BMW teases its new 3 Series, the seventh generation of the successful BMW sports sedan, calling it “an ultimate sports sedan for the mid-range premium segment.”
BMW took its 3 Series Sedan, along with some journalists, to the legendary Nordschleife at Nürburgring, Germany, for an endurance test, designed to show off the latest drive and suspension technology used in its new models.
The camouflaged 3 Series prototypes had to face a “particularly extensive testing programme,” notes BMW, in order for the developers of the wheel suspension, steering, damping/suspension and brakes to optimise both comfort and performance.
For improved agility, steering precision and overall improved handling, the sports sedan now sits on a new chassis, with a centre of gravity 10mm lower than before, perfectly balanced 50/50 weight distribution, new axle and suspension kinematics and elastokinematics – as well as expanded track widths and increased wheel camber levels.
The new BMW 3 Series Sedan is lighter, reportedly about 55kg less than its predecessor, and has a more rigid body. It is also said to be fitted with the BMW’s “most powerful” four-cylinder engine in a series production model, though no horsepower or torque specs have been released yet.
Despite the upgrade, fuel consumption hasn’t increased, in fact, it’s said that with the eight-speed Steptronic transmission and a special filter, the figures show a 5 percent decrease – which meets with the Euro 6d-TEMP exhaust standard.
The new 3 series is the first to receive what BMW calls “lift-related dampers,” which should make those bumps in the road more bearable while retaining a “sporty flair” – the results of which could be felt at Nordschleife.
“This means the difference from the standard suspension is much more perceptible than before,” says Peter Langen, Head of Driving Dynamics. “We’ve also made the M sports suspension much sportier, with more rigid bearings and stabilisers, harder springs and additional body struts.”
There is a good chance that the “ultimate sports sedan for the mid-range premium segment” will also feature a few tech upgrades – possibly a new infotainment system and the 7 series’ gesture control.
It remains unclear when the next-generation 3 Series will be fully unveiled, although this latest demo suggests it will be soon – possibly at either the Paris or Los Angeles auto show. It will go on sale in 2019 as a 2020 model. – AFP Relaxnews