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The All-New BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo

07 Feb, 2013

The all-new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo adds an innovative new concept to the BMW 3 Series line-up. The BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is, first and foremost, a driver’s car which combines the dynamics that have earned the new 3 Series a spot on “Car and Driver’s” 10Best list for 22nd consecutive years, with luxury seating for four and generous and flexible luggage capacity. The new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo will arrive in the US, as both a 328i and a 335i, in the summer of 2013 as a 2014 model.

Typical BMW proportions, four doors with frameless windows, coupe-like profile, sloping roofline and large tailgate define the distinctive exterior character of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo. An active rear spoiler – the first on a BMW – adds to the aesthetic appeal and reduces lift at highway speeds. The new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is 7.9 inches (200mm) longer than the 3 Series Sports wagon, offers a 4.3 inch (110mm) longer wheelbase and stands 3.2 inches (81mm) taller. The clever use of proportions, surfaces and lines ensures that the 3 Series Gran Turismo is immediately recognizable as a BMW
3 Series.

Impressive long-distance comfort in a unique ambience.

Generous interior dimensions allow passengers in every seat of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo to enjoy a feeling of space and freedom of movement. The front and rear passengers all benefit from a seating position that is 2.3 inches (59 mm) higher than the sedans, which provides outstanding visibility and makes entry and exit significantly more comfortable. The BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo also offers extra headroom. The increase in space will be especially appreciated by rear seat passengers, where a full 2.8 inches (70mm) of additional legroom over the Sedan and Sports Wagon is there to be enjoyed. The cocooning nature of the interior, complemented by its design forms, color scheme and materials, creates first class ambience which allows passengers to enjoy short trips and long journeys alike in relaxed comfort.

Intelligent load area management.

The luggage compartment also reflects the car’s increased dimensions, its 18.3 cu.ft. (520 liters) of trunk space (based on European measure) outstripping that of the BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon by a full cubic foot (25 liters). The large load aperture and high-opening tailgate make access easier. Practical features – such as the 40:20:40 split/folding rear seat with folding head restraints and tilt-adjustable backrests, and the two-piece parcel shelf – underscore the functionality of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo. The large load area can be utilized in many different ways, allowing intelligent space management. Practical features such as tie-down points, multifunction hooks and an underfloor storage compartment make it even more convenient to use, while the LED strips that illuminate the cargo area emphasize the premium quality of the 3 Series Gran Turismo.

Design: Innovative, Emotional, Practical

The first impression delivered by the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo invariably centers on the striking combination of dynamic and aesthetic appeal. Attractive proportions, four doors with frameless windows, the coupe-style, gently falling roofline and large tailgate define the distinctive character it has chiseled for itself within the BMW 3 Series ranks. Powerful lines and taut surfaces sketch out an athletic body which lends the car an actively forward-surging purpose, as well as suggesting a high degree of functionality. Indeed, the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo sets new standards inside as well as out. A sense of roominess, a high seating position, generous levels of space and thoughtfully designed seal its status as unique in the premium mid-size segment.

At 189.9 inches (4,824 mm) long, 58.6 inches (1,489 mm) tall, 72.0 inches (1,828 mm) wide and with a 115.0 inch (2,920-mm) wheelbase, the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is notably larger than the Sedan and Sports Wagon variants of the 3 Series range. However, the designers’ clever use of proportions, surfaces and lines ensures that the Gran Turismo appears to cut a similarly low-slung and dynamic figure as its siblings. Its dimensions allow it to lay on impressive levels of space for passengers and their luggage, as a result of which, it passes the “long-distance comfort” test with flying colors. At 18.3 cu.ft. (520 liters) by European measure, its trunk capacity is up by about one cubic foot on the BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon, while an extra 2.8 inches (70 mm) of rear legroom place it between the BMW 5 Series and BMW 7 Series, i.e. firmly in luxury class territory.

Front view: powerful dynamics.

The eye-catching front end of the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo makes no secret of its BMW 3 Series family ties, but also brings its own individual flavor into the mix. The broad, powerful BMW kidney grille and modified front apron underline the car’s sporting character, while striking twin headlights with corona rings when xenon headlights are specified and LED accent lights form a visual unit with the slightly forward-slanting kidneys and reinforce the sense of both width and presence. The silhouette of the headlights is larger than on the Sedan. Large air intakes below the headlights emphasize the sporting character of the car, as do the aerodynamically motivated apertures for the Air Curtains. The hood, meanwhile, has smoother contours than the Sedan and Sports Wagon. The most prominent design cue remains the kidney grille, which draws the visual focus of the front end further towards the road and gives the car a lower-slung and sportier feel. Another identifying feature of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo are the “blades” set into the outer air intakes of the front apron.

Side view: elegance with a coupe-style roofline.

The link between the front and rear of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is particularly seamless. Hallmark BMW proportions and a coupe-style roofline sloping down towards the rear stretch the car’s silhouette, while powerfully taut surfaces and rising lines lend the flanks their inherent dynamic verve. The smooth transition of the roofline into the rear creates extra interior space while showcasing the car’s enviable functionality. The BMW
3 Series Gran Turismo is the brand’s first-ever model to sport an active rear spoiler. At lower speeds it retracts virtually out of sight, leaving barely a ripple in the coupe-style roofline. One feature that is most definitely visible from the side are the forward-surging kidney slats, which dart up into the hood, underlining the agile character of the Gran Turismo.

The dominant theme of the car’s flanks is the double swage line, made up of two character lines running alongside each other, which is central to the appearance of the latest BMW
3 Series. Viewed in tandem with the pronounced door sill line it strengthens the body’s dynamic wedge shape. The high-set side window graphic, which rises slightly at the Hofmeister kink, lends aesthetic emphasis to the clear forward orientation of the exterior design. New aerodynamic aids appear on the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo in the form of the Air Breathers. Located just aft of the front wheels, they are designed to reduce drag around the wheel arches. The Air Breathers team up with the Air Curtains to underline the sporting character of the car’s design and provide tangible evidence of the innovative aerodynamic solutions devised by BMW as part of its BMW EfficientDynamics development strategy.

Rear view: a powerful tail end with compelling functionality.

The rear of the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is highlighted by horizontal surfaces and lines emphasizing muscular width and unshakable roadholding. The wraparound section below the spoiler has an extremely flat appearance and visually lowers the stance of the rear. The interplay between light and shadowed surfaces generates a dynamism even when the car is stationary.

The extended rear lights, in customary BMW L-shaped design, stretch far into the sides of the car, add further presence to the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo’s powerful breadth and make the car appear lower to the road. Two integrated bars of LEDs allow a slim light design and ensure the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo’s distinctive appearance is maintained both day and night. The large tailgate showcases the versatility and functionality of the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo. It allows optimum access to the load area and, thanks to its wide, generously sized aperture, makes it easier to load and unload even bulky items.

Interior: surprising spaciousness, generous freedom of movement.

The new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo adds 7.9 inches (200 mm) to the length of the BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon and has a 4.3 inch (110-mm) longer wheelbase. The new model also stands 3.2 inch (81 mm) taller. These generous dimensions create a luxurious feeling of space for the passengers and ensure unbeatable freedom of movement in every seat. The front and rear passengers all benefit from a seating position raised by 2.3 inches (59 mm), which allows an outstanding view out and makes entry and exit significantly easier. The Gran Turismo also raises headroom another notch.

Space-loving elegance with first-class character.

Rear passengers enjoy a particularly impressive increase in space. Indeed, the Gran Turismo offers a full 2.8 inches (70 mm) of extra legroom in the rear, providing a freedom of movement normally only found in luxury-class cars. Thanks to the car’s longer wheelbase – and a reduced overlap with the rear wheel arches as a result – the full breadth of the rear seat bench can be used without restriction and three adults can be seated in comfort. This feeling of space is complemented by the design forms, color scheme and materials employed in the interior. The flowing lines of the door panels link the front and rear compartments into a single stylistic unit, while the interplay of the flat roofline and frameless windows with the cocooning character of the interior creates a spacious first class ambience in the rear compartment, and thus the ideal environment for relaxed touring.

Maximum long-distance comfort.

