Following nearly a decade spent denying the rumours, BMW has finally confirmed what we all knew by announcing that it will launch a production version car to rival the highly successful Mercedes-Benz CLS.
Its ‘Grand Coupe’ concept car was unveiled at the Beijing Motor Show earlier this year, and the German marque has finally joined a host of competitors – including Porsche, Aston Martin, Lamborghini and Audi – in deciding to make its own version of this design concept.
It certainly will be competing on a crowded stage in trying to vie for attention among a small selection of buyers who will be prepared to stump up for its no-doubt hefty price tag. The likes of Porsche’s Panamera, Aston Martin’s Rapide, Jaguar’s XJ and Audi’s A7 – the release for which was announced just weeks ago – are all considered as rivals for the Gran Coupe.
BMW’s Gran Coupe is a four-door limousine with a very coupe-like side profile, and the marque additionally confirmed that it would share many ties with the latest 6-series coupe, scheduled for release later this year.
Its debut is slated for 2012, up to a year after the 6-series Coupe is launched.
Little is known about the powertrain BMW will offer for the Gran Coupe, although all indications seem to point towards a choice of a 300kW or 408kW twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 engine, which are currently used in the 750i and the M-series versions of the X5 and X6 models, respectively. It is also expected that the Gran Coupe will have an eight-speed transmission.