By on May 9, 2017

[Image: BMW Group]

A little piece of resurrected BMW history has again faded to black, leaving the automotive landscape missing yet another traditional two-door coupe. BMW confirmed to Road & Track the 6 Series coupe ended production in February, apparently unbeknownst to everyone, ending a model that harkened back to the glorious 633CSi and 635CSi of the 1980s.

Fear not, 6 Series fans — the four-door Gran Coupe and Convertible live on, though likely not for long. The boys from Bavaria are readying a potential successor to the 6 Series in the form of a new 8 Series lineup, the first of which could appear in late 2018. A grand tourer-style coupe and convertible positioned above the 7 Series (but below Rolls-Royce) is BMW’s plan to counter an ultra-luxury offensive from rival Mercedes-Benz.

BMW doesn’t want to spread its models too thin. Understandable. BMW isn’t a charity — if it was, there’d be a 440i coupe in my driveway with a trunk full of 18-year-old Glenfiddich for which I paid not a cent. Unfortunately, as we’ve seen with the 6 Series Coupe, staying competitive and profitable sometimes means leading a doomed animal behind the barn. And these days the animal is never one with four doors or a voluminous cargo hold.

The tears fall like rain from motoring purists. Dread fills their hearts. More killing is on the way.

Sure, you can still buy from the remaining stock of 6 Series coupes, and BMW is only too happy to fling a 4 Series coupe your way. But for how long? BMW’s lineup has chartered a course towards contraction, not growth, and the automaker has stated as much.

As we all know, volume these days means vehicles your sister’s family might use for 90 percent of their driving needs — not coupes, and not convertibles. No, sedans (“four-door coupes”) and fastback SUVs (also “coupes”) might soon be the only vehicles with a coupe designation, fraudulent as it is.

Now’s the time to ask you, Best and Brightest, to look into your magic 8-ball.

Knowing the direction the industry is headed, what model will BMW cull next? On that note, what vehicle should BMW cull, if Munich answered to your beck and call?

[Image: BMW Group]

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37 Comments on “QOTD: With the 6 Series Coupe Dead, What Model Will BMW Kill Next?...”


  • avatar
    Car Ramrod

    No idea about sales volumes, but there hasn’t been an M6 coupe for a while. That seemed like a pretty good sign this would happen.

    I’d wager they’ve already quit building the 5 series GT (please BMW, think of what you’re doing to our eyes!) and the 3 series GT seems destined for the heap when the F3x generation 3/4 series is retired.

    Apparently people buy the X6. For shame. I’ve only seen one X4 on the road, maybe those?

    • 0 avatar
      vagvoba

      BMW should just go back to offering the 3 and 5 series base wagons in the US and drop the hideous GTs, X4, and X6.

      I’ve said it on multiple occasions, but I repeat again. The BMW wagons were/are expensive ONLY in America, that’s why people don’t buy them here.
      In Europe the sedan and the wagon are virtually the same price, so obviously a lot more people choose wagons over sedans, considering how much more practical wagons are.

      BMW made the non-sense decision years ago to offer only the high-end versions of their wagons in the US, and charge gold bars for them. It made wagons look like luxury items, while they are really supposed to be cheap utility cars.

      • 0 avatar
        whynot

        And yet every time any automaker offers wagons for sale in the US is still gets outsold by their sedan counterparts, no matter the price or automaker. The reason BMW only offers them at such an expensive price is because few want them, so might as well extract as much money (profit) from the wagon as possible out of those who absolutely must have the wagon.

        Americans don’t avoid wagons because of price, they avoid wagons because they don’t like them. Same with the popularity of hatchbacks vs sedans. Americans only like wagons/hatchbacks if they are slightly lifted and/or have some body cladding to make it a “CUV.”

        Yes wagons are more practical than sedans. But car purchases are usually based on emotion or other reasons completely unrelated to practicality (or else we would all be driving rectangular econoboxes). Americans don’t dig wagons, they think they are lame.

