InsideLine just published the first driving review of the new 2012 BMW 3 Series. BMWBLOG team will also attend the international media launch event and we will bring you live impressions of the top-seller BMW.
In the mean time, let’s see how InsideLine rates the F30 3 Series.
Doesn’t Feel Like a Four
The odd thing is, it doesn’t feel like a torque monster in normal driving. A lot of turbo motors nowadays have similarly flat torque curves and yet offer flat performance. The 2012 BMW 328i offers a drive that starts strongly and just gets stronger. It’s not perfectly linear, like a naturally aspirated six, but it’s a big step in the right direction.
The horsepower peak has its own flat line, arriving at 5,000 revs and sticking around until 6,500. It revs higher than that, though, fizzing all the way out to around 6,800, but the truth is the last 400 revs or so are just for show.
The noise isn’t as pure as a six, but it’s very good and maintains its composure beautifully until very near redline. It’s quiet from idle until you ask it for everything, then its note gains some strength until it gets an angry growl at around 3,800 rpm. From there it just gets angrier until well into the sixes.
Still a Proper Sport Sedan
The chassis is easily the highlight of the car, and that’s partly because of the damper control system, but mostly because the car is 88 pounds lighter, has a longer wheelbase and runs a 50:50 front-to-rear weight distribution. It steals what is already an impressive show by being so nimble and light on its feet that it feels like a featherweight when you want it to dance. It’s a chassis that overachieves, one that might have been saved up for the next Z4, but here it is beneath BMW’s stock in trade.
Arrive at a corner carrying far too much speed and the 2012 BMW 328i’s steering lightens for a moment to tell you it’s understeering. From there it waits for the tires to scrub off enough speed and then coyly sneaks in toward the apex. It’s the same trick when the back end starts to slide as the 328i breaks free so diplomatically that you think the proactive steering input is your reactive idea. From there it just straightens up and drives hard out of the corner.