Take a look at the BMW that’s really going to put the ‘three’ into 3-Series. These exclusive images show you just how the firm’s new compact executive is going to look – and under its striking body lies a fresh range of engines, including a line-up of super-efficient three-cylinder units.
Together with improved aerodynamics, a hi-tech transmission system and integrated cabin wi-fi, it’s all part of BMW’s plan to offer the most advanced 3-Series ever.
As you can see from these images, good looks are matched to the clever kit. Mixing influences from the original Concept CS – first revealed at the 2007 Shanghai Motor Show – with those of the latest 5-Series Granturismo, the new 3-Series’ front end is sleek and sharp.
Lines from the wide kidney grilles to the windscreen really emphasise the strength of the design around the nose, while in profile, the sculpted sides and kinked C-pillar are teamed with a chunky swage line that cuts through the door handles.
While the 3-Series will keep its famous front-engined, rear-wheel-drive layout, hardly anything else will be traditional. Essentially one half of the firm’s new 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine, a new 1.5-litre three-
cylinder unit will be available in petrol and diesel form.
Boosted by turbochargers, both will produce around 150bhp and thanks to their compact size, will offer real advantages in terms of packaging and weight distribution.
Fitted with all the usual EfficientDynamics gizmos – including stop-start and energy recuperation – the new units will make BMW’s current four-cylinder line-up redundant. The diesel is set to return 75mpg and emit less than 100g/km of CO2, for example.
Further up the range, a new 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbo unit will offer the performance and soundtrack that BMW buyers have become accustomed too. However, to improve efficiency it will be available with an all-
new eight-speed automatic transmission and stop-start.
The aerodynamics will be improved by enclosing as much of the chassis as possible, managing the flow of air around the wheels and also the cooling air that enters the engine bay. By doing so, the drag coefficient will be reduced to around 0.28.
Inside, the cabin will follow themes from the latest 5-Series, but it will take a huge leap forward with wi-fi. This will allow the 3-Series owners to get up-to-the-minute traffic information from the Internet.
We’ve seen plenty of spy shots of the new generation model in near production-ready form, indicating that a launch isn’t very far away. The new car is set to be revealed in the coming months, with sales starting in early 2011.