        • 0 avatar
          vagvoba

          Unfortunately it is hard to prove your point, since there aren’t many wagons available in the US that are reasonably priced compared to their sedan versions. Even the cheapest real wagon, the Jetta SportWagen is over 20% more expensive than the Jetta Sedan.

          The only manufacturer that offers wagons at similar price compared to sedans in the US is Volvo. And guess what, Volvo sells more wagons than sedans. S60 < V60 and S90 < V90. Even when you only consider the non lifted versions.

          Also, you may call the Outback a CUV, but it's CUV only in the name. The Outback is simply a wagon with smart marketing, and it's Subaru's top seller.

          The truth is people love their wagons, they just don't like to call them wagons because of, you know, vanity, snobbism, ignorance, stupidity, etc.

          Regarding hatchbacks, I think that's a different animal. The difference in utility between a hatchback and a sedan is really small and depends on the usage. I'm a wagon fan but I'd prefer a sedan over a hatchback for a commuter car.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            “Also, you may call the Outback a CUV, but it’s CUV only in the name.”

            This used to be true but isn’t true any longer. The Outback’s dimensions, including height and hip point, put it squarely into the mainstream of the premium two-row CUV class that also includes the Murano, Edge, and new Acadia.

  • avatar
    deanst

    Please, please, get rid of those X4 and X6 monstrosities – makes the AMC Eagle 4 door sedan look sexy.

    I really want to like the i3 because it’s just so different, buts it’s also just too ugly.

    While you’re at it, get rid of the 3 series gran turismo – it always makes me think of an old Hyundai Elantra 5 door.

    (Also, Canada does get a M6 coupe….)

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      All of these vehicles sell. You will need to make a better case than that.

      • 0 avatar
        brawnychicken333

        Come on-this is a car blog. Sales aren’t the relevant metric here.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          This is site focuses a lot on how the sausage is made. Not just the cars, but the whole industry from launch to junkyard. Sales are relevant.

          • 0 avatar
            brawnychicken333

            I get that, but that is less relevant down here in the comments. Down here all people want are brown, diesel, manual, station wagons that do 0-60 in under 5 seconds for under 20K and the same safety equipment their cars had in 1982.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “All of these vehicles sell.”

        Not really. The X4 sells in Hyundai Azera volumes and was handily outsold last year by stuff like the Cascada, Smart, and LS460. The X6 moves in Maserati Ghibli volume, which is okay for a niche car, but nothing impressive in the CUV class. The i3’s more experimental, but it only sold 7625 last year and BMW has admitted disappointment about its volumes.

        Also all three had 45% – 55% sales declines in 2016. The I3 and X6 are more stable this year but the X4 is still falling. It’s outsold by the likes of the Fiat 124 and is in a sales battle with the A8 right now.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          “Please, please, get rid of those X4 and X6 monstrosities – makes the AMC Eagle 4 door sedan look sexy.”

          I came here just to plead that. Not only are they ugly but they have curb weights that make an early 70s Detroit Land-yacht look reasonable.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    6 series hasn’t mattered to me since they ditched the V10 in the M6. I won’t miss it. I feel like the 4GC is doing worse than the regular 4 coupe/cabriolet. Wouldn’t be surprised to see that go.

    • 0 avatar
      JRobUSC

      “I feel like the 4GC is doing worse than the regular 4 coupe/cabriolet.”

      You would be incorrect. The 4GC actually makes up over 50% of 4-Series sales, so it outsells the 4 coupe and convertible combined. In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion it sells in similar or maybe even higher numbers than the equivalent 3-Series but BMW doesn’t release numbers that are broken down that far. But based on overall 3-Series and 4-Series sales figures recently it wouldn’t surprise me if the two available versions of the 4GC (428/430i xDrive and 435/440i xDrive) sold in similar numbers to the 328/330i xDrive and 335/340i xDrive sedans. The main reason the 3-Series outsells the 4GC overall is because there’s thirteen different models of 3-Series and only two of the 4GC.

    • 0 avatar
      srh

      In my area (Portland), I see very few 4-series that aren’t a GC. Including the 428xi GC in my garage.

      The 3-series GT, on the other hand, is a rare bird that seems redundant and should probably be cancelled.

