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BMW whips covers off all-new 3 Series. Image by BMW.

BMW whips covers off all-new 3 Series
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Newer articles featuring 2019 BMW 3 Series

2018-10-02: M Performance parts revealed for BMW 3 Series

What's all this about?

It's the new 'G20' BMW 3 Series, a car that - weirdly - we've already driven in prototype form, but not yet seen unadorned by eye-frazzling camouflage. Well, here it is in all its glory, fresh from its debut at the Paris Motor Show.

Looks familiar... and yet different.

As it should. While it is most obviously a BMW 3 Series that has carefully evolved from its F30 predecessor, it also sports much of the features seen on other saloons and SUVs from BMW - such as giant kidney grilles that are actually framed by a single piece of trim. Perhaps we should just say 'kidney grille', singular, from now on... Anyway, there's a new take on both the Hofmeister kink in the Three's C-pillar and the twin-icon headlights that are BMW's trademark, while at the back are very slim, 3D light clusters. All 3 Series models will gain LED head- and taillights as standard, with laser lights an option.

Has it got bigger?

Yes, although it's up to 55kg lighter than its predecessor, regardless. It's 4,709mm long, 1,827mm wide, 1,442mm tall and has a wheelbase of 2,851mm - increases of 76-, 16-, 1- and 41mm, respectively, when compared to the Mk6 F30 model. The track widths of both axles are increased too, by 43- and 21mm (front and rear), while the car is 50 per cent better for torsional rigidity, is much more aerodynamic (0.26 previously plays 0.23 now for the coefficient of drag) and, natch, has perfect 50:50 weight distribution front-to-rear. All of this means BMW says it's better to drive than ever before.

What have we got in terms of motive power?

Six launch models, which are the 320i, 330i, 318d, 320d, 320d xDrive and 330d. From that little lot, if you're up on modern BMW tech, you should be able to determine that two of them are petrol and four are diesels, all of them are four-cylinder motors, bar the solitary six-pot in the 330d, and five of them are rear-wheel drive - the only AWD xDrive car so far being the 320d. Beyond this, the most widespread gearbox is the eight-speed Steptronic auto, which is standard-fit on everything apart from the 318d and rear-wheel-drive 320d models, which get a six-speed manual as standard and the 'Stepper' as an option. Petrol power is either 184- or 258hp (320i v 330i), while the diesels run 150hp (318d), 190hp (either 320d) or 265hp (330d). Most economical is the 318d Steptronic - 68.9mpg and 108g/km CO2 at its cleanest - and fastest is the 330d, which'll hit 62mph from rest in 5.5 seconds and is limited to 155mph.

Anything else on drivetrain tech?

Well, although the 3 Series is expected to launch in early 2019 with these six models, already a plug-in hybrid variant and a faster M Performance version are planned for soon after the initial wave of models. Which surely means it can only be a matter of time before we're looking at a new, rampant M3. Slobber.

What about the chassis?

Standard, lowered M Sport and Adaptive M suspension set-ups will all be available, as will variable Sport steering, M Sport brakes, an electronically controlled M Sport differential and anything up to 19-inch light-alloy wheels. Should drive pretty sweetly.

And inside?

The growth in the Three's physicality means it is roomier front and back for human occupants, has more elbow- and shoulder-room up front and increased legroom in the rear. Even the boot is big, with 480 litres on offer and a 40:20:40 split backrest ahead of the cargo bay. Base models have enlarged displays, both 5.7-inch in the cluster and 8.8-inch in the dash, but for the full 'wow' effect, you need to option up BMW Live Cockpit Professional. That brings in a 12.3-inch instrument cluster, 10.25-inch Control Display in the centre stack and multimodal control for what BMW is calling 'Operating System 7.0' - otherwise known as iDrive 7. This allows for touchscreen commands on the 10.25-inch display, the good ol' iDrive controller or steering wheel buttons, or gesture and voice control. And, on this last score, there's now BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant - a feature described as an 'intelligent digital personality' integrated into the car.



Matt Robinson - 2 Oct 2018

Earlier articles featuring 2019 BMW 3 Series

2018-08-15: First drive: 2019 BMW 330i (G20)


2019 BMW 3 Series. Image by BMW.2019 BMW 3 Series. Image by BMW.2019 BMW 3 Series. Image by BMW.2019 BMW 3 Series. Image by BMW.2019 BMW 3 Series. Image by BMW.

2019 BMW 3 Series. Image by BMW.2019 BMW 3 Series. Image by BMW.2019 BMW 3 Series. Image by BMW.2019 BMW 3 Series. Image by BMW.2019 BMW 3 Series. Image by BMW.









www.bmw.co.uk    - BMW road tests
- BMW news
- 3 Series images






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