Published on June 1st, 2016 | by Subhash Nair0
The new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo
BMW is preparing to launch the latest BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo in time for the start of summer. Blending the elegance of a coupe with the spaciousness of a luxury sedan and the boot capacity of a station wagon, the 3 Series Gran Turismo has developed into a firm fixture of the mid-size class over the last three years. Its biggest sales markets are China, Germany and the USA, and the majority of BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo customers are new to the BMW brand. The new version of the Gran Turismo cuts a visibly sportier figure, and the three petrol and five diesel engines in the range offer noticeably higher output. All the engines are turbocharged and burn up to 14 per cent less fuel. The interior, meanwhile, impresses with its high-quality materials, the new user interface for the Navigation system Professional (taken from BMW’s luxury-class cars) and even better smartphone connectivity.
At 4,824 millimetres in length, the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is around 200 millimetres longer than the other members of the BMW 3 Series family. And that takes it close to luxury-class territory. The design of the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo, which has been sculpted to visibly greater dynamic effect at both the front and rear, heightens the impression of class. The new, standard-fitted LED headlights for dipped and high beam and the LED front foglamps lend the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo a more sporting appearance. The car has a visually broader stance on the road. And the combination of updated LED rear lights and more zestful lines brings extra brawn to the rear styling.
The interior of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo has an even more sophisticated feel, thanks to upgraded materials and accents. Extra chrome around the interior controls, and new decorative wood elements, colours and leather trim variants take perceived quality to another new level, while the interior’s haptic and ergonomic attributes have also been further enhanced. Sportiness coupled with the elegance of a coupe, the comfort and convenience of four doors, a seating position raised by 59 millimetres with excellent all-round visibility, and a generous feeling of space have always been key reasons to purchase a BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo. The space argument is particularly persuasive in the rear compartment, where three full-size seats and legroom more familiar from a luxury sedan – courtesy of a wheelbase lengthened by 110 millimetres (now 2,920 millimetres) – await. The large tailgate, meanwhile, opens to reveal a boot offering 520 to 1,600 litres of load space and allowing extremely varied use.
The latest version of the BMW Navigation system Professional will now also be offered in the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo – the first time a mid-size model has been available with the upgraded system. The most important menu items are now displayed in a clear, tile-based style, which makes operating the system even more intuitive. Linking up mobile phones has become more convenient, as smartphones can now also be charged and connected to the car’s external aerial wirelessly via an inductive tray.
The new generation of engines available for the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo offer compelling levels of sports performance, agility and economy. The range consists of three all-new petrol units developing 184 hp to 326 hp and five diesel variants producing 150 hp to 313 hp – with classical rear-wheel drive or BMW xDrive all-wheel drive, with manual or Steptronic automatic transmission. All the four- and six-cylinder petrol engines and four-cylinder diesels are taken from the newly developed, modular BMW EfficientDynamics engine family and enjoy the benefits of cutting-edge BMW TwinPower Turbo technology.
The arrival of the updated BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo sees the new petrol engines slotting into this model’s line-up as well. An all-new addition to the diesel ranks, meanwhile, is the BMW 325d Gran Turismo. The other four-cylinder diesels have been available to customers since the launch of the new engine generation in summer 2015.
Considerable efficiency gains have been made with the new engines, despite their increased output. The reductions in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions range from 4.5 per cent in the BMW 318d Gran Turismo to 13,8 per cent for the BMW 320d Gran Turismo. And further improved manual and automatic transmissions, the Auto Start Stop function, Brake Energy Regeneration, on-demand operation of ancillary units and the ECO PRO mode also help the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo to set the benchmark for fuel economy and emissions.
The BMW 320i Gran Turismo, 318d Gran Turismo and 320d Gran Turismo come as standard with the six-speed manual gearbox, but can also be ordered with the eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission as an option. All other engine variants feature the automatic as standard. And that means three more variants of the car (the BMW 330i Gran Turismo, BMW 340i Gran Turismo and BMW 325d Gran Turismo) are offered exclusively with the efficient Steptronic unit than was the case with the outgoing model. Improvements in efficiency, an increase in ratio spread and a reduction in converter slip during the gear-change process bring about a three per cent drop in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. At the same time, customers can expect both driving comfort and shift comfort to be heading in the opposite direction.