      • 0 avatar
        JRobUSC

        “Including the 428xi GC in my garage.The 3-series GT, on the other hand, is a rare bird that seems redundant and should probably be cancelled.”

        BMW has stated the 5GT and 6GC are merging to become the 6GT, and the 3GT and 4GC will follow suit with the next iteration. If they manage to successfully combine the attractiveness of the GC’s with some of the practicality of the GT’s I think they’ll be successful.

        The question is whether there are going to be any other 6-Series models besides the upcoming GT. Supposedly the return of the 8-Series was going to mean the 6-Series would spawn a legitimate two door sports car to compete with the 911, but I haven’t heard anything about that in awhile, so my guess is it’s not happening. BMW sure could use something purpose built to battle the 911, AMG GT, and R8, a halo sports car. They have an incredible lightweight architecture in the i8 just sitting there, crying out for 500hp and a set of max performance tires of non-bicycle width, but seem intent on doing nothing with it. So much untapped potential. (Sigh.)

        Anyway, regarding the X4 and X6 that everyone loves to hate, there are brand new versions of both coming within the next two years. No idea what the X6 will look like but there are spy photos of the X4 at Bimmerpost, and that car looks completely different than the existing vehicle. Enough so, in fact, that I actually am interested in it, and I can’t stand the current X4 (though I’ve always liked the X6 and its giant middle finger in your face brashness).

  • avatar
    ajla

    I’m guessing the 2-series convertible will be dead soon. I’d expect the 4 and 8 to be their only convertible offerings in the next 5 years (so the Z4 is also toast).

    Not really a *model* I want them to kill, but for North America I’d like to see them remove the turbo-I4 in anything not the 2, 3, and X1. Ideally replaced by a naturally-aspirated I6, but a detuned turbo-6 would be alright.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    As a BMW fanboi (ok, not really that crazy) I look at the current BMW lineup and get confused. They have expanded their lineup quickly, trying to fill every niche.

    I would shrink ’em down to the 3, 5, 7 series again, and keep the X-series for the increasing CUV trade. The X-series will become, if it isn’t already, their bread ‘n’ butter.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      I like that BMW is making more choices available, and would not want to see them pare it down to the 3, 5, and 7 again.

      I’m assuming it is relatively inexpensive for BMW to put a new body style on the same platform, so why not? They don’t have to break sales records to be worth the effort.

  • avatar
    Ermel

    I think the GT models are here to stay — the customers get older, not everyone buys into the SUV craze, and a little higher seating is nice in a certain age. The FWD 1-series are also here to stay — they’re for those who want to be seen in a BMW but don’t want to drive one. SUVs are unlikely to be killed off either, although maybe the X3, which is objectively quite close to the X1 (IIRC; or was it the X3/X5 pair that was too close?).

    What’s that leave to kill off? Why, RWD sedans and coupés. My bet is on the 2-series coupé. Pretty sure that soon, all 1- and 2-series will be FWD.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Hey, don’t forget the 630CSi – it was the first one in the US, all the way back in 1977. And you can thank Bob Lutz for signing off on the E24’s styling.

  • avatar
    djsyndrome

    In North America the non-REX i3 should be sacked. It makes sense in the EU, but in the US only the densest environments have the charging infrastructure to support its tepid range.

  • avatar
    Boxerman

    If they start making aesthetically pleasing vehicles that drive great and are durable all will be well.

    Currently imo the best in class vehicle they make is the v8x5 and that’s getting long in tooth.

    Other than that is there any w product that there is not a more pleasing version of from another manufacturer .

    Bmws core problem is they have totally lost the plot. I started with angle ugly and then moved on to boring to drive filled with the knockout punch of not really well engineeed and cheap interiors .

    Fundemantaly besides residual brand equity what’s left.

  • avatar
    scott25

    Z4 is the obvious answer, since whatever they’re developing with Toyota won’t be a direct replacement for it (it’ll be bigger and more expensive for starters, and will at least have a hybrid available), who knows if it’ll be available as a convertible, and the SLK is dead now also.

