BMW announces all-new 3 Series GT hatchback

You're too cool for a station wagon and no fan of SUVs. But you still want your German luxury wrapped in a practical package, so what do you do?

BMW hopes you'll consider its new 3-Series Gran Turismo.

Answering a question no one seems to have asked, this four-door hatchback is an all-new model for BMW and mimics the company's larger 5-Series GT version. It's almost eight inches longer than the forthcoming 3-Series wagon and sits a little more than three inches higher.

Photos: 2014 3 Series GT hatchback announced

This gives rear passengers more legroom than the 3-Series sedan or wagon and expands the cargo area by a cubic foot. The rear seatback are split 40-20-40 and fold accordingly.

The 3-Series GT will come with one of two engines, both of which are already available on the sedans. The base powerplant will be a direct-injected, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 240 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque.

More power is available in a turbocharged, inline six-cylinder engine. It wrings 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque from three liters.

Both models will be rear-wheel drive and will deliver the engine's power via an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Like the 3-Series sedan, the GT variant will come in four trim levels: Sport, Luxury, Modern and M Sport. BMW said all models will come with design features such as an active rear spoiler, four frameless doors, and a coupe-like profile.

Whether this new model attracts buyers remains to be seen, as it crowds BMW's lineup of cargo-friendly vehicles selling for less than $45,000. The company recently brought to the U.S. its small X1 crossover SUV, and the 3-Series wagon is on its way.

Meanwhile, BMW's equally curious 5 Series GT hatchback hasn't been a strong seller since arriving in the U.S. as a 2010 model.

We'll find out this summer, when these 3 Series GTs will go on sale as 2014 models. Pricing has yet to be announced, but a base 328i sedan sells for $37,745 and the GT will probably carry a premium over that.


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