WOODCLIFF LAKE, NJ - After a two-year hiatus in which the project sat on the shelf, BMW's 7-series-sized four-door "coupe" is back on again. The licorice-black Gran Coupé concept shown in Beijing at a private reveal for journalists "will be built" according to BMW head of design, Adrian von Hooydonk, "though we don't know yet what to call it."
With roughly the same wheelbase as the current 7-series, the Gran Coupé is slightly longer and wider, and considerably lower. Unlike Mercedes and Volkswagen, which have put their respective four-door "coupes," the CLS and CC, on mid-size car platforms, BMW opted to put the Gran Coupé on the larger 7-series because "at the top end we could use something sporty and elegant," says von Hooydonk.
The all-black concept proved almost impossible to photograph in the equally black hall that BMW introduced chose for its introduction at the Beijing Park Hyatt.
"We wanted it to remain a little bit mysterious," says von Hooydonk. Besides the signature BMW traits of the kidney grille, four ringed headlights, and the traditional Hofmeister kink in the side windows, the Gran Coupé has a dramatically arcing, coupe-like roofline and low hoodline. The production version will also have a unique, "emotional" interior, says von Hooydonk. BMW held an international competition among its worldwide studios, with the company's studio at its Munich headquarters producing the winning design.