It seems as if BMW thinks it’s impossible to have too many variants of its models, even though some other manufacturers are now keeping things much simpler these days. Then again, when you have a model in your lineup as renowned and important as the standard-setting 3 Series, it probably makes sense to squeeze as much out of it as possible.
And now reports and spy shots suggest that BMW is doing just that with the next generation of the compact sedan, which appears set to get an even greater focus on its performance qualities with more M-division tweaked versions than ever before.
Despite the unstoppable popularity of crossovers and no lack of them in the current BMW portfolio, the 3 Series remains the German automaker’s best-selling model. Its continuing popularity is largely down to the way it drives and handles thanks to its classic rear-wheel drive format and powerful engines.
It’s been revealed the new seventh-generation of the 3 Series will take the model’s driver-focused personality to new levels. And the first variant appears to be a rear-wheel drive M340i M Performance with a 268kW version of the company’s 3.0-litre twin-scroll turbocharged engine under the hood. After that comes an M340d xDrive M Performance, and this one will feature a 239kW take on the 3.0-litre inline-six turbodiesel.
These M Performance models mirror the strategy already employed with the latest 5 Series, which has this type of model bridging the gap between standard models and the range-topping M5 sedan. The idea is that the new M Performance derivatives would directly take on the likes of the Audi S4 quattro and the Mercedes-AMG C43 4Matic all-wheel drive performance models.
As well as the additional performance over and above the standard models, they would also come with their own unique styling cues, chassis tuning, as well as some relatively high levels of standard features and equipment. Unsurprisingly, these models will also form the basis of the 4 Series two-door coupe models that will follow in 2020, but the new 3 Series will arrive first as a 2019 model. – AFP Relaxnews