In the space of just three years, the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo has established itself as a standalone character within the BMW 3 Series family. It brings together the sporting attributes of the 3 Series Saloon, with the elegance of the 4 Series Coupé, and the functionality and versatility of the 3 Series Touring.
Wth the new 3 Series Gran Turismo, the development engineers have given particular focus to enhancing its sporting potency and enhancing quality. The engine range now consists entirely of power units from the new modular family of BMW engines, offering more performance for less emissions and fuel consumption. Inside and out the new 3 Series GT has also benefitted from carefully crafted enhancements both visually and to its functionality.
The successful underlying concept, however, has remained untouched: ease of entry, a slightly raised seating position with outstanding all-round visibility and a sense of spaciousness are key qualities, along with more room in the rear compartment. Here, customers can expect three full-size seats and – thanks to a longer wheelbase – the legroom of a luxury saloon. Then there is the boot behind the large, electrically operated tailgate (fitted as standard), whose capacity and variability exceed even the Touring model.
Engine: High power, low fuel consumption with BMW EfficientDynamics
The new generation of engines in the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo are notable for combining performance with efficiency; all engines are now turbocharged. The line-up comprises three brand new petrol units and five diesel engines. All the petrol models and two of the diesels (320d, 330d) are available with the option of BMW xDrive, while the BMW 335d Gran Turismo comes with the all-wheel-drive system as standard.
Further improved manual and automatic transmissions, the Auto Start Stop function, Brake Energy Regeneration, on-demand operation of ancillary units and the ECO PRO mode also help to ensure the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo delivers all the sporting and dynamic qualities for which the brand is renowned, but still manages to return lower fuel consumption and emissions than anything else in its class.
All the petrol and diesel engines now come from the newly developed modular BMW EfficientDynamics engine family, and feature the very latest BMW TwinPower Turbo technology. The petrol engines are new to the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo, while the four-cylinder diesels have all been available since the introduction of the new engine generation in summer 2015.
These new engines share a standardised design principle, with a displacement per cylinder of 500 cubic centimetres, an in-line cylinder arrangement and an extremely lightweight, thermodynamically optimised all-aluminium construction. The crankcase is remarkably rigid due to its closed-deck design, which means that the cylinder water jacket is closed at the top. In addition, thermally joined, high-strength cylinder walls with a twin-wire, arc-sprayed coating save weight and reduce internal friction. The very short warm-up phase for all engines furthermore results in a significant fuel saving.
All the four-cylinder power units have balancer shafts for smooth operation throughout the rev range. The modular nature of this engine family is also reflected in the standardised interfaces for the engine mounts and the connections to the cooling circuit, the intake and exhaust systems, as well as the heating and air conditioning systems.
The petrol engines employ a turbocharger integrated in the exhaust manifold. This means the exhaust gases only have a very short distance to travel to the turbocharger system, providing immediate throttle response. The switch from direct to indirect charge air cooling means even sharper responsiveness, as the compact design with a far smaller volume and reduced pressure loss within the intercooler enable boost pressure to build up faster.
The SYNTAK (Synergy Thermoacoustic Capsule) technology in the four-cylinder petrol engines brings about a further reduction in fuel consumption. This innovative new encapsulation technique allows the engine to cool down more slowly, maintain a much higher temperature for up to 36 hours and endure fewer cold starts as a result. SYNTAK has the additional benefit of enhancing comfort by reducing engine noise and enabling the heating system to reach its target temperature more quickly. The close-coupled catalytic converter and electrically operated boost pressure control valve (wastegate) serve to lower the petrol engines’ emissions still further.
Every new BMW EfficientDynamics engine is equipped with the latest generation of BMW TwinPower Turbo technology. For the petrol engines, this comprises TwinScroll turbocharging, High Precision Direct Injection and Double-VANOS variable camshaft timing, plus the benefits of Valvetronic fully variable valve timing. The power outputs for the petrol engine range from 184hp (320i) to 326hp (340i), with fuel consumption and C02 emissions as 48.7mpg and 132g/km (320i). Both the 330i and 340i feature a top speed electronically limited to 155mph.
All feature variable turbine geometry and latest-generation common-rail direct injection, whose maximum injection pressures of up to 2,000 bar are particularly effective in reducing fuel consumption and emissions. The standout efficiency star is the 318d, which achieves up to 65.7mpg and emits just 112g/km of C02, despite comfortably dipping below 10 seconds for the zero to 62mph sprint. At the opposite end of the range, the 313hp 335d xDrive can reach 62mph from rest in under five seconds, but still exceeds 50mpg on the combined cycle.
Transmissions: six-speed manual and eight-speed Steptronic
The BMW 320i Gran Turismo, 318d Gran Turismo and 320d Gran Turismo are equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard – in both rear-wheel drive and optional BMW xDrive all-wheel-drive forms. The manual transmission features a dual-mass flywheel with centrifugal pendulum absorbers, which counteracts uneven running even in high-torque engine variants, enabling the driver to shift up smoothly at low rev speeds and thereby enabling a further reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The six-speed manual transmission also features engagement speed control, meaning that the engine revs are automatically adjusted to the engagement speed for the next gear when changing up or down.
Customers can also specify the abovementioned models with the revised eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission as an option, while the remaining engine variants in the range are fitted with Steptronic as standard. The Steptronic transmission’s improved efficiency, wider gear ratio spread and reduced torque converter slip during gear shifts cut fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by three per cent, while more effective compensation of imbalances results in greater ride comfort and smoother shifting.
Sport+ mode now allows the driver to push the engine all the way up to the rev limiter and to perform multiple downshifts, for instance from eighth gear straight to fourth. And for those seeking an even greater sense of driving involvement, the eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission – featuring steering wheel paddle shifters – can also be specified.
BMW xDrive combines the customary advantages of all-wheel drive, such as optimum power transmission to the road, supreme handling safety and maximum traction (in wintry driving conditions, for example) with the agile and precise driving qualities customers expect from BMW cars. BMW xDrive reduces understeer and oversteer effectively when cornering. And it also enhances handling dynamics when turning into or powering out of corners – even tight hairpins.
The new BMW 3 Series Gran Tourismo goes on sale from July 2016, with prices starting from £30,405 OTR.
|Model||Power Hp||Torque Nm||0 – 62mph Seconds||Top Speed Mph||Combined Mpg||CO 2Emissions g/km||OTR Price|
|BMW 320i||184||290 (270)||11.7 (11.9)||143 (142)||46.3 (48.7)||139 (132)||£30,405|
|BMW 320i xDrive||184||270||8.1 (8.4)||141 (139)||42.2 (-44.8)||154 (144)||£31,945|
|BMW 318d||150||236||9.3 (9.2)||131||62.8 (65.7)||117 (112)||£31,820|
|BMW 320d||190||295||7.8 (7.7)||143 (140)||61.4 (65.7)||120 (113)||£32,920|
|BMW 320d xDrive||190||295||8.9 (?)||143 (140)||58.9 (62.8)||126 (119)||£36,070|
|BMW 330d xDrive||258||560||5.4||155*||52.3||142||£41,765|
|BMW 335d xDrive||313||630||4.9||155*||50.4||148||£43,415|