Is it a coupe or a sedan? If you’re looking at a BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe the answer is both. For years and years, the coupe body style was identified by a few characteristics – one of them being two doors.

In French, the word coupé means “cut”. But did you know coupe originally referred to a cut off or shortened carriage? In 1834 a French coupe was a shortened coach that only sat two people inside. It wasn’t until 1908 that coupe was used to describe a two-door car. Since that time coupes have been defined as having two doors.

Well, BMW defines it’s own vehicles. Technically, the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe meets the shortened requirement. The unique styling of the model features a shortened rear end with a low, sweeping roofline. It’s more convenient than a two-door but still has the sleek, sporty look of a coupe.

How the 4-Door Coupe Came to Be

The 4 Series Gran Coupe wasn’t the first four-door coupe, but it did help popularize the style. BMW coined the name Gran Coupe, however that’s not the only way this new vehicle style is described. The style is also referred to as a 5-door or liftback because of the hatchback door to the back storage compartment.

The first to introduce a 4-door coupe model was Audi. The automaker launched the 4-door coupe style A5 sportback in 2009. BMW itself has another earlier 4-door coupe, the 6 Series Gran Coupe. In 2012 it was lauded as the first ever premium performance coupe. In other words, this 4-door coupe was luxury on wheels, and it had the $80,000 price tag to prove it.

Fast forward a few years and BMW decided to create another 4-door coupe that was more modestly priced but retained the unique body shape. At around $40,000 the 4 Series Gran Coupe had a much larger base of buyers. It opened up the door so more drivers could experience this new type of automobile.

The 4 Series launched right when the auto industry had its highest annual sales in 15 years. Though they were some of the newest BMWs on the market, the 4 Series had the third highest sales in 2015. The popularity could be a by-product of another top-selling BMW, the 3 Series.

The 4 Series Gran Coupe model had a good base to begin with. John Meise at Car Debater rightly pointed out that the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe is basically a shorter, sportier version of the 3 Series Sedan. It even has the same wheelbase. In 2014 the 3 Series coupe disappeared altogether while the sleeker, sexier Series 4 Coupe and Gran Coupe took its place.

The 4 Series really does have something for every sports car lover. The Gran Coupe was designed to appeal to drivers that hate the idea of trading in their sports car for a sedan or small SUV because more space is needed. For many people four doors and a decently sized trunk just make life a lot easier. Now drivers can have their four doors as well as the look and feel of a sports car.

Despite lower automobile sales all around, we expect the Gran Coupe style will stick around for a while. German Auto Center is ready to provide repair and regular maintenance on 4 Series Gran Coupes, many of which are reaching an age where it’s necessary. Give us a call to schedule an appointment to come by our Bosch-authorized service center and discuss your maintenance and repair needs.

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