BMW first unveiled one of its latest 3-Series variants, known as the 3-Series Gran Turismo or GT, at this year’s Chicago Auto Show. Now, BMW sought the bigger New York moment by showcasing the 2014 BMW 3-Series GT at this year’s New York International Auto Show.
The 2014 BMW 3-Series GT follows the way of its older sibling, the BMW 5-Series GT, with an all-new sloping rear boot lid. In some ways, it reminds me of the old 1990s E36-generation 3-Series compact…and I’m not quite sure if that’s a good thing.
But still, I think the 2014 3-Series GT looks a lot better than the larger BMW 5-Series GT.
All the engine options from the standard 3-Series carry over to the 2014 BMW 3-Series Gran Turismo, which include BMW’s luscious 3.0L N55 twin-turbocharged straight-six good for 320hp and 300 lb-ft of torque, and BMW’s new 2.0L TwinPower turbocharged N20 four-banger good for 241hp and 258 lb-ft of torque.
For our full press recap, check it out after the jump.
All Photos Copyright egmCarTech © Chris Chin.
Innovative vehicle concept comes to the 3 Series Line-up
Woodcliff Lake, NJ
The all-new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo adds an innovative new concept to the BMW 3 Series line-up.
The BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is, first and foremost, a driver’s car which combines the dynamics that have earned the new 3 Series a spot on “Car and Driver’s” 10Best list for 22nd consecutive years, with luxury seating for four and generous and flexible luggage capacity. The new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo will arrive in the US, as both a 328i and a 335i, in the summer of 2013 as a 2014 model.
Typical BMW proportions, four doors with frameless windows, coupe-like profile, sloping roofline and large tailgate define the distinctive exterior character of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo. An active rear spoiler – the first on a BMW – adds to the aesthetic appeal and reduces lift at highway speeds. The new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is 7.9 inches (200mm) longer than the 3 Series Sports wagon, offers a 4.3 inch (110mm) longer wheelbase and stands 3.2 inches (81mm) taller. The clever use of proportions, surfaces and lines ensures that the 3 Series Gran Turismo is immediately recognizable as a BMW 3 Series.
Impressive long-distance comfort in a unique ambience.
Generous interior dimensions allow passengers in every seat of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo to enjoy a feeling of space and freedom of movement. The front and rear passengers all benefit from a seating position that is 2.3 inches (59 mm) higher than the sedans, which provides outstanding visibility and makes entry and exit significantly more comfortable. The BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo also offers extra headroom. The increase in space will be especially appreciated by rear seat passengers, where a full 2.8 inches (70mm) of additional legroom over the Sedan and Sports Wagon is there to be enjoyed. The cocooning nature of the interior, complemented by its design forms, color scheme and materials, creates first class ambience which allows passengers to enjoy short trips and long journeys alike in relaxed comfort.
Intelligent load area management.
The luggage compartment also reflects the car’s increased dimensions, its 18.3 cu.ft. (520 liters) of trunk space (based on European measure) outstripping that of the BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon by a full cubic foot (25 liters). The large load aperture and high-opening tailgate make access easier. Practical features – such as the 40:20:40 split/folding rear seat with folding head restraints and tilt-adjustable backrests, and the two-piece parcel shelf – underscore the functionality of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo. The large load area can be utilized in many different ways, allowing intelligent space management. Practical features such as tie-down points, multifunction hooks and an underfloor storage compartment make it even more convenient to use, while the LED strips that illuminate the cargo area emphasize the premium quality of the 3 Series Gran Turismo.
Design: Innovative, Emotional, Practical
The first impression delivered by the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo invariably centers on the striking combination of dynamic and aesthetic appeal. Attractive proportions, four doors with frameless windows, the coupe-style, gently falling roofline and large tailgate define the distinctive character it has chiseled for itself within the BMW 3 Series ranks. Powerful lines and taut surfaces sketch out an athletic body which lends the car an actively forward-surging purpose, as well as suggesting a high degree of functionality. Indeed, the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo sets new standards inside as well as out. A sense of roominess, a high seating position, generous levels of space and thoughtfully designed seal its status as unique in the premium mid-size segment.
