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There might be even more BMWs coming from North America soon. The company recently announced plans to build a flagship crossover called the X7 at its Spartanburg, SC, factory. Now, rumors are emerging that the Bavarians might be thinking about building a second North American factory that could build its quick-selling 3 Series.
According to Bloomberg, the German luxury giant is considering several possible locations for a North American factory, including two in Mexico, that may build the 3. "We will decide this in the next months. On the North American continent, there's still potential," said BMW production boss, Harald Krueger, in an interview meant for company staff obtained by Bloomberg.
If BMW decides to open a plant in Mexico, it would be following its rival Audi, which already announced construction of a factory there. Mercedes-Benz has been rumored to be working on a deal with Nissan to build its cars South of the Border as well. Rumors of Bimmer considering Mexican production have also cropped up in the past, so it wouldn't come as a total surprise to hear it made official.
BMW may be calling this 4 Series Coupe a concept, but take a long, hard look - this will be the car that replaces the 3 Series Coupe in the automaker's lineup. Don't let that number change trip you up. This car will have all the basic elements of what makes a 3 Series coupe so popular, and while this isn't technically the production model (there are still come conceptual elements and we don't have powertrain details), it's pretty much what we can look forward to seeing out on the road very soon. And honestly, the naming strategy isn't that weird (though it's still plenty odd) - BMW will be using even numbers for all its coupes and convertibles moving forward. 1 Series, meet 2 Series. And when a 3 Series loses two doors, it becomes a 4 Series.
Dimensionally, the new 4 Series coupe is 1.7-inches wider, half an inch shorter in overall height, and rides on a 2.0-inch longer wheelbase. It's a really pretty thing, with bold, aggressive body sculpting up front, and a rear deck that's sort of like a downsized version of the larger 6 Series two-door. It's all very handsome, but we'll reserve final judgment until we see the production version with its likely smaller wheels and possibly toned-down visuals.
We don't yet have powertrain details, but we fully expect the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and 3.0-liter turbo-six to carry over in 328i 428i and 435i guise. Though remember, other 3.0-liter models in BMW's range use 40i designation, so we could possibly be looking at a 440i Coupe, instead. We won't know until the production car officially bows later this year.
The day has finally come for BMW to pull the covers off its X4 Concept at the Shanghai Motor Show. The machine brings few surprises - we've already seen an official image gallery from the German automaker, so its exterior shape was well known - but at least now we get to see it with our own eyes, and with the lenses of our very own cameras.
You can clearly see the fastback roofline in our high-res image gallery above, along with the jacked-up stance that allows BMW to call this machine a Sports Activity Vehicle, which basically means "Crossover" to our friends in Munich. We've seen similar vehicle shapes before, most notably in the form of the BMW X6, but also as far back as the 1980s from the likes of AMC.
We fully expect the transition from concept to production to be pretty seamless, so what we see here is, for the most part, what we'll see on the showroom floor in 2014. Feel free to peruse the press release below, but first, be sure to browse through our live images from Shanghai and let us know what you think.