In July 2015, the BMW 3 Series celebrated its 40th anniversary. Over these four decades, the 3 Series was and still is the bread and butter of BMW, celebrated many achievements while offering drivers the same exciting experience over and over again. Even today, the 3er is regarded as the best car in its class and that’s definitely not a coincidence.
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The Munich-based company is celebrating yet another milestone this year, with four different concepts showing us what the future will look like from their perspective. And yet, the 3 Series is the one model that’s associated the most with the brand and offers great performance for its pricing. To tip their hats at the best selling car in their portfolio, the Bavarians recently put out a 30-second video showcasing how the sporty sedan evolved over the years.
We salute their effort, as the 3 Series platform has been paving the road for cars in its segment ever since its conception. In 1977, two years after the launch of the model range, the BMW 3 Series became the first car in its class to be available with six-cylinder engines. Back in 1984, the 325e was the first car in its segment to focus more on efficiency rather than straight out performance. It was, if you will, the first EfficientDynamics model wearing the blue and white badge, a response to the oil crisis the world was facing, with an engine that aimed to offer you a longer driving range without compromising driving dynamics.
In 1985 the BMW 3 Series became the brand’s first series-produced car to channel its power to the road through all four wheels, previewing what would later become the intelligent all-wheel drive system known today as xDrive. Furthermore, in the same year, the first diesel 3 Series was introduced in the shape of the 324d model. Little did the engineers know back then that diesels would become the weapon of choice for most of the customers in Europe some 30 years later.
Even today, the 3 Series remains the best handling model in its class. Considering the challengers it’s facing today from Mercedes-Benz, Audi and, more recently, Cadillac, Lexus and Jaguar, this was no easy feat to reach.