At 189.9 inches (4,824 mm) long, 58.6 inches (1,489 mm) tall, 72.0 inches (1,828 mm) wide and with a 115.0 inch (2,920-mm) wheelbase, the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is notably larger than the Sedan and Sports Wagon variants of the 3 Series range. However, the designers’ clever use of proportions, surfaces and lines ensures that the Gran Turismo appears to cut a similarly low-slung and dynamic figure as its siblings. Its dimensions allow it to lay on impressive levels of space for passengers and their luggage, as a result of which, it passes the “long-distance comfort” test with flying colors. At 18.3 cu.ft. (520 liters) by European measure, its trunk capacity is up by about one cubic foot on the BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon, while an extra 2.8 inches (70 mm) of rear legroom place it between the BMW 5 Series and BMW 7 Series, i.e. firmly in luxury class territory.
Front view: powerful dynamics.
The eye-catching front end of the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo makes no secret of its BMW 3 Series family ties, but also brings its own individual flavor into the mix. The broad, powerful BMW kidney grille and modified front apron underline the car’s sporting character, while striking twin headlights with corona rings when xenon headlights are specified and LED accent lights form a visual unit with the slightly forward-slanting kidneys and reinforce the sense of both width and presence. The silhouette of the headlights is larger than on the Sedan. Large air intakes below the headlights emphasize the sporting character of the car, as do the aerodynamically motivated apertures for the Air Curtains. The hood, meanwhile, has smoother contours than the Sedan and Sports Wagon. The most prominent design cue remains the kidney grille, which draws the visual focus of the front end further towards the road and gives the car a lower-slung and sportier feel. Another identifying feature of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo are the “blades” set into the outer air intakes of the front apron.
Side view: elegance with a coupe-style roofline.
The link between the front and rear of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is particularly seamless. Hallmark BMW proportions and a coupe-style roofline sloping down towards the rear stretch the car’s silhouette, while powerfully taut surfaces and rising lines lend the flanks their inherent dynamic verve. The smooth transition of the roofline into the rear creates extra interior space while showcasing the car’s enviable functionality. The BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is the brand’s first-ever model to sport an active rear spoiler. At lower speeds it retracts virtually out of sight, leaving barely a ripple in the coupe-style roofline. One feature that is most definitely visible from the side are the forward-surging kidney slats, which dart up into the hood, underlining the agile character of the Gran Turismo.
The dominant theme of the car’s flanks is the double swage line, made up of two character lines running alongside each other, which is central to the appearance of the latest BMW 3 Series. Viewed in tandem with the pronounced door sill line it strengthens the body’s dynamic wedge shape. The high-set side window graphic, which rises slightly at the Hofmeister kink, lends aesthetic emphasis to the clear forward orientation of the exterior design. New aerodynamic aids appear on the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo in the form of the Air Breathers. Located just aft of the front wheels, they are designed to reduce drag around the wheel arches. The Air Breathers team up with the Air Curtains to underline the sporting character of the car’s design and provide tangible evidence of the innovative aerodynamic solutions devised by BMW as part of its BMW EfficientDynamics development strategy.
Rear view: a powerful tail end with compelling functionality.
The rear of the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is highlighted by horizontal surfaces and lines emphasizing muscular width and unshakable roadholding. The wraparound section below the spoiler has an extremely flat appearance and visually lowers the stance of the rear. The interplay between light and shadowed surfaces generates a dynamism even when the car is stationary.
The extended rear lights, in customary BMW L-shaped design, stretch far into the sides of the car, add further presence to the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo’s powerful breadth and make the car appear lower to the road. Two integrated bars of LEDs allow a slim light design and ensure the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo’s distinctive appearance is maintained both day and night. The large tailgate showcases the versatility and functionality of the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo. It allows optimum access to the load area and, thanks to its wide, generously sized aperture, makes it easier to load and unload even bulky items.
Interior: surprising spaciousness, generous freedom of movement.
The new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo adds 7.9 inches (200 mm) to the length of the BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon and has a 4.3 inch (110-mm) longer wheelbase. The new model also stands 3.2 inch (81 mm) taller. These generous dimensions create a luxurious feeling of space for the passengers and ensure unbeatable freedom of movement in every seat. The front and rear passengers all benefit from a seating position raised by 2.3 inches (59 mm), which allows an outstanding view out and makes entry and exit significantly easier. The Gran Turismo also raises headroom another notch.
Space-loving elegance with first-class character.
