Now we've spied the coupe out testing, and we hear it is very unlikely the cars will be called the 4-series as former partner Rover still holds the rights to the term "400-series", including model names such as 418 or 420.

The sporty three

Late last year we revealed how the next generation of mid-size BMW drop-tops and coupes would be called 4-Series, creating an all-new range from the omnipresent 3 Series models. Now we've spied the coupe out testing, and we hear it is very unlikely the cars will be called the 4-series as former partner Rover still holds the rights to the term “400-series”, including model names such as 418 or 420. We do therefore assume the new coupé and cabrio will be called 3-series again, though this would make the 6-series a real exotic. But then again: it is an exotic!

Notice this cars’ relatively long overhangs at the front and rear, giving it a more substantial profile. The 6-Series-style tapering and rounded nose is toned down slightly in the Three, but the headlamps are unmistakably cat-like. Possible powerplants include the two- to three-litre petrols, and diesel options as well which will almost certainly appear in the coupe version of the 3-Series, but might as well make it into the cabrio.

More BMW 3-Series Coupe Spy Photos