BMW raised more than a few eyebrows back in 2009 when it introduced a model that basically no one saw coming: the 5 Series Gran Turismo. It downsized the recipe a few years later with the launch of the 3 Series Gran Turismo. While the former went on to evolve into the 6 Series family for its second generation, the latter won’t be renewed once the current model will reach the end of its lifecycle in a few years.
Why? BMW’s global development chief Klaus Frohlich told Motoring “things are changing” and that people who “want to sit a little more upright” are ditching this model and opting instead for either the X1 or the X3. He went on to mention this niche in which the 3 Series GT belongs in is currently “under pressure from SUVs.” Long story short – the tall hatchback will be another victim of the SUV craze.
Frohlich believes the death of the smaller Gran Turismo will not have an impact on volume since the 3 Series and 4 Series lineups have a great deal of derivatives and axing the GT won’t be felt in terms of sales. BMW’s official didn’t say when the oddball 3er will be terminated, but it is believed production will come to an end in July 2020.
With the launch of the 3 Series Saloon this week in Paris, BMW is paving the way for an assortment of next-generation models, including a new 3 Series Touring expected to arrive early next year. Spy shots have shown there will be a new 4 Series Convertible as well, but in a different form as it will eschew the hardtop for a fabric roof.