Cars

7th generation BMW 3 Series is larger in dimensions and tech

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The BMW 3 Series is an important car not just for the brand but also for the automotive industry. Over 15 million units have been sold worldwide and as BMW says, it is the heartbeat of the brand. The 7th generation model has made its debut at the 2018 Paris Motor Show.

Based on the same Cluster Architecture (CLAR) as the latest BMW models, the new 3 Series has grown in dimensions. Speaking of which, the car measures 4,709 mm long (+76 mm), 1,827 mm wide (+16 mm) and 1,442 mm tall (+1 mm). Wheelbase is also up by 41 mm and now measures 2,851 mm.

The photos here mostly feature the M Sport and Sport Line (White) variants. As for the design highlights, the kidney grille is now combined by a single chrome surround. The two-way split for the headlamps is emphasized by a notch that flows down to the bumper.

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As for the headlamps, full-LEDs come as standard while the buyers can opt for Laserlight Adaptive LEDs with a range of around 530 metres. Both the optional LED front fog lamps and the Air Curtains are integrated into the outer air intakes, which take the form of a horizontal T shape.

The side profile get a pair of character lines and a side skirt contour. The trailing edge of the side window with its Hofmeister kink design is now integrated into the C-pillar.

At the rear, the three-dimensional tail lamps are reminiscent of the new 8 Series models. The top section of the tail lamps which include the reverse lamps are darkened, giving the car a sporty rear-end. Rounding off the rear profile is a tastefully-styled bumper and twin tail pipes.

BMW says that the new design has resulted in a drag coefficient of just 0.23 Cd. Weight is down by around 55 kg depending on the model, and the body rigidity is up by 50%. Weight distribution is a perfect 50:50. The model featured here rides on 19-inch light-alloy wheels.

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The fresh interiors feature the optional BMW Live Cockpit Professional that we’ve already seen in the new X5 and the new Z4. It comprises of 12.3-inch instrument cluster and 10.25-inch display. Other features include three-zone automatic climate control, windscreen fitted with acoustic glass, auxiliary heating and Harman Kardon sound system. Options list includes Head-Up display, wireless charging, glass roof, and acoustic glass for side windows as well.

Buyers can also opt for BMW Digital Key for accessing the car and starting the engine via smartphone.

There is also an Intelligent Personal Assistant which responds to “Hey BMW” or can also be given a name. The technology assists the driver by answering questions regarding the vehicle and can also perform certain tasks by learning the driver’s usage pattern.

Boot space measures 480 litres. A 40:20:40 split-folding rear backrest is part of standard specification, while automatic boot lid operation and a trailer coupling that can be extended and retracted again electrically are both options. Buyers can also opt for Comfort Access, which now has a new sensor system, allowing the car to be locked and unlocked automatically and also includes hands-free opening of the boot lid.

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Which brings us to the business end. Three engines will be available at launch. 4-cylinder petrol models (1,998 cc), 4-cylinder diesels (1,995 cc), plus a 2,993 cc 6-cylinder diesel unit – with outputs ranging from 110 kW/150 hp to 195 kW/265 hp.

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As we can see in one of the pictures here, a plug-in hybrid 330e will also be added to the range at a later date.

All-wheel drive will be available in the 320d xDrive. The 320i, 330i, 320d xDrive, 330d are paired to an 8-speed Steptronic automatic transmission, while the 318d and 320d (RWD) get a 6-speed manual. However, buyers can opt for the 8-speed automatic.

The 330d can sprint from 0-100 km/h in 5.5 seconds and onto a top speed of 250 km/h.

M Sport differential is optional for the 330i and 330d in combination with the M Sport suspension or Adaptive M suspension. According to BMW, the electronically controlled, full-variable locking function in the rear differential enhances traction, agility, stability and cornering dynamics. Also in the options list are variable sport steering and M Sport brakes.

Assistance and Safety
Collision and Pedestrian Warning with Braking function, plus Lane Departure Warning system are standard. Optional Driving Assistant Professional comprises systems including Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function, Steering and lane control assistant (which helps guide the car through narrow channels), Lane Change Warning system, side collision protection, evasion aid, Cross-Traffic Alert, Priority warning and Wrong-way warning systems.

More options include Parking Assistant which includes Reversing Assistant and rear view camera, and Park Distance Control and 360-degree cameras.

Market launch from 9 March 2019.

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