The BMW 3-series is not only the brand’s Brot und Butter here in the States, but as the basis for the legendary M3 Bro-mobile, it has secured itself a place in the pantheon of history’s most beloved platforms. And now it seems that, for the two-door coupe at least, the end of the road is near. At the 2013 NAIAS BMW introduced a concept 4-series coupe that could be construed as a thinly veiled usurper of – oh hell, this car takes the place of the 3-series coupe starting next model year. The reasoning is simple, the brand wants to rationalize their model naming where 4-doors get odd numbers and 2-doors get the even stevens.
The two-door 3-series has been a staple of BMW’s US line up from the days of the 2002Tii to the present, and as such has built an equity – if not mystique -around that form, and the attached 3-series name. There’s a lot of history, lineage, and soul in a name, so changing so long running an appellation is a bold move by any manufacturer. Imagine if, instead of introducing the C7 Corvette at the same show Chevy debuted their next generation sports car. . . the Partridge!
Sure, it’s just a name and if BMW wasn’t messing with things this car would simply be the new 3-series coupe, likely sire to the next iteration of the equally venerated M3. But of course now that it’s not. . . well, it won’t. That means that there either will never be another M3 coming out, or, if there is, that it will mandatorily carry 4 doors. The new 4-series could only logically spawn an M4, and while that speculative car will probably be amazing, the history and mythology of the M3 will perhaps not easily come along with it. What do you think, is this just a repositioning and after all a name is just a name? Or, is this shunning of the equity and history potentially a huge mistake on BMW’s part? What do you think about the end of the 3-coupe and the arrival of the 4, Brah! or Blah?