Rear passengers enjoy a particularly impressive increase in space. Indeed, the Gran Turismo offers a full 2.8 inches (70 mm) of extra legroom in the rear, providing a freedom of movement normally only found in luxury-class cars. Thanks to the car’s longer wheelbase – and a reduced overlap with the rear wheel arches as a result – the full breadth of the rear seat bench can be used without restriction and three adults can be seated in comfort. This feeling of space is complemented by the design forms, color scheme and materials employed in the interior. The flowing lines of the door panels link the front and rear compartments into a single stylistic unit, while the interplay of the flat roofline and frameless windows with the cocooning character of the interior creates a spacious first class ambience in the rear compartment, and thus the ideal environment for relaxed touring.
Maximum long-distance comfort.
An array of storage compartments and other practical details helps lay on a suitably sumptuous level of long-distance comfort. A pair of cup holders are integrated into the center console, but can be swapped for an oddments tray if desired. And large door pockets front and rear can accommodate up to one liter drink bottles (750ml in the rear). The BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo can be adapted to meet changing requirements. To this end, the rear seat backrests are fitted with folding head restraints and can be split 40:20:40 as standard, allowing the load area to be increased in stages from 18.4 cu.ft. up to 56.5 cu.ft. (520–1,600 liters). Folding down only the central segment creates a large through-loading aperture that enables four people to bring several pairs of skis or snowboards on board with them. Folding down all the backrests, meanwhile, creates a slightly rising, almost level and flush-fitting load compartment floor.
Load area: large, practical and versatile.
The perceived value and functionality of the generously sized load area in the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo impress in equal measure. The gaping 44.0 x 24.3 inches (1,120 x 618 mm) load aperture and high-opening electric tailgate make it easier to load bulky items. Another practical feature is the cargo function for the rear seat backrests. The tilt angle of the backrests can be adjusted through 15 stages and 19 degrees and even brought into a vertical position if required. This allows the space available in the load compartment to be adapted to changing requirements, a process aided by the smooth panel surfaces of the load area’s side walls. Another example of the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo’s practical qualities is the two-piece parcel shelf. The larger segment opens with the tailgate, facilitating access to the load area. The second segment remains on its railing, allowing smaller items to be left in place even when the tailgate is opened. When not in use the sections can be easily removed and stored away neatly under the load compartment floor. The new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is fitted with a standard electrically-operated tailgate, but the options list also includes the Smart Opener (part of the Comfort Access option), which allows the boot lid to be opened hands-free with a movement of the foot under the rear bumper.
Four tie-downs points in the load compartment floor and a multifunction hook in the left-hand side panel are on hand for securing loads, while a multifunction storage tray under the load compartment floor and a deep compartment in the left-hand side panel swallow up all kinds of small items. Also located here is a 12-volt power socket to plug in a cooler or charge electrically-powered devices. The storage package, which is standard in the US, ups the comfort rating another notch when it comes to transporting both people and loads. In addition to an array of interior features, it also comprises handy extras for the load compartment. These include a remote release function for the rear seat backrests, a gas pressure spring for the load compartment floor, a sliding retaining net on the right-hand side panel, an additional strap for holding loads in place and a variable attachment system using two rails integrated into the load compartment floor.
Typical BMW 3 Series: functional elegance in the cockpit as well. The cockpit of the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo fits the same template as the new 3 Series Sedan and new 3 Series Sports Wagon. In customary fashion, the driver-focused layout ensures optimum access to all driving functions. Crystal clear circular instruments with a black-panel display and a freestanding iDrive monitor in contemporary flatscreen design underline the sense of functional elegance. The iDrive Controller – within easy reach on the center console – and the optionally fore-and-aft sliding/folding armrest between the front seats underscore the cabin’s usability and comfort. Three equipment lines, each with their own individual character and M Sport.
High-quality material combinations coupled with class-leading levels of workmanship reinforce the premium ambience on board the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo. A large number of color and upholstery variants offer scope for a multitude of combinations. Customers can also choose from three additional equipment plus M Sport, all of which add individual touches to the car’s looks inside and out. Indeed, even the ignition key shares the color-coding of the equipment line specified.
