Munich, Germany - It seems BMW wants to plug practically every model gap in existence and its latest new niche fighter goes by the name of 4 Series Gran Coupé.
Going head-to-head with the Audi A5 Sportback, BMW's latest Gran Coupé aims to blend the sporty character of the 4 Series two-door with the extra functionality of back doors and a hatchback tailgate.
The Gran Coupé shares its length, wheelbase and width with the 4 Series two-door, although, in the interests of practicality, the roof has been raised by 12mm and lengthened by 112mm. The '4+1 seater' five-door also gains 35 litres of boot space, bringing the stashing capacity up to 480 litres. For ease of access, an automatically opening and closing tailgate is standard on all models.
The 4 Series Gran Coupé is scheduled to reach South African shores around midyear, and BMW will announce the local pricing and model line-up nearer to the time.
European customers get to choose between five turbocharged engines.
The petrol range kicks off with two versions of BMW's familiar 2-litre turbopetrol, offering output levels of 135kW/270Nm in the 320i and 180kW/350Nm in the 428i, and culminates in the 225kW/400Nm 3-litre straight six in the 435i. The latter, says BMW, will sprint to 100km/h in just 5.2 seconds.
If diesel's your poison, there's a 418d with 105kW/320Nm and a 420d with 135kW/380Nm - both engines displacing 1995cc. Respective 'test lab' fuel consumption figures amount to 4.5 and 4.7 l/100km.
Transmission choices include six-speed manual, eight speed Steptronic and eight-speed sport Steptronic. Furthermore, 428i and 420d versions can be ordered with xDrive all-wheel drive.
As with its siblings, the Gran Coupé can be ordered with the full suite of BMW ConnectedDrive options, including full-colour Heas-Up Display, Navigation System Professional and Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function.
The full public reveal of the 4 Series Gran Coupé takes place at the Geneva Motor Show in early March.