The 3-Series is hatching out – and we’ve got the best pictures yet! Following in the footsteps of the new 5-Series GranTurismo (Issue 1,065), BMW bosses have given the green light to a smaller version based on the 3-Series.
Set to go on sale in 2011, the new model will be the most practical 3-Series hatchback ever, and like its 5-Series sister car, sit above the saloon and estate models in the range.
It’s expected to carry a price premium, but be marketed as an all-new flexible and spacious family car. Along with an upcoming replacement for the X3, it will give BMW a vital rival to Audi’s A4 Avant line-up and the new Q3 SUV.
It’s the latest sign that shows the revitalisation of BMW’s line-up is not stopping in the face of the global downturn. Boss Norbert Reithofer has already been widely reported as saying: “We haven’t cancelled the crossover of the 3-Series, as it is considered a volume builder with which we can earn good money.” As you can see from our images, the 3-Series GT will get a four-door coupé body combined with raised, sliding rear seats and a Skoda Superb-style boot opening.
The body will be revised from the new 3-Series range, with a more upright nose featuring wider kidney grilles and faired-in headlights, reminiscent of the firm’s CS concept, and as seen on the 5-Series GT.
As with that car, it’s likely to be available in either four-seat Executive specification – offering a luxurious, spacious feel – or in even more practical five-seat SE configuration.
And as it will sit on the same platform as the next-generation 3-Series Touring, there will be a huge luggage area. Engines will include BMW’s latest turbo petrol and diesel engines.