Sport Line: The Sport Line adds extra depth to the dynamic repertoire of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo with a selection of eye-catching exterior features in high-gloss black. Nine molded black kidney grille slats in a chrome-colored surround lend the front end a particularly sporty and alert look, and the forward-slanting angle of the BMW kidneys gains further visual impact. The black air intakes and likewise gleaming black Air Breathers, meanwhile, draw the eye to the car’s aerodynamics features. Optional 18-inch or 19-inch light-alloy wheels – depending on the model – in double-spoke design provide an additional dose of sportiness, while exterior mirrors and a “wraparound” window strip, B-pillars in matching paint finish and a trim strip at rear apron height add further flourishes. Inside the car, the contrast between black and red accents adds a sporty and exclusive allure that is heightened by the accent strips in the doors (also part of the Luxury and Modern Lines as well as M Sport). The standard sports seats can be specified with a choice of upholstery and colors.
Luxury Line: Discreet high-gloss chrome touches lend the exterior of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo a particularly elegant and exclusive appeal. 11 intricate kidney grille slats with chrome-colored fronts and matt black sides, two chrome blades in the front apron air intakes and chrome Air Breathers all furnish classy touches. Within the gleaming chrome window surround the black B-pillar provides a particular highlight, and special 18 and 19-inch light-alloy wheels in a multi-spoke design accentuate the elegance of the Luxury Line. The Gran Turismo Luxury Line can be identified from the rear by a stylish, high-gloss chrome strip above the rear apron and a chrome exhaust tailpipe embellisher. The interior also stands out with various chrome elements, such as the surround for the audio and air conditioning system. High-gloss wood strips and seats with distinctive stitching highlight the exclusivity of the Luxury Line.
Modern Line: High-quality chrome exterior trim elements define the cool aesthetic of the Modern Line, while the BMW kidney grille with 11 slats, the Air Breathers and the double trim strips for the air intakes continue the theme. 18 or 19-inch turbine-style light-alloy wheels lend a fresh angle to the exterior design of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo, while the light-colored dashboard coupled with a steering wheel in dark oyster create a very special ambience in the cockpit. Leather upholstery in oyster or black, and a choice of three trim surfaces with accent strips in pearl-effect chrome, ensure an appealing interplay between materials.
M Sport: Optional M Sport line gives the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo a shot of adrenaline that spreads beyond its exterior and interior design. As well as the all-new aerodynamic package, including numerous body components (front apron with large air intake, rear bumper with diffuser, side skirts), and the BMW Individual High-gloss Shadow Line trim, the optional exterior color Estoril Blue metallic ensures an unmistakably sporty appearance and unbeatable road presence– an effect underpinned by 18 or 19-inch light-alloy wheels in hallmark M design. Inside the car, features such as M door sill finishers, an M leather steering wheel and an M driver’s footrest shape the sporty yet elegance ambience. The driver and front passenger can settle into sports seats. Technical features of this package include lowered M Sport suspension and enhanced aerodynamics. Exterior colors and wheels: The spectrum of colors available for the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo takes its cues from the BMW 3 Series Sedan and ranges from elegant and classic to modern and expressive. Customers can choose from a total of 12 paint finishes, irrespective of the equipment line specified, including intense color shades, an array of metallic options and a broad spread of classic tones. The Kalahari Beige metallic, Midnight Blue metallic and Sparkling Brown metallic shades are reserved exclusively for the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo.
BMW 328i Gran Turismo: 4-cylinder gasoline engine with TwinPower Turbo technology sets the benchmark for dynamics and efficiency.
The state-of-the-art, lively 2.0-litre engine marks a return to the 3 Series roots – it was with lightweight, high-performance 4-cylinder engines in a similar vein that the BMW 3 Series made its debut back in 1975. The significant upgrade in power and efficiency is chiefly down to the use of BMW TwinPower Turbo technology, which combines High Precision Direct Petrol Injection, Double-Vanos variable camshaft timing and Valvetronic variable valve timing along with twin-scroll turbocharging. On the new-generation 4-cylinder engine, this world-exclusive technology package from BMW again provides a very efficient way to extract more power from the engine, rather than taking the route of a much larger displacement and, in the process, adding to the weight and therefore to fuel consumption. This explains why the more dynamic performance and driving enjoyment does not come at the expense of higher fuel consumption and emissions.
The new BMW TwinPower Turbo 4-cylinder’s displacement of 1,997 cc delivers maximum power of 180 kW/ 240 hp at 5,000 rpm while, thanks to twin-scroll turbocharging, the maximum torque of 255 lb-ft is developed at just 1,250 rpm and remains constant up to 4,800 rpm. These statistics translate to commensurately dynamic performance. The engine responds instantly when the driver demands more throttle, and the vigorous and almost linear power delivery from only slightly above idle, which continues all the way into the higher rpm range, is duly impressive.
BMW TwinPower Turbo technology in the new 4-cylinder engine. This new engine is the most powerful in a new generation of 4-cylinder engines designed in accordance with the BMW EfficientDynamics strategy, which aims to combine increased driving enjoyment with reduced fuel consumption and emissions. In technical terms, this new 4-cylinder engine is modeled on the current multi-award-winning 6-cylinder inline engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology (N55), which is the benchmark in its class for dynamic power delivery and impressive efficiency. This world-exclusive technology combines High Precision Direct Petrol Injection, Double-Vanos variable camshaft timing and Valvetronic variable valve timing with twin-scroll turbocharging.
These features give the new BMW 328i the sort of power which with a naturally aspirated engine would require more cylinders and larger displacement. At the same time, with its all-aluminum crankcase, this engine is lighter and more compact than a 6-cylinder engine of equivalent power. This has obvious benefits for driving dynamics: the reduced load on the front axle gives this BMW sports sedan greater agility and further improved steering and cornering characteristics.
The new 4-cylinder engines also feature twin-scroll turbocharging. This means that the exhaust stream from cylinders 1 and 4, and the exhaust stream from cylinders 2 and 3, follow separate spiral-shaped paths to the turbine wheel. This reduces exhaust back-pressure at low engine rpm, allowing the energy of the exhaust gas pulses to be utilized as efficiently as possible. The result is instant throttle response and fast-revving performance which BMW drivers can instantly translate into driving pleasure.
Valvetronic, Double-Vanos and High Precision Direct Injection.
The combination of a high power output and a simultaneous reduction in emissions is achieved by Valvetronic variable valve timing and Double-Vanos variable camshaft timing. The latest generation of the Valvetronic system features a faster-acting, optimized stepper motor with integrated sensor. Seamlessly variable control of intake valve lift dispenses with the need for a throttle butterfly. Instead, the air mass is controlled inside the engine, resulting in faster response. At the same time, pumping losses have been reduced to a minimum.
The excellent efficiency is also down to the High Precision Direct Injection system. Centrally positioned between the valves, solenoid injectors precisely control the supply of fuel. The fuel is injected very close to the spark plug, with a maximum injection pressure of 200 bar (2900 psi), resulting in clean and homogeneous combustion. The cooling effect of the directly injected fuel also results in a higher compression ratio than on port injection engines, bringing further efficiency improvements.
Exceptional performance assisted by innovative design features.
The exceptional performance of the new engine is also due to various innovative features of the core engine. For example, twin balancer shafts positioned at different heights result in optimized vibration absorption, while a centrifugal pendulum absorber integrated in the dual-mass flywheel brings a noticeable reduction in irregular running at low engine rpm. The driver can therefore make full use of the strong low-end torque without sacrificing smoothness. These factors all help to explain why the new 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine achieves refinement, noise and vibration of a kind that was previously confined to BMW 6-cylinder engines.
BMW 335i Gran Turismo: Inline 6-cylinder engine with beefy power delivery, strong torque and superb refinement.
Fans of large 6-cylinder engines have a treat in store too. The inline 6-cylinder engine (N55) in the BMW 335i Gran Turismo will impress performance-minded drivers with its effortless power, exceptionally fast-revving temperament and outstanding refinement. The N55 has been setting standards from the start, as the pioneer of a new generation of engines in which BMW TwinPower Turbo technology with High Precision Direct Injection and Valvetronic variable valve timing plus a twin scroll turbo made its debut.
Thanks to intensive fine-tuning of the engine, BMW’s engineers have now further reduced the fuel consumption and emissions of the predecessor, while at the same time maintaining its high performance. With a maximum power rating of 225 kW/ 300 hp at 5,800 rpm, the 3.0-liter 6-cylinder unit reflects the sporty personality of the BMW 3 Series and helps deliver brilliant performance. And the high peak torque of 300 lb-ft, on stream between 1,200 and 5,000 rpm, ensures that the power is effortlessly and instantly delivered. Innovative 8-speed automatic transmission: efficient power transmission and optimal ratios.
The new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is equipped with a high-performance 8-speed automatic transmission. The additional ratios allow this state-of-the-art transmission to combine unprecedented standards of comfortable shifting, sporty performance and efficiency. With all this going for it, the automatic transmission is fully in keeping with the overall sporty temperament of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan.
