Well, it does look a lot better than the 1 Series. That’s probably not the best introduction for the new BMW 3 Series GT, first revealed a couple of weeks ago, but we’re not sure of a better way to introduce this F34 model to you.
To be honest we were ready to embrace this car, to like it, to try and win the inevitable haters over. Now, after seeing these pics and considering them for some time, we’re not so sure. Although, the more we see that image above the more the styling starts to appeal. But the lingering question that remains is, why wouldn’t you just buy an undeniably cool 3 Series Touring instead?
Oddly, to us, the GT is quite a bit larger in dimensions that the Touring. It rides on a wheelbase that is 110mm longer than the wagon, it’s a sizeable 200mm longer overall and some 81mm taller. It’s bordering on being quite a big car, then.
Inside there’s an extra 70mm of rear seat legroom compared with the Touring and 3 Series sedan. While those pretending they don’t actually want an SUV can rest easy sitting 59mm higher than their lower 3 Series brethren.
We can’t deny this should be an immensely capable machine; able to chew up the miles with comfort and driving pleasure. For now, though, we’re just going to have to sit tight and wait until we see one in the flesh before being able to cast a final judgement.
In the meantime we’d love to hear what you, our dear readers, have to say about the 3 Series GT.
The new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo.
The new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo adds an innovative new concept to the successful BMW 3 Series line-up. The third body variant in the current model family combines the Sedan’s dynamic, sporting genes with the practicality and versatility of the Touring, qualities which are backed up by a palpable increase in space and driving comfort. The Gran Turismo exudes aesthetic and emotional appeal, boasts a distinctive presence on the road and offers similarly pronounced driving pleasure. All of which allows the new Gran Turismo to make a compelling case for itself as both an elegant business carriage and a dynamic, comfortable tourer.
Typical BMW proportions, four doors with frameless windows, a coupe-style, gently downward-sloping roofline and a large, automatically opening and closing tailgate define the distinctive exterior character of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo. An active rear spoiler – the first of its type on a BMW – provides visual lightness and reduces lift at touring speeds. The new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is 200 millimetres longer in total than the BMW 3 Series Touring, comes with a 110-millimetre longer wheelbase and stands 81 millimetres taller. However, the clever use of proportions, surfaces and lines ensures that the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is immediately recognisable as a member of the new BMW 3 Series range.
Impressive long-distance comfort in a unique ambience.
Generous interior dimensions allow the passengers in every seat of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo to sit back and enjoy an impressive feeling of space and unbeatable freedom of movement. The front and rear passengers all benefit from a seating position raised by 59 millimetres, which provides an outstanding view out and makes entry and exit significantly more comfortable. Plus, the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo also offers extra headroom. The increase in space will be particularly noticeable in the rear compartment, where a full 70 millimetres of additional legroom over the Sedan and Touring – giving luxury-car levels of spaciousness – is there to be enjoyed. The cocooning nature of the interior, complemented by its design forms, colour scheme and materials, creates a lounge-style ambience which allows passengers to enjoy short trips and long journeys alike in relaxed comfort.
Intelligent load area management.
The load area also reflects the car’s increased dimensions, its 520 litres of boot capacity even outstripping that of the BMW 3 Series Touring by 25 litres. The large load aperture and high-opening tailgate make access easier. Practical standard features – such as the 40:20:40 split/folding rear seat bench with folding head restraints and tilt-adjustable backrests (cargo function), and the two-piece parcel shelf – underscore the impressive functionality of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo. The large load area can be utilised in many different ways, allowing intelligent space management. Practical features such as lashing points, multifunction hooks and an underfloor storage compartment make it even more convenient to use, while the LED strips that illuminate the cargo area emphasise the premium quality of the 3 Series Gran Turismo.
Quintessential BMW 3 Series: functional elegance, three equipment lines.
High-end material combinations and fit and finish of the highest quality underline the premium ambience on board the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo. The latest addition to the 3 Series family can be ordered in an entry-level version, with the Sport Line, Luxury Line or Modern Line equipment packages, or with the optional M Sport package, which will already be available from July 2013.
Three petrol and two diesel engines power the GT off the start line.
Customers can choose from a selection of five powerful, refined and economical engines – covering an output range from 105 kW/143 hp to 225 kW/306 hp– from the launch of the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo. All the powerplants use BMW TwinPower Turbo technology. The range-topping six-cylinder petrol engine under the bonnet of the BMW 335i Gran Turismo is joined by the four-cylinder petrol units in the BMW 328i Gran Turismo and BMW 320i Gran Turismo. The two 2.0-litre diesel engines powering the BMW 320d Gran Turismo and BMW 318d Gran Turismo round off the line-up at launch.
Power is sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, although BMW also offers an eight-speed automatic as an option for all engine variants. Both gearboxes link up with the fuel-saving Auto Start-Stop function.
Advanced suspension technology, featuring a large number of light-alloy components, the torque steer-free Electric Power Steering, finely-balanced axle load distribution (50:50) and a torsionally stiff lightweight body ensure outstanding handling attributes and a high degree of agility and precision.
The longer wheelbase (+ 110 mm), greater wheel diameter and baseline specification of the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo– which includes 17-inch wheels – result in a car offering excellent directional stability and long-distance comfort.
In addition to its enviable practicality and sporting dynamics, the outstanding fuel economy of the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo also serves the cause of driving pleasure. The key here is the BMW EfficientDynamics development strategy, whose influence can be seen in virtually every area of the new model. Building on the good work of the ultra-frugal petrol and diesel engines, the intelligent lightweight construction concept of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismoand its optimised aerodynamics (including Air Curtains, Air Breathers and the active rear spoiler) do their bit to maximise efficiency and dynamics. And other measures, such as the Auto Start-Stop function, Brake Energy Regeneration, Optimum Shift Indicator and on-demand operation of ancillary components join the campaign to ensure the powerful BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo boasts impressively low fuel consumption and emissions. The economy drive doesn’t stop there, either; the car still has the potential to cut fuel use by as much as another 20 per cent using ECO PRO mode and the new ECO PRO Route function.
An extensive selection of driver assistance systems and mobility solutions, offered under the BMW ConnectedDrive programme, allows the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo to set the benchmark in its segment in terms of safety, convenience and infotainment. One highlight of the range is the latest-generation full-colour Head-Up Display, which projects key information onto the windscreen in sharp resolution. Included alongside an array of other convenience and safety-enhancing assistance systems is highly effective interface technology that allows extensive use of external mobile phones and numerous Bluetooth office functions for internet-based services.
The Apps option and free BMW Connected application provide access to services such as social networks, web radio and iPhone calendar functions. Last but not least, information and office services, and travel and leisure planners using the Google Maps and Panoramio services, further increase levels of passenger comfort in the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo.