Following the existence of the 5-series Gran Turismo, BMW has rolled out the Gran Turismo version of its 3-series, signaling a widening trend of niche offering from the Bavarian carmaker. It has four doors with frameless windows, a coupe-style, gently tapering roofline and a large, automatic tailgate. An active rear spoiler provides visual lightness and reduces lift at touring speeds. The new 3-series Gran Turismo is 200 mm longer in total than the 3-series Touring, with a 110 mm longer wheelbase and stands 81 mm taller. This time around, BMW has successfully managed to soften the stretched outline, making the “3GT” look more cohesive and dynamic than the lumpy “5GT”.
The longer wheelbase meant a 70 mm of extra legroom at the back, while the raised height also translates to more headroom and enables a 59 mm raise of seating position, improving driving visibility. The increased dimension also brings more space for your trunk, which now has 520 liters of capacity with all seats up. Highlighting the practicality, the automatic tailgate provides an easier loading and unloading, while the split/folding rear seats with folding head restraints and tilt-adjustable backrests plus a two-piece parcel shelves can practically suit your daily loads similar to the Touring.
A new design trademark will be the C-shaped air outlet that is positioned on the lower side of the front wings, which will also be a standard signature of upcoming new models. The new 3-series GT can be purchased in the basic trim, the three equipment lines (Sport Line/Modern Line/Luxury Line) or the optional M-Sport Package, which will be available from July 2013 onwards.
Powering the GT will be a range of a diesel engine (with two different outputs) and two turbocharged petrols. You can have your diesel as a 143 hp/320 Nm 318d or 184 hp/380 Nm 320d. The petrol range will be the standard TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder and six-cylinder that gives you a choice of 184 hp/270 Nm 320i, 245 hp/350 Nm 328i and 306 Hp/400 Nm 335i. All engines can be connected to a choice of 6-speed manual or 8-speed ZF automatic transmission. The 3-series GT power train will also include the latest of EfficientDynamics technology that adds Auto Start-Stop function, Brake Energy Regeneration and Optimum Shift Indicator. Fuel saving measure can be aided further with the ECO PRO and the new ECO PRO Route driving mode. External aerodynamics are optimized by Air Curtains, Air Breathers and the active rear spoiler.
An extensive selection of driver assistance systems and mobility solutions are offered under the BMW ConnectedDrive program. One highlight of the range is the latest-generation full-colour Head-Up Display, which projects key information onto the windscreen in sharp resolution. Included alongside an array of other convenience and safety-enhancing assistance systems is highly effective interface technology that allows extensive use of external mobile phones and numerous Bluetooth office functions for internet-based services. The Apps option and free BMW Connected application provide access to services such as social networks, web radio and iPhone calendar functions and travel and leisure planners using the Google Maps and Panoramio services.
The 3-Series will make its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show, with sales beginning on summer 2013.