In terms of size and weight, this 8-speed unit is comparable with the 6-speed automatic transmission used in the past. A range of innovative technical features and exceptionally high internal efficiency allow this higher-performance unit, too, to combine powerful acceleration, strong mid-range sprinting and further reduced fuel consumption. For performance-minded drivers this transmission also has lots to offer, particularly since the driver can choose to play a more active role by changing gear manually, thereby releasing even more of this sporty sedan’s potential.
With its optimized control technology, the 8-speed transmission boasts extremely fast shift and reaction times and direct downshift capability. The electronic transmission controller can also alter the shift characteristics as required, to cater either for a sportier or for a more relaxed, fuel-saving driving style. Despite a larger overall spread, eight ratios mean that the spacing between them is smaller, so that the optimal ratio is available in virtually all situations. The close ratios deliver turbine-like power combined with smooth and fuel-efficient low-rpm operation. Altogether, then, as well as providing dynamic acceleration and smooth shifting, the new 8-speed automatic also allows drivers to maintain a very economical driving style. This all helps to explain why, when fitted with the 8-speed automatic transmission, the new BMW 3 Series even lower fuel consumption than models equipped with the 6-speed manual transmission.
A sports version of the new 8-speed automatic transmission is available for cars equipped with the Sport Line and M Sport. This unit offers even sportier shift characteristics (e.g. faster shift times), and the option of changing gear manually using the paddle shifts on the steering wheel. Alternatively, it is also possible to use the electronic Quickshift selector lever on the center console. The Normal and Sport modes are chosen using the Driving Dynamics Control switch. This allows the sports automatic to deliver both dynamic driving enjoyment and top-level comfort.
Sophisticated suspension technology: hallmark BMW 3 Series handling, impressive directional stability and increased long-distance comfort.
Driving dynamics have always been one of the stand-out qualities of the BMW 3 Series range. Playing a key role is carefully honed suspension technology that features a large number of light-alloy components and perfectly complements the winning formula of a longitudinally mounted engine, rear-wheel drive, finely-balanced axle load distribution (50:50) and a torsionally stiff lightweight body. With the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo the engineers have succeeded in achieving both outstanding handling properties and a high degree of agility and precision. The overall character of the suspension has been shifted slightly towards directional stability and long-distance comfort. All of which points to the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo’s focus on enhanced long-distance comfort combined with distinctly sporting dynamics.
Double-pivot front suspension with spring struts and anti-roll bar.
The front suspension of the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is familiar from the 3 Series Sedan and Sports Wagon. The wheel suspension combines maximum stiffness with minimum weight, while aluminum torque struts, wishbones and swivel bearings make for a significant reduction in unsprung masses. In addition, the double-joint axle has been set up to optimum effect, thanks to the absence of torque steer. Another beneficiary of this is the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo’s electromechanical steering system, which is low in weight and helps reduce fuel consumption.
Five-link rear suspension majors in driving dynamics and comfort.
The rear suspension of the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo makes an important contribution to the new model’s driving dynamics and ride comfort. Its space-saving five-link design features precisely calculated elastokinematics, which makes for long spring travel as well as precise wheel location in all situations. Moreover, the rear axle ensures excellent noise and vibration damping. The upshot is that the new Gran Turismo impresses with time-honored BMW 3 Series driving and handling characteristics and goes a noticeable extra yard in terms of directional stability and long-distance touring comfort.
High-performance lightweight braking system. The new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo relies for its stopping power on lightweight floating-caliper brakes with large inner-vented discs, and the front brake calipers are made from aluminum. As well as the low unsprung masses, this high-performance system also makes its mark with outstanding heat tolerance, superior wet braking performance, easy operation and excellent feel. A brake pad wear indicator and a brake drying function are standard on all models. The driver enjoys the safety net of various state-of-the-art electronic aids integrated into the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system. This incorporates the following functions: the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Automatic Stability Control (ASC), Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), Dynamic Brake Control (DBC) and Cornering Brake Control (CBC), along with the Start-Off Assistant and an electronic limited slip function for the rear differential, which can be activated using the “DSC Off” button. Dynamic options: M Sport suspension, adaptive suspension and variable sports steering.