An array of storage compartments and other practical details helps lay on a suitably sumptuous level of long-distance comfort. A pair of cup holders are integrated into the center console, but can be swapped for an oddments tray if desired, find more options of the best car cup holder on amazon. And large door pockets front and rear can accommodate up to one liter drink bottles (750ml in the rear). The BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo can be adapted to meet changing requirements. To this end, the rear seat backrests are fitted with folding head restraints and can be split 40:20:40 as standard, allowing the load area to be increased in stages from 18.4 cu.ft. up to 56.5 cu.ft. (520–1,600 liters). Folding down only the central segment creates a large through-loading aperture that enables four people to bring several pairs of skis or snowboards on board with them. Folding down all the backrests, meanwhile, creates a slightly rising, almost level and flush-fitting load compartment floor.

Load area: large, practical and versatile.

The perceived value and functionality of the generously sized load area in the new BMW
3 Series Gran Turismo impress in equal measure. The gaping 44.0 x 24.3 inches (1,120 x 618 mm) load aperture and high-opening electric tailgate make it easier to load bulky items. Another practical feature is the cargo function for the rear seat backrests. The tilt angle of the backrests can be adjusted through 15 stages and 19 degrees and even brought into a vertical position if required. This allows the space available in the load compartment to be adapted to changing requirements, a process aided by the smooth panel surfaces of the load area’s side walls. Another example of the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo’s practical qualities is the 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. The new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is fitted with a standard electrically-operated tailgate, but the options list also includes the Smart Opener (part of the Comfort Access option), which allows the boot lid to be opened hands-free with a movement of the foot under the rear bumper.

Four tie-downs points in the load compartment floor and a multifunction hook in the left-hand side panel are on hand for securing loads, while a multifunction storage tray under the load compartment floor and a deep compartment in the left-hand side panel swallow up all kinds of small items. Also located here is a 12-volt power socket to plug in a cooler or charge electrically-powered devices. The storage package, which is standard in the US, ups the comfort rating another notch when it comes to transporting both people and loads. In addition to an array of interior features, it also comprises handy extras for the load compartment. These include a remote release function for the rear seat backrests, a gas pressure spring for the load compartment floor, a sliding retaining net on the right-hand side panel, an additional strap for holding loads in place and a variable attachment system using two rails integrated into the load compartment floor.

Typical BMW 3 Series: functional elegance in the cockpit as well.
The cockpit of the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo fits the same template as the new
3 Series Sedan and new 3 Series Sports Wagon. In customary fashion, the driver-focused layout ensures optimum access to all driving functions. Crystal clear circular instruments with a black-panel display and a freestanding iDrive monitor in contemporary flatscreen design underline the sense of functional elegance. The iDrive Controller – within easy reach on the center console – and the optionally fore-and-aft sliding/folding armrest between the front seats underscore the cabin’s usability and comfort.

Three equipment lines, each with their own individual character and M Sport.

High-quality material combinations coupled with class-leading levels of workmanship reinforce the premium ambience on board the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo. A large number of color and upholstery variants offer scope for a multitude of combinations. Customers can also choose from three additional equipment plus M Sport, all of which add individual touches to the car’s looks inside and out. Indeed, even the ignition key shares the color-coding of the equipment line specified.

Sport Line: The Sport Line adds extra depth to the
dynamic repertoire of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo with a selection of eye-catching exterior features in high-gloss black. Nine molded black kidney grille slats in a chrome-colored surround lend the front end a particularly sporty and alert look, and the forward-slanting angle of the BMW kidneys gains further visual impact. The black air intakes and likewise gleaming black Air Breathers, meanwhile, draw the eye to the car’s aerodynamics features. Optional 18-inch or 19-inch light-alloy wheels – depending on the model – in double-spoke design provide an additional dose of sportiness, while exterior mirrors and a “wraparound” window strip, B-pillars in matching paint finish and a trim strip at rear apron height add further flourishes. Inside the car, the contrast between black and red accents adds a sporty and exclusive allure that is heightened by the accent strips in the doors (also part of the Luxury and Modern Lines as well as M Sport). The standard sports seats can be specified with a choice of upholstery and colors.