    The 2 series will be kept around as the token “old style BMW” and the convertible will replace the Z4. It’ll stay RWD and the 1, X1 and X2 will be FWD.

    The 3 series wagon will die in North America soon but I think they’ll bring over the 5 wagon to compete with the E wagon. The 3 GT will continue and the 5 GT will die.

    I guess I’m in the minority here in that I see a lot of X4s on the road, more than current X3s or X5s for sure. Only the X1 is more common. It’ll stay and the X6 is a status symbol in the same way an Escalade or Hummer used to be. Almost every one you see has 75 inch rims and is wrapped or painted a bright matte-silk colour, usually blue.

  • avatar
    newenthusiast

    As mentioned earlier, I’m not sure the X4 and X6 sell enough to continue and might be next.

    While adding an 8 series level makes sense, it’s also a different market.

    I hate to say it, but BMW isn’t playing in a market that Audi and M-B are: large luxury SUV. The X5 has a tiny third row option, I think, but it is smaller than the Q7 and the GL class. We keep hearing that an X7 is coming…but when?

    Bring back the 1 series, but this time the hatch? If the Focus ST can sell to households of that income level, why not the 1 hatch?

    • 0 avatar
      Car Ramrod

      Exactly. There have been whispers and spy shots of the X7 for most of the decade, but instead of making great money on that product, BMW has released niche vehicles like the 3 GT, X4. How hard can this be, really? MB has proven you can sell a massive unibody SUV, even if it drives like crap.

      • 0 avatar
        newenthusiast

        Drives like crap compared to what, though? against any mid size SUV or a CUV? Yes.

        However, in its class, the Q7 is definitely more athletic. The Lexus GX is softer riding, and the LX is a BOF SUV that rides more like a truck, as the Inifinit QX80.

        And for the sake of this discussion, the Infiniti QX60 is comfort oriented, but really more ‘upscale’ than ‘luxury’. More like a Buick or GMC Acadia Denali….only with a CVT.

        And none of the Ford offerings ride as nice as the GL, especially the Blutec, which has such nice low end torque.

        I think the Range Rover is the only real comparison out there for the GL, and that’s much more of a true off road capable vehicle.

        I think BMW could go right at the GL with a similarly sized vehicle that rides like Q7 or even more road/sport tuned, and probably sell it….wait, this is BMW……lease it, and do well.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Yep, they left megabucks on the table by not selling an X7, sized straight across from the Q7, starting a decade ago.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Look for the discontinuation of the X4 and Z4. The X6 is hideous but is still selling enough to probably keep it alive.

  • avatar
    CarnotCycle

    The X’s could definitely go, and nobody would miss them. The i3 is, from styling/perception POV, an outdated electric car from the pre-Tesla days when rolling an ugly yet expensive car was synonymous with eco-signaling. That no longer is the case.

  • avatar
    Null Set

    BMW should just deep six (as it were) the entire 4 series line. It is utterly redundant to the 3-series line, offering nothing truly unique (except the AMC styling cues). With the money they save from that, they might be able to build some truly interesting cars again.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    The X4 seems like a logical candidate. It hasn’t sold well for its class, probably because the X3 (unlike the X5 as a two-row) doesn’t have a lot of extra space to remove. It’s proof that a CUV can fail.

    We already know the 3GT and 5GT won’t come back in their current forms.

    I don’t know how much longer they can keep going with having both 2- and 4- series coupes and convertibles. I think eventually they will have to make a decision to either make the 2-door its own smaller, enthusiast-focused product (2) or continue basing it on the volume model (4).

  • avatar
    akatsuki

    The 6 was pretty unattractive – the 4 is frankly better looking and an M4 is really all the car you need if you are going to get a coupe.

    The reality is that BMW can’t be ubiquitous and elite at the same time.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    I hope BMW kills the CLA. I know it’s a cheap Mercedes, and I’m not an elitist complaining about a lower class of Mercedes owners. I’m opposed to my fellow grubby middle classers putting on airs. If BMW can figure a way to induce MB to drop the CLA, I’m all for it.

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