The 0.4 inch (10-mm) lower M Sport suspension is included as part of M Sport as well as the Sport Line. It works with a firmer spring/damper set-up and stiffer anti-roll bars, and brings with it 18 or 19-inch light-alloy wheels. Alternatively, customers may like to specify lowered adaptive suspension with electronically controlled dampers, which adjusts the damper mapping to the road surface and driving situation. The driver can also use the Driving Experience Control switch to vary the basic suspension tuning between more comfortable or sportier settings according to individual preference.
Variable Sports Steering with Servotronic is available as an option, providing different steering gear ratios depending on the angle of the steering wheel. It means that less steering effort is required for parking and turning maneuvers. Also, handling is sharpened, for example when instantaneous evasive action is required.
Driving Experience Control switch with ECO PRO mode: extra-sporty, more relaxed or more frugal driving modes – at the touch of a button. The new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo also offers drivers the ability to vary the overall character of the vehicle to suit the driving situation or their personal preferences. As well as sportier or more comfortable drive settings, they can also opt for extra fuel efficiency. The different modes are selected via the Driving Experience Control switch with ECO PRO mode, which is standard on all models. Using a button on the center console, the driver can choose between ECO PRO, COMFORT, SPORT and SPORT+ modes.
Each of these predefined set-ups activates different settings for the relevant powertrain and suspension components. A button allows the driver to change the DSC settings or switch them off altogether. BMW EfficientDynamics: More power, less fuel consumption. Alongside its high functionality and sporty dynamics, outstanding fuel economy is another contributing factor in the driving pleasure afforded by the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo. This is down to the BMW EfficientDynamics development strategy, the results of which are incorporated in virtually every area of the new model. In addition to petrol and diesel engines with optimized fuel economy, its highly efficient transmissions, intelligent lightweight design, optimized aerodynamics and further efficiency-promoting measures ensure the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is a winner not only in terms of its impressive performance, but also its enviable fuel consumption and emissions figures. Auto Start-Stop function, Brake Energy Regeneration, ECO PRO Route. The new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo features BMW’s Auto Start-Stop function.
Another standard feature is Brake Energy Regeneration, which ensures that – as far as possible – power for the vehicle’s electrical system is generated during braking and coasting. ECO PRO mode plays a particularly effective role in helping the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo driver to maintain an efficient and economical driving style. As well as tweaking the accelerator’s responses and engine management system, ECO PRO mode also reaps the rewards of intelligent energy and climate management. The system gives the driver tips and ideas – tailored to the driving situation at hand – on how to reduce fuel consumption even further through adjustments to his or her responses at the wheel. The ECO PRO Route function joins forces with the navigation system to monitor the driver’s personal driving style, the traffic situation and the profile of the road ahead in order to propose the most fuel-saving route. Average fuel consumption can be cut by up to 20 percent in ECO PRO mode, with a corresponding boost to the car’s range on a tank of fuel.
On-demand operation of ancillary components saves energy. The new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo’s ancillary components also play a role in the car’s intelligent energy management. Examples include the on-demand coolant pump, the map-controlled oil pump and the electromechanical steering system, which only consumes electric power when steering assistance is actually required. The special air conditioning compressor works on the same principle. As soon as the driver switches the air conditioning off, the belt drive to the compressor is disconnected to minimize power drain. Aerodynamic fine-tuning in the wind tunnel Evidence of the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo’s aerodynamic fine-tuning in a state-of-the-art wind tunnel comes courtesy of a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.29. The lower air resistance not only contributes to a drop in fuel consumption, it also has benefits in terms of noise reduction. The design of the car’s underside is a major factor in minimizing lift forces. The new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo has an aerodynamically optimized underbody with extended smooth-surfaced panels at the sides, under the engine compartment shield and at the front part of the exhaust tunnel, resulting in unprecedented standards of sealing. Air Curtains and Air Breathers.
The now familiar Air Curtains in the front apron of many BMW cars are designed to reduce turbulence – and therefore drag – around the front wheels. The aerodynamically designed wheel arches, and the air deflectors in front of them, likewise help to whittle down fuel consumption. A totally new feature on the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo, however, are the Air Breathers – air ducts rearwards of the front wheel arches, which reach back as far as the outlet apertures in the side of the body and double up as a new visible design element. The Air Breathers divert part of the airflow into the wheel arches, thereby reducing air resistance. They work particularly effectively in combination with the Air Curtains. BMW premier: active rear spoiler reduces lift.
The BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is the brand’s first car to be fitted with an active rear spoiler, which extends automatically once the car reaches 110 km/h (68 mph) to ensure it retains the traditional BMW dynamic capability at higher speeds. Once extended, the spoiler reduces lift on the rear axle by more than 35 percent, allowing the Gran Turismo to replicate the aerodynamic qualities of the BMW 3 Series Sedan. If the car’s speed slows below 70 km/h (43 mph), the spoiler automatically retracts, melting back into the car’s trailing edge almost invisibly. If required, the rear spoiler can be extended and retracted manually.
BMW ConnectedDrive: class-leading safety, convenience and infotainment
For many years now, BMW ConnectedDrive has been synonymous with innovation and forward-looking concepts in the field of automotive connectivity. The plethora of standard and optional driver assistance systems and mobility services on offer ensures that the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo continues the tradition of setting the pace for safety, convenience and infotainment. To make sure that the various functions available perform their task to optimum effect, BMW ConnectedDrive manages the information exchange between passengers, vehicle and the outside world in a particularly intelligent and targeted way. High-res projection in color: Head-Up Display.
Highlights in the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo include the latest-generation multicolor Head-Up Display, which projects key information onto the windscreen in sharp resolution to appear directly in the driver’s field of view. Not only is the current speed displayed, but the speed limit is also flashed up for the driver’s benefit, along with navigation instructions and various warning messages. Using sensors and camera: Blind Spot and Lane Departure Warning systems.
Among available the convenience and safety-enhancing assistance systems are Blind Spot Detection and Lane Departure Warning including Collision Warning with braking function. These systems employ radar sensors and camera monitoring to alert drivers to potential collision risks when changing lanes or if they veer out of the lane unintentionally, and also issue a warning when driving too close to the vehicle ahead.
Intelligent use of advanced light technology: anti-dazzle High-Beam Assistant and Adaptive Headlights.
Safety when driving in the dark is given a further boost by the optional High-Beam Assistant, which automatically switches the high beam on and off as the situation requires. If the optional Adaptive Xenon headlights are specified, anti-dazzle High-Beam Assistant, allowing the high beam to be left switched on even when there is oncoming traffic can also be specified. Superb overview not just when parking: Surround View, Side View, Top View and BMW Parking Assistant.
In addition to the rear view camera and Park Distance Control, customers are also able to opt for the Surround View function with Side View and Top View, which provides a bird’s-eye view of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo and the area around it, enabling the driver to carry out precise maneuvers in tight spaces. If the car is moving at under 20 km/h (12 mph), the Side View function can additionally be activated to allow the driver to keep an eye on cross traffic. Convenience is further enhanced by the BMW Parking Assistant system, which is able to maneuver the car into parking spaces parallel to the direction of travel. All the driver has to do is operate the accelerator and brake pedal while the BMW Parking Assistant takes care of the steering. A system of many talents: Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function.
ACC Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function and Speed Limit Info including No Passing Info display further adds to the functionality of the convenience and safety options. Not only does ACC Stop & Go make it possible to cruise along highways and country roads with the greatest of ease while maintaining the desired distance to vehicles ahead, it also regulates the speed in heavy traffic, even braking to a stop if necessary before pulling away again automatically. This has the effect of making life easier for the driver in slow-moving traffic and congestion as well. If the worst comes to the worst: BMW Assist eCall with enhanced Automatic Collision Notification with automatic vehicle location. In the event of an accident in the new BMW 3 Series, the enhanced Automatic Collision Notification system from BMW ConnectedDrive allows the emergency services to receive detailed information on the type of collision and the likelihood trauma level injuries before arriving at the scene of the accident. That allows first responders to prepare the appropriate medical care in advance for those involved in the crash. The precise location of the car and vehicle type are specified, and all the data gathered by sensors in the car is forwarded. The information provides indications as to the nature and severity of the collision, while the deployment of the car’s restraint systems gives the emergency services an idea of the number of injured people and allows frontal, rear, side or multiple collisions to be identified and differentiated. This is possible thanks to an advanced algorithm developed in partnership with the William Lehmann Trauma Center in Miami, Florida that used transmitted vehicle data to estimate the likelihood of severe injuries as a result of a crash. As well as automatic activation, the system also allows the driver or front passenger to trigger the Emergency Call manually and to be connected with the BMW call center without delay. The all-new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo will arrive in US showrooms in late 2013 as a 2014 model.
– By: Chris Chin