BMW’s marketing machine continues to pull forward and today, we have new information regarding the next generation BMW 3 Series which will be launched in 2012.While the details have been very sketchy up to this point, we’re glad to see that BMW decided to satisfy our curiosity by releasing some general details.
Beside learning more about the new 3 Series design, we also get a quick introduction of the 3 Series Gran Turismo model as well, a vehicle that will follow the 5 Series GT and the upcoming 1er GT.
Courtesy of Scott27 from GCZ:
“The proportions of a typical 3er, evident since the E36 through to the E46 and currently the E90 will remain meaning squat proportions, short rear overhang and wheels placed to each corner. The overall look is more slimmer and more toned than the E90.
Not the actual car – An artist rendering
The typical BMW glasshouse remains with the new design link of a shadow hoffmeister kick as featured on the 7er and X1 being featured on the car this time wrapping around the rear door quarterlight and forming a surface line not cut into the body to form the shoulder line of the car where the door handles will meet this follows through to the front of the car where it is broken up by the front wheel arch and then continues to meet the front headlight unit. The rear flanks from the rear light towards the rear door are left with a subtle line which links to the shape of the rear lights and the bootlid sculpture.
The front of the car receives a widened but not too large kidney grille , smaller than the F10 5er with shapely lighting units surround the grille. design sculpture under the lighting units is less prominent than featured on the Z4 under each headlight unit there is a semi circle shape which in the center allows for a V shaped opening where the kidney grille is placed.
The rear of the car offers a typical BMW layout with the classic L shape lighting units the larger part of the L shaped lights that sits on the corner and wraps around the rear of the car dips at the lower edge this allows for the rear bumper scoop that signifies the tailgate is flush design wise with the dip form of the rear lighting units.
The Coupe and Cabrio models will again take on a different appearance from the Sedan and Touring. Again the front and rear appearance will separate from the sedan with unique shaped lighting units and design sculpture.
The Cabrio will retain the folding hardtop as BMW have found the E93 to be the most successful 3er cabrio since the E30 when a proper BMW cabrio was introduced (not counting the baur models.) Customers also like how the hardtop E93 has successful retained a coherent design instead of sitting under the A-pillar or having the rear end raised to accommodate the roof (Lexus – take note). Although next time around the 3er Roof will get lighter possibly using aluminum , but it will retain the identity and join the future BMW 6er and the current Z4 Roadster with folding hardtops for their premium image.
The 3er Gran Turismo is borne out of the idea of reintroducing a highly sporting individual model. Internally named as “Progressive Activity Coupe” the 3er Gt takes it form as a substitute to a coupe or Touring.
A 3er Coupe might not have the flexibility of a Touring for a customer who like the 3er Coupe but is deemed to be impractical , to the same of the 3er Touring or a BMW X3 for their characteristics.
BMW 3er Gran Turismo is a solution for those who want more character with a coupe or indeed a Touring. Less niche than the BMW 5er Gran Turismo, BMW aim to position the 3er as a sporting alternative to the Touring or indeed the X3. The 3er Gran Turismo takes a traditional 3er shape but the roof slopes back towards the rear of the car giving it a very raked shooting brake but lower than a Touring rear end. The rear windshield will be shorter although it will wrap around the rear of the car for added visibility , not too much though , instead of a larger side window like a touring the 3er GT will inherit a smaller quarterlight.
The interior although based on the 3er will feature some exclusive GT alterations such as a shelf like dash , and a more raked central console.
BMW 3er Gran Turismo will be an excellent addition to the sports sedan/wagon segment it will be unique and more individual than the conventional Touring.
Like the 1er , The new 3er will take advantage of the new modular platform, again this allows BMW to spin off extra models , make savings in costs and enable production to very efficient.
BMW will also enable the next 3er to feature the very latest in Efficient Dynamics technologies – like the 1er there will be an active hybrid model using a range extended 3 cylinder engine connected to an electric motor as well as lightweight resistance tires , aerodynamically designed alloy wheels , BMW active aerodynamics , solar roof panel for extra energy efficiency in the use of interior controls , Brake energy regeneration , stop start technology , pre-heating technology for the engine, gearbox and differential.”