BMW Discontinuing Unloved 3 Series Gran Turismo

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
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.

[Images: BMW]

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  • Tassos I knew a woman in the area, a journalist (at least she claimed to be a reporter of some kind) who owned one of these tiny pickups with a manual transmission. SHe was only 40 at the time, but she must have been hard of hearing, because she would routinely forget to shift and we would go at fairly high speeds in very low gear, which made a huge racket, which did not seem to bother her (hence my deafness hypothesis). Either that, or she was a lousy driver. Oh well, another very forgettable, silly car from the 80s (and if my first and LAST VW, a 1975 Dasher wagon, was any indication, a very unreliable one too!)
  • Tassos Now as for the Z specifically, Car and Driver had a comparison test of the new Z400, a car that looks good on paper, with plenty of HP etc, but, despite the fact that the cars that win in those tests are usually brand new models that are more up to date than their aging rivals, the Z finished DEAD LAST in the test, to my ovbious surprise.
  • Arthur Dailey Sorry but compare that spartan interior to the Marks that Corey is writing about. 'A cigarette lighter'. Every Mark had 4 cigarette lighters and ashtrays. And these came standard with 'a 3.4-liter, 182-horsepower straight-six in the engine compartment and a five-speed manual transmission'. Those do not tick off many of the luxury boxes aspired to by 'the greatest generation'.Not sure about the 7 series but one of My Old Man's associates showed up once with a brand new 5 series circa 1977 and they gave him such a bad time that he traded it for a Fleetwood within a week.
  • Tassos I clearly have no sentimental attachment to any cars from the 80s. I myself drove a Dasher (passat) wagon with horrible reliability, and then a Pontiac 2000, very fuel efficient for its time with its 1.8 lt and 5 speed, but a small econobox crudely made, with no luxuries inside. But most other cars of the era were really CRAPPY, unsafe, both in terms of passive AND active safety, had very few options modern cars have, etc etc. The best car I owned then was a 1991 Honda Civic 5-sp hatch, but that was also an 80s design that was on sale from 1987-1991. Not just the domestics were crappy then, but so were m ost of the imports. As you can see, I have ZERO "nostalgia" for any of these, especially not for the unreliable, poorly made JUNK from DATSUN-NISSAN, which is widely reviled overseas as a maker of small pickup trucks that are the favorites of Gypsies selling watermelons from their bed.
  • Tassos While Acura was the first Japanese attempt to sell 'luxury' (or "premium") vehicles in the US market, and despite its original good success in the near-luxury segment with the Legend and the far smaller and less expensive Itegra (a glorified Civic), it later lost its momentum and offered a series of underwhelming vehicles. It sure is not a LUXURY maker, and as long as it offers FWD or AWD and NOT RWD vehicles, it will never be taken seriously as a serious sports cars maker. Infiniti is much worse, and if both of them go under, few will notice. Lexus was more successful, offering pimped up TOyotas for 10,000s more, but there is NO vehicle in their lineup, esp now that they scewed up the only serious entry (the LS), that I would care to consider. AND I say all this as a very satisfied owner of 5-speed Honda coupes and hatchbacks (a 1991 Civic hatch and a 1990 Accord Coupe).
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