2014 BMW 3-series Five-Door Hatchback, Could Be 3-series GT
What It Is: A covered-up 3-series five-door hatchback, which we believe to be a revised 3-series GT test mule. When we last spotted a 3-series GT—basically a pseudo 3-series wagon/hatchback—it looked dangerously like the larger 5-series GT that inspired it. That car featured a longer roofline than seen here, plus a tall, strange buttock; again, it looked mostly like a smaller 5er GT. The car in these spy photos clearly is a five-door hatchback, so although it could be a 3-series GT, it’s remotely possible that it is some kind of 4-series Gran Coupe—just check that sultry roofline.
Why It Matters: Assuming the car in these photos is in fact the upcoming 3-series GT, it represents some quick thinking and action at BMW. Our most recent 3 GT spy photos hit our desks more than a year ago, and the car in those photos surely represents at least a few years worth of development efforts—which would have begun right around the time the 5-series GT launched in 2009. Of course, BMW’s initial expectations for that ugly duckling far outpaced reality; it could be that public response sent the engineers back to the drawing board to pen this far-more-attractive shape.
Platform: Without a doubt, this 3-series hatchback will ride on some form of the latest F30 3-series’ rear-drive platform. Front and rear styling look as though they could differ slightly from that of the 3-series sedan and wagon. It isn’t obvious from the photos whether the five-door sports the same hatch/trunk contraption as the 5-series GT; half of that car’s back end can open up like a traditional trunk, or the trunk and rear glass can move out of the way as a single unit.
Powertrain: We expect this 3-series hatch likely will offer the same choice of turbocharged four- and six-cylinder engines, rear- or all-wheel-drive, and eight-speed automatic transmission as the 2012 3-series sedan. That means a standard 240-hp, 2.0-liter four and an available 300-hp, 3.0-liter six.
- Comparison Test: 2012 BMW 328i vs. 2012 Audi A4 2.0T, 2012 Infiniti G25, 2012 Mercedes-Benz C250 Sport, 2012 Volvo S60 T6 AWD
- Instrumented Test: 2013 BMW 640i Gran Coupe
- Comparison Test: 2013 Audi S6 vs. 2013 BMW M5, 2012 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG
Competition: Audi Allroad, BMW 3-series Sports Wagon, Mercedes-Benz GLK.
Estimated Arrival Time and Price: Look for this five-door 3-series—whether it’s called the 3-series GT or something else—to appear sometime next year as a 2014 model. Just as the 5-series GT is more expensive than a regular-grade 5-series sedan, this 3er hatch will cost more than an equivalent sedan; and perhaps even more than the new 3-series Sports Wagon. Figure on a starting price in the low-$40,000 range.