BMW boastfully describes the 3-Series as the epitome of sporty flair in its segment and that for years it has maintained the leading position as the mostly widely sold premium vehicle in the world. Now BMW tells us it is setting about extending its lead even further, writes Padraic Deane.
Specific design modifications, and a further refined interior that includes the new generation of BMW iDrive, as well as new services provided by BMW ConnectedDrive, make both the new BMW 3 Series saloon and the new BMW 3 Series touring more attractive than ever.
Importantly, it also gets a revised range of engines and innovations in the areas of drive technology, safety, and comfort when it arrives in Ireland on September 20.
BMW bullishly adds that with rear-wheel drive, harmonious axle load distribution, outstanding steering precision, and highly sophisticated chassis technology, the BMW 3 Series sets unsurpassed standards for driving dynamics in its segment.
It says this unique driving pleasure can now be combined with an awareness of economy and minimised pollutant emissions. Thanks to BMW EfficientDynamics the new BMW 3 Series achieves significantly lower fuel consumption and exhaust emission levels with each of the 10 engine variations available than those of the relevant competitors in the premium segment.
The new features in the powertrain field include the further optimised electronically controlled all-wheel drive system BMW xDrive. This intelligent all-wheel drive system which variably distributes the drive force between front and rear wheels to enhance driving dynamics as well as ride stability and traction can now be combined with five engine types. The new BMW 320d xDrive is available as a saloon and touring model.
Another new feature for both body versions: the 318d - which BMW says is by far the most efficient vehicle of its category with an average fuel consumption of just 4.7 litres per 100 kilometres - is now also available with a 6-speed automatic transmission.
BMW tells us that this allows further improved acceleration figures in the models BMW 335i coupé and BMW 335i convertible, and combines this added dynamic performance - as compared to the standard 6-speed manual transmission - with the comfort features of an automatic transmission. The 7-speed sports automatic transmission with double clutch shifts without interrupting traction.
The sporty and tight rear has a new lighting design. To achieve a more powerful and sporty character effect, the rear bumpers, rear lights, and luggage compartment handle have been completely redesigned. The dual section rear lights are now structured according to the characteristic BMW L shape. The two LED rear light clusters and the direction indicators in LED technology are designed to create a striking, high-quality appearance.
One feature that attracted attention at the announcement was a 'hard drive' for audio files. It comes with anyone opting for the 'Sat Nav'. The storage medium with a capacity of 80 GB provides outstandingly fast access to digital maps for navigation purposes and can also be used for an extensive collection of music files. The system enables music files to be transferred to the hard drive from a CD, MP3 player or USB stick.