is really a complicated marketing mess, and I as an automotive enthusiast can’t really understand what BMW is up to with thier naming conventions. What is John Q. Public going to think? The 3 series is THE car for up and coming people who want some class, some image, and lots and lots of performance. Messing with that is a huge gamble, risking tons of brand identity for a model naming scheme that seems to me to only make sense to engineers looking at Excel spreadsheets!

    I hope I’m wrong, but I fear that this will be a big mess that will have to be rolled back in the future, like what Netflix just went through here in the US. Only thing that will be left is less customers, and a bunch of people scratching thier heads wondering “what the heck were they thinking?”

    • Anonymous

      I agree, except if BMW looses customers and posts more profits than ever like Netflix no one will care.

    • jeff

      the model naming scheme left the realm of engineers and spreadsheets as soon as the last two digits no longer matched the engine displacement.  these monikers have been controlled by the market / marketing since then.

      i agree that they keep all of the models in the 3 series family, but they need to do something about the “28” and “35” part as well.

      • Nick Dawson

        More than ten years ago, Munich came very close to sticking a 4-series badge on its two-door 3-series derivatives, but at the eleventh hour lost its nerve, allegedly because management feared that a split in registration figures would be perceived as brand weakness.

        Times have changed, and since then E80 1-series has been launched and become another success story with well over a million sold, but at the expense of 3-series sales, E46 3.27 million – E90 1.9 million. Add on E80 sales, however, and the totals are much the same, with E80 and E90 sharing essentially the same underpinnings.

        This time the sales strategists are reportedly determined to revive the 4-series moniker. Add to that the forthcoming 2-series range, and it is clear that 3-series sales figures will never again reach the heady heights of E46. It matters not. What really really matters, and it’s the bottom line, is profit and that is something that BMW will be making a lot of with its new strategy. 

  • scooternva

    Hm. I dunno, as much as I shuddered at the thought of further splintering of the BMW marquee…

    …there’s something about the BMW “440i” that captures the imagination.

  • Nick Dawson

    One of the criticisms consistently levelled at the three generations of the 3-series Coupe, is that they have all looked too similar to the Sedan, virtually a two-door sedan in fact. BMW is determined to change that with F32. Those who have seen it say that it has its own unique design cues which differentiate it visually from F30, not only at the front but especially in the roof design, and that it looks unmistakably a coupe rather than a two-door sedan.

    The Convertible F33 was originally expected to be fitted with a soft-top, because the US importer wanted more differentiation from the Coupe. However, BMW has decided to retain the folding hard-top, The M4 Convertible is not expected now until early 2015.

    • Dr Obnxs

      I’m getting lost. To me, it seems that the all the 3 series varients SHOULD look the same, they are all derivatives of each other! Isn’t that what branding is all about? And how does one explain that if one wants the M3, one gets an M3, unless you want a convertable, then you can’t get an M3 drop-top, because you have to get an M4 convertable? And it costs more than it would if it were badged an M3 because 4 is a larger number?

      My head hurts! I surely hope that BMW takes a step back, a couple deep breaths, and stops the madness. I understand that they want to sell more cars and to fill up some of the (very few) remaining unfilled voids in the automotive line-up, but from where I sit, cutting the 3 series into two different series isn’t the way to do it.

      And really, the coupe and the sedan looking too similar? Can’t they count doors? And the different rear roof line? They are two different versions of the same series and they SHOULD share a lot!