Paris - Looking strong and confident despite having been ‘teased’ to death in the last week, BMW’s all-new 3 Series plays it safe on the styling front, but brings a raft of new cabin tech and other general refinements.
For starters it’s up to 55kg lighter than its predecessor, despite having grown substantially in size, with length increasing by 85mm, of which 41mm goes into the wheelbase to improve occupant space, while overall width grows by 16mm and height by 1mm. It’s also somewhat more aerodynamic, with the Cd value dropping from 0.26 to 0.23 thanks in part to an almost completely sealed underbody.
On the engine front the most exciting news is the new M340i, featuring a 3-litre six-cylinder turbopetrol tuned to 275kW and 500Nm for a 4.4-second 0-100km/h sprint - that’s just 0.1s slower than the current M3! This new Deputy M3, which also features all-wheel-drive and an M Sport differential, will however only be available later in 2019.
Of the launch models, the highlight for now is an improved version of the 2-litre turbopetrol that powers the 330i, which is now good for 190kW and 400Nm (up 5kW and 50Nm), and consequently a 5.8 second 0-100km/h time.
A milder 2-litre, with 135kW and 300Nm on tap, powers the 320i, while the 320d (now also available with all-wheel-drive) soldiers on with various improvements and 140kW/400Nm, and the 330d remains the top diesel with its 195kW/580Nm 3-litre oil burner.