BMW Discontinuing Unloved 3 Series Gran Turismo
BMW has decided to take the polarizing 3 Series Gran Turismo behind the factory to be shot, ending its short and tragic life. Introduced in 2013, the GT hasn’t been the model’s most-coveted variant. Perhaps this explains why the German’s are so averse to taking design risks.
Defined as an “expanded take on the original sports sedan” by the automaker, the Grand Turismo is a higher-riding, long-wheelbase covert hatchback. But its uniqueness won’t carry over into the 3 Series’ next generation. BMW doesn’t see a need for it in today’s car climate and isn’t particularly worried about an uprising from its fans — which it believes will be happier in a crossover, anyway.
That brand’s global development chief, Klaus Frohlich, confirmed the GT’s demise to Motoring at the Paris Motor Show last week. “Things are changing,” he said. “When we did the GT we saw that in demographic change people want to sit a little more upright … But then you saw X1 and X3 you can sit upright and you feel younger.”
“So this segment is under pressure from SUVs, which are having no disadvantage in fuel consumption or in ride and handling.”
Basically, BMW thinks its X Series vehicles accomplish what the GT was trying to and know they are far more profitable. “Segments are growing and shrinking and you have to always be careful,” Frohlich confessed. “Some cars we will always try and this doesn’t mean they have to be proceeded with.”
The other big change for the next-gen 3 Series is the complete absence of a manual transmission on the North American market and a new modular platform that’s already in use by the model’s bigger brothers. We expect more blowback from that than the discontinuation of the GT.
However, if you are fearful that you’ll be missing out on one of automotive history’s hidden gems, there is still time. Production is rumored to end in 2020, giving you an opportunity to test the 3 Series Grand Turismo against the X3 before you decide to buy the SUV.
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