BMW’s controversial 3 Series Gran Turismo (pictured) won’t return for a second generation, according to a recent report. The family-oriented hatchback has largely failed to live up to expectations in key volume markets like the United States and Europe.
A source close to the Munich-based automaker who asked to remain anonymous told enthusiast website BMW Blog that company officials have concluded branching out into too many market segments was a mistake. The GT will consequently be canceled in a few years’ time at the end of the current model’s production run, and the 3 Series lineup will be pared down to just the sedan and the station wagon.
The 4 Series Gran Coupe is sticking around, however, so buyers who want a sporty compact hatchback aren’t entirely out of luck. As BMW Blog points out, killing off the 3 Series GT to focus on the 4 Series Gran Coupe makes sense from a product planning point of view because the two cars overlap in many ways, including pricing and performance.
Both hatchbacks come standard with a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 248 horsepower, and both can be upgraded at an extra cost with a turbocharged 3.0-liter straight-six tuned to generate 320 horses. The 4 Series Gran Coupe is available with either rear- or all-wheel drive, while the 3 Series GT is only offered with the latter configuration. However, the GT carries a base price of $43,950, a figure that makes it $2,000 more expensive than the 4 Series.
In spite of the similarities, the 4 Series Gran Coupe is markedly more popular than the 3 Series GT. This is partially due to its sleek, aerodynamic styling; both models compete in a segment where looks rank high on buyers’ list of priorities. Consequently, BMW’s bean counters aren’t able to make a sound business case for keeping both models around.
BMW hasn’t commented on what the future holds for the 3 Series GT. The model line’s overhaul is scheduled to kick off in 2018 when an all-new 3 Series sedan makes its debut.
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