• Pulling off a ‘coupe‘

    Asian Carmakers Corp. President Maricar Parco (right) and Executive Director Glen Dasig present BMW’s new coupe.

    Asian Carmakers Corp. President Maricar Parco (right) and Executive Director Glen Dasig present BMW’s new coupe.

    BMW continues to fill every niche in the automotive business—or coming up with new ones—as the carmaker concocts the new 4 Series Gran Coupe, the “four-door coupe” variant of a model that was initially created to be the two-door versions of the 3 Series range.

    The 4 Series Gran Coupe is also not the first four-door coupe in the BMW stable—there is the 6 Series Gran Coupe—but the new car differentiates itself by virtue of its midsize cut.

    Last week, the distributor of BMW in the Philippines announced the arrival of the 4 Series Gran Coupe to the brand’s local showrooms. Asian Carmakers Corp. (ACC) pitched the new model as a car that “combines the sleek look of a sport coupe with the functionality provided by four doors.” It is the latest in the 4 Series range, following the release of the 4 Series Sport Coupe—which has two doors.

    “We are very excited to kick off the second half of 2014 with the launch of the newest model to join the BMW family,” ACC President Maricar Parco said, referring to the 4 Series Gran Coupe. “This is a testament to BMW’s commitment, as the leader in the Philippine automotive premium segment, to continuously innovate our products to provide the market with joy that is distinctly, unmistakably BMW.”

    ACC said the 4 Series Gran Coupe distinguishes itself from the rest of the 4 Series family through an “emphasized coupe styling,” meaning a longer roofline (necessary to create headroom for backseat passengers) and four frameless doors. But despite the extended roof, the new car is sized the same as the other 4 Series variants.

    The 4 Series Gran Coupe arrives in the country as 420d variant. This means the car is powered by a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder diesel engine that ACC said is “known for its smoothness, torque and outstanding efficiency.” The engine, which makes 184hp, bolts to BMW’s eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission. It also packs BMW’s TwinPower Turbo technology, which the carmaker said fuses performance with very low fuel consumption and emissions.

    There are two trim lines available for the 4 Series Gran Coupe; Sport and Luxury. The Sport line has a more aggressive look, a result of blacked-out front and rear bumpers, kidney grille and air breather. The package also counts in 19-inch alloy wheels that are specific to the car. In its cabin are leather sport seats and panels finished in coral red or high-gloss black.

    The Luxury line has a more sophisticated look, with the blacked-out pieces in the Sport line now rendered in chrome. It also gets 19-inch wheels and leather upholstery—but no sport seats in this case. Burled walnut with aluminum highlights marks its cabin.

    BMW’s ConnectedDrive Technology also makes it to the 4 Series Gran Coupe. The package throws together driver-assistance and connectivity systems, most of which can be accessed via the iDrive Controller that has direct select buttons and a 6.5-inch LCD screen. ACC said this on-board computer “once again sets the benchmark for vehicle safety, comfort and infotainment.”

    Along with the introduction of the 4 Series Gran Coupe, ACC also revealed the latest versions of the BMW 5 Series Sedan and 5 Series Gran Turismo executive sedans. The cars come with 2.0-liter and 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo diesel engines, and are offered in Modern and Luxury lines.

    Yes, for BMW there is no niche not worth filling.


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