The BMW 3-series has been unveiled to the North American audience at today's Detroit motor show.
The roomier, faster and more economical BMW 3-series saloon - know internally as the F30 - is new from the ground-up, has been four years in the making, and is tasked with continuing BMW’s dominance over key rivals such as the Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C-class and Volvo S60.
So thorough has the design and development been that BMW R&D chief Klaus Draeger, describes it as ‘BMW’s most ambitious engineering program to date’.
Holding true to a front-engine, rear-drive layout, the new 3-series will initially be sold with the choice of three engines in four models – the 320d, 320d EfficientDynamics, 328i and 301bhp 335i.
Following the launch cars into the showrooms a month later, in March next year, are the entry-level diesels and a petrol model: the 320i, which gets a 181bhp 2.0-litre four-pot, and the 114bhp 316d and 141bhp 318d, both of which use versions of the same 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit. Later in the year comes the rest of the cavalry, including the 318i petrol and the 325d, 330d and 335d diesels.
And in a move mirroring that of the 1-series, the new 3-series will introduce three new trims – Sport, Luxury and Modern — to complement the usual ES, SE and MSport.
Also being readied for late next year is the 3-series ActiveHybrid that mates a turbocharged 3.0-litre petrol engine with an electric motor combined into the automatic ’box housing. It will produce 335bhp and 332lb/ft and return 44.4mpg. A UK-first late next year will be four-wheel drive models.
Styling/Dimensions/WeightBMW’s design team, headed by Adrian von Hooydonk, was charged with delivering more models and a greater styling variation than ever before.