Luxury Line: Discreet high-gloss chrome touches lend the exterior of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo a particularly elegant and exclusive appeal. 11 intricate kidney grille slats with chrome-colored fronts and matt black sides, two chrome blades in the front apron air intakes and chrome Air Breathers all furnish classy touches. Within the gleaming chrome window surround the black B-pillar provides a particular highlight, and special 18 and 19-inch light-alloy wheels in a multi-spoke design accentuate the elegance of the Luxury Line. The Gran Turismo Luxury Line can be identified from the rear by a stylish, high-gloss chrome strip above the rear apron and a chrome exhaust tailpipe embellisher. The interior also stands out with various chrome elements, such as the surround for the audio and air conditioning system. High-gloss wood strips and seats with distinctive stitching highlight the exclusivity of the Luxury Line.

Modern Line: High-quality chrome exterior trim elements define the cool aesthetic of the Modern Line, while the BMW kidney grille with 11 slats, the Air Breathers and the double trim strips for the air intakes continue the theme. 18 or 19-inch turbine-style light-alloy wheels lend a fresh angle to the exterior design of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo, while the light-colored dashboard coupled with a steering wheel in dark oyster create a very special ambience in the cockpit. Leather upholstery in oyster or black, and a choice of three trim surfaces with accent strips in pearl-effect chrome, ensure an appealing interplay between materials.

M Sport: Optional M Sport line gives the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo a shot of adrenaline that spreads beyond its exterior and interior design. As well as the all-new aerodynamic package, including numerous body components (front apron with large air intake, rear bumper with diffuser, side skirts), and the BMW Individual High-gloss Shadow Line trim, the optional exterior color Estoril Blue metallic ensures an unmistakably sporty appearance and unbeatable road presence– an effect underpinned by 18 or 19-inch light-alloy wheels in hallmark M design. Inside the car, features such as M door sill finishers, an M leather steering wheel and an M driver’s footrest shape the sporty yet elegance ambience. The driver and front passenger can settle into sports seats. Technical features of this package include lowered M Sport suspension and enhanced aerodynamics.

Exterior colors and wheels: The spectrum of colors available for the new BMW
3 Series Gran Turismo takes its cues from the BMW 3 Series Sedan and ranges from elegant and classic to modern and expressive. Customers can choose from a total of 12 paint finishes, irrespective of the equipment line specified, including intense color shades, an array of metallic options and a broad spread of classic tones. The Kalahari Beige metallic, Midnight Blue metallic and Sparkling Brown metallic shades are reserved exclusively for the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo.

BMW 328i Gran Turismo: 4-cylinder gasoline engine with TwinPower Turbo technology sets the benchmark for dynamics and efficiency.

The state-of-the-art, lively 2.0-litre engine marks a return to the 3 Series roots – it was with lightweight, high-performance 4-cylinder engines in a similar vein that the BMW 3 Series made its debut back in 1975. The significant upgrade in power and efficiency is chiefly down to the use of BMW TwinPower Turbo technology, which combines High Precision Direct Petrol Injection, Double-Vanos variable camshaft timing and Valvetronic variable valve timing along with twin-scroll turbocharging. On the new-generation 4-cylinder engine, this world-exclusive technology package from BMW again provides a very efficient way to extract more power from the engine, rather than taking the route of a much larger displacement and, in the process, adding to the weight and therefore to fuel consumption. This explains why the more dynamic performance and driving enjoyment does not come at the expense of higher fuel consumption and emissions.

The new BMW TwinPower Turbo 4-cylinder’s displacement of 1,997 cc delivers maximum power of 180 kW/ 240 hp at 5,000 rpm while, thanks to twin-scroll turbocharging, the maximum torque of 255 lb-ft is developed at just 1,250 rpm and remains constant up to 4,800 rpm. These statistics translate to commensurately dynamic performance. The engine responds instantly when the driver demands more throttle, and the vigorous and almost linear power delivery from

About the author

Ryan Jones

Ryan works to strategically plan the company’s direction; in addition to serving as editor-in-chief. Raised in Montreal, Canada, Jones grew up in an automotive family as a second generation car fanatic, his father being a former ISCA competitor (1950 Mercury). As the apple did not fall far from the tree , Jones has worked on numerous show cars including his own Honda Civic which has been honored with a variety of trophies. In addition to IntunedOnline, Ryan has worked in account and operations management supporting and a variety of Fortune 500 clients.

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