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Published on April 17th, 2013 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


BMW 3-Series GT test drive_The Gran Turismo (GT).

The 3-Series GT is set to ignite interest in all Malaysian BMW showrooms when it arrives in a few months. Unlike the BMW 5-Series GT which produced little excitement, this all new 3-Series variant will see more showroom action. Why? Well let us explain further.

The GT does not use all of the current 3-Series sedan parts. In fact at 4,824 millimetres long, 1,489 millimetres tall, 1,828 millimetres wide and with a 2,920-millimetre wheelbase, this new BMW 3-Series Gran Turismo is notably larger all round than the sedan. This GT fuses the dynamic sporting attributes of the 3-Series sedan with the practicality and versatility of the 3-Series Touring, and backs these qualities up with an increase in space and passenger comfort.

At 520 litres, its boot capacity is up 25 litres on the 3-Series station wagon and offers an extra 70 millimetres of rear legroom place. This BMW 3-Series GT is the brand’s first car to be fitted with an active rear spoiler, which extends automatically once the car reaches 110 km/h 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, the spoiler automatically retracts back almost invisibly. If required, the rear spoiler can be extended and retracted manually using a button in the driver’s door control panel.

This 3 GT comes with more rear legroom with a full 70 millimetres of extra rear passenger space. Taking the rest of the cabin fitment from the 3-Series sedan the 3 GT comes with a driver-focused layout that ensures optimum access to all driving functions. A new feature has been added in the rear. There is a 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. There is also fitted as standard a button-controlled electric tailgate activation. The remote release function for the rear seat backrests that split 40:20:40 opens up the luggage area to in stages from 520 up to 1,600 litres.

Customers can choose from a selection of five torquey, refined and economical engines from the launch of the new BMW 3-Series Gran Turismo, all of which work with the latest BMW TwinPower Turbo technology. The range-topping six-cylinder petrol engine under the bonnet of the BMW 335i Gran Turismo is joined by the state-of-the-art 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. The power is sent to the rear wheels via an 8-speed automatic which is linked up with the fuel-saving Auto Start-Stop function.

BMW have never failed to deliver driving dynamics to their cars and more so with the 3-Series range. On our test drive with the 335i there was never a lack of handling or power delivery. Playing a key role here 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, torque steer-free Electric Power Steering, finely-balanced axle load distribution (50:50) and a torsionally stiff lightweight body. With this new 3-Series Gran Turismo the engineers have succeeded in achieving both outstanding handling properties and a high degree of agility and precision.

There will be some confusion for BMW buyers when they see this car for the 1st time in the showroom. Some might take it as a ‘crossover’, or small SUV and others might consider it as a sport wagon. Still, it could work for all segments mentioned above and as a real touring sedan for Malaysians looking for a bigger lifestyle car without compromising on drive dynamics.

BMW 328i GT Specifications:
Engine: 2L Twin Scroll Turbo
Displacement:  1997cc
Transmission:  8-speed
Max power: 245bhp @ 5000rpm
Max torque: 350Nm @ 1250-4800rpm
Top Speed: 250km/h 
0-100km/h: 6.1secs
Price: TBA

BMW 335i GT Specifications:
Engine: 2L Twin Scroll Turbo
Displacement:  2979cc
Transmission:  8-speed
Max power: 306bhp @ 5800rpm
Max torque: 400Nm @ 1200-5000rpm
Top Speed: 250km/h 
0-100km/h: 5.7secs
Price: TBA

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