BMW is arguably the king of niche models and the 4 Series Gran Coupe illustrates Bavaria's modus operandi to slice segments into tiny pieces. It's a 3 Series Sedan turned into 4 Series Coupe, only to get the rear doors back, keep a coupe-like roofline, and add a liftgate. The Audi A5 Sportback rival is getting a new generation in 2021, and these latest spy shots reveal it's almost ready to break cover.
Our spies got up close and personal with a production-ready 4 Series Gran Coupe riding on small wheels with winter tires. The test vehicle represents a lower-spec variant of the swoopy liftback as the circular exhaust tips denote we're not dealing with the M440i variant. Looking at the side profile, stickers resembling conventional door handles do a terrible job at diverting our attention from the new flush handle design not shared with the 3 Series Sedan / Touring or the 4 Series Coupe / Convertible.
Moving at the front of the car, it's a familiar look as BMW will largely adopt the same styling we've seen on the two-door 4er. That obviously includes the love/hate grille with active flaps that open and close automatically, depending on the level of cooling needed by the engine. Images of the interior are not available in this set, but the cabin will likely be virtually carried over from the 4 Series Coupe.
The 4 Series Gran Coupe lineup will include the usual gasoline and diesel engines, all the way up to an M Performance variant. The M440i is expected to use a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine with mild-hybrid tech for a bit of electric boost and fewer emissions. It will be good for 382 horsepower (285 kilowatts) and 500 Newton-meters (369 pound-feet) of torque.
Separately from our spy shots, BMW has released a couple of teaser images depicting the i4, the 4 Series Gran Coupe's fully electric counterpart. It will largely inherit the design of its combustion-engined sibling and reportedly spawn a hot i4 M50 xDrive derivative as the closest thing to an M-branded fully electric 4 Series.
While the i4 will be an addition to the 4 Series family, BMW is expanding the 3 Series lineup as well with the launch of a first-ever M3 Touring. These two new arrivals are expected to break cover sometime next year, allowing the German marque to offer even greater variety. Also in 2021, the wraps are going to come off the M4 Convertible.