This is the new BMW 3 Series. If there were any doubts, let's clear them right away. It's longer, wider and has an improved wheelbase too. All of which has been designed to liberate more space, something the last 3 Series could have done with. Available internationally in three trim levels, Sport Line, Luxury Line and Modern Line, the new 3 Series also happens to be up to 40 kg lighter than the last car.
On the inside, the new 3 Series has a full colour head-up display, surround view with side and top view, park assist as well as BMW Connected, which connects with social networks, an emergency call system to notify emergency services and a whole host of modern technologies. As far as other technologies go, a new Start-Stop system is standard, something we have also seen on the new X3, as well as an 8-speed gearbox. Another interesting bit of tech is the Eco Pro system that allows you to choose from four different driving modes — sporty, ultra sporty, comfort and economy.
For the first time, the 3 Series will not come with a naturally aspirated six-cylinder motor. While purists may find this hard to believe, the shift comes at a time when manufacturers are working hard to reduce their average CO2 rating. A new 2.0-litre twin scroll turbo petrol motor replaces the 3.0-litre straight six. It produces a near identical 245 bhp, but it has as much as 35.4 kgm of peak torque which arrives at just 1,250 rpm. Performance of this motor is strong — 0-100 kph in just 5.9 secs. The 3-litre twin-scroll turbo with 306 bhp is identical to the outgoing car. A 2.0-litre diesel motor with 184 bhp, once again in similar spec to the one found on the X1/X3, is also offered.
BMW India will launch the car by March-April 2012, assembled at its plant in Chennai. Prices of the 3 Series may start around Rs 27 lakh and go up to Rs 34-35 lakh. We will review the new 3 Series soon and you can read all about it here in the next few weeks.