Could a BMW 4 Series Hybrid be slated for debut at the 2013 LA Auto Show?

BMW 4 Series
A hybrid-powered 4 Series could be that perfect mid-point between the standard 4 and the M4, especially for those who want to feel all eco-friendly with their performance coupe.

Rumor has it that BMW is planning to expand its 4 Series lineup.

So if you’re keeping score at home; that’s a coupe, convertible, M4, extreme M4, and now a hybrid for the 4 Series. Wowza.

A BMW 4 Series Hybrid was among the 22 new car debuts listed in a press release from the organizers of the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show. However, BMW subsequently denied that it was planning to unveil such a 4 Series variant in LA (although the regular 4 Series will be making its auto show debut there).

So, the original was either a typo or someone said something that they weren’t supposed to. Either way, color us intrigued.

The 4 Series is a two-door version of the BMW 3 Series, so it wouldn’t be too difficult for the Bavarians to fit it with a hybrid powertrain.

BMW already offers the ActiveHybrid 3, which uses the same 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged inline-six as 335i and 435i models, teamed with an electric motor and 120-volt lithium-ion battery pack. Total system output is 335 hp.

The ActiveHybrid 3 sedan is rated at 35 mpg city, 33 mpg highway, and 28 mpg combined by the EPA.

Since the 4 Series already shares powertrains with the 3 Series – and rides on the same, albeit modified, chassis – it isn’t too difficult to imagine an ActiveHybrid 4.

Whether anyone would buy one is another question.

BMW would probably be the first carmaker to introduce a coupe (or convertible) hybrid; the 4 Series’ closest competition would probably be the extended-range electric Cadillac ELR.

Buyers looking to save gas with style might find a hybrid more appealing than a diesel, in the U.S. at least.

However, turning the sporty 4 Series into a hybrid might also irritate BMW fans, who already complain that the company is straying to far from its “Ultimate Driving Machine” premise with its latest slew of niche models.

For now, the 4 Series hybrid is completely theoretical; there is virtually no indication that BMW is actually building one. Still, things could get very interesting if the car turns out to be real.

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