Today BMW released information on their latest 3 Series range, which carries the model designation F30. Initially available as a 4 door saloon with 4 engine choices, the range is sure to be expanded with more diesel and petrol engine choices, all-wheel drive variants, and of course, the obligatory station wagon (likely to still be called Touring), coupé and convertible versions, as well as the usual raft of powerful M-badged range-toppers.
Size-wise, the new 3 Series is longer, narrower and taller than the E90 3 Series it replaces. Overall length is 4624 mm (+93 mm), wheelbase is 2810 mm (+50 mm), width is 1811 mm (-6 mm) and height is 1429 mm (+8 mm). Despite this, BMW claims that the kerb weight across the range is lower by about 40 kg. Looking at the BMW 320d EfficientDynamics - the most aerodynamic of the 3 Series range - the coefficient of drag drops to 0.26 (from 0.27) but the frontal area rises from 2.17 m² to 2.20 m². Overall it means a reduction in CdA (which is the product of the drag coefficient and the frontal area) to 0.572 m².
The 320d EfficientDynamics, 320d and 335i saloons all have engines from the outgoing range, but the 328i is a new designation in some European markets, and is fitted with an engine that is new to the 3 Series family. This engine features the turbocharged 2 litre 4 pot currently found in the BMW Z4 sDrive28i and the latest BMW 528i. All engine variants can be ordered with either a 6-speed manual or an 8-speed automatic gearbox. Ventilated discs all round provide stopping power, and steering is courtesy of an electrically-assisted rack & pinion setup.
Since writing this, 3 new model variants have come to light. They are the BMW 316d, BMW 318d and BMW 320i. The two diesel models produce 116 PS (85 kW) and 143 PS (103 kW) respectively, and the petrol model has 135 kW (184 PS). All 3 of them are also available with the 8 speed automatic transmission as an option.
The 3 new engine variants: