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The all-new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo adds an innovative new concept to the BMW 3 Series line-up. The BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is, first and foremost, a driver's car which combines the dynamics that have earned the new 3 Series a spot on "Car and Driver's" 10Best list for 22nd consecutive years, with luxury seating for four and generous and flexible luggage capacity. The new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo will arrive in the US, as both a 328i and a 335i, in the summer of 2013 as a 2014 model.
Typical BMW proportions, four doors with frameless windows, coupe-like profile, sloping roofline and large tailgate define the distinctive exterior character of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo. An active rear spoiler - the first on a BMW - adds to the aesthetic appeal and reduces lift at highway speeds. The new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is 7.9 inches (200mm) longer than the 3 Series Sports wagon, offers a 4.3 inch (110mm) longer wheelbase and stands 3.2 inches (81mm) taller. The clever use of proportions, surfaces and lines ensures that the 3 Series Gran Turismo is immediately recognizable as a BMW 3 Series.
Generous interior dimensions allow passengers in every seat of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo to enjoy a feeling of space and freedom of movement. The front and rear passengers all benefit from a seating position that is 2.3 inches (59 mm) higher than the sedans, which provides outstanding visibility and makes entry and exit significantly more comfortable. The BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo also offers extra headroom. The increase in space will be especially appreciated by rear seat passengers, where a full 2.8 inches (70mm) of additional legroom over the Sedan and Sports Wagon is there to be enjoyed. The cocooning nature of the interior, complemented by its design forms, color scheme and materials, creates first class ambience which allows passengers to enjoy short trips and long journeys alike in relaxed comfort.
The luggage compartment also reflects the car's increased dimensions, its 18.3 cu.ft. (520 liters) of trunk space (based on European measure) outstripping that of the BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon by a full cubic foot (25 liters). The large load aperture and high-opening tailgate make access easier. Practical features - such as the 40:20:40 split/folding rear seat with folding head restraints and tilt-adjustable backrests, and the two-piece parcel shelf - underscore the functionality of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo. The large load area can be utilized in many different ways, allowing intelligent space management. Practical features such as tie-down points, multifunction hooks and an underfloor storage compartment make it even more convenient to use, while the LED strips that illuminate the cargo area emphasize the premium quality of the 3 Series Gran Turismo.
The first impression delivered by the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo invariably centers on the striking combination of dynamic and aesthetic appeal. Attractive proportions, four doors with frameless windows, the coupe-style, gently falling roofline and large tailgate define the distinctive character it has chiseled for itself within the BMW 3 Series ranks. Powerful lines and taut surfaces sketch out an athletic body which lends the car an actively forward-surging purpose, as well as suggesting a high degree of functionality. Indeed, the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo sets new standards inside as well as out. A sense of roominess, a high seating position, generous levels of space and thoughtfully designed seal its status as unique in the premium mid-size segment.
At 189.9 inches (4,824 mm) long, 58.6 inches (1,489 mm) tall, 72.0 inches (1,828 mm) wide and with a 115.0 inch (2,920-mm) wheelbase, the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is notably larger than the Sedan and Sports Wagon variants of the 3 Series range. However, the designers' clever use of proportions, surfaces and lines ensures that the Gran Turismo appears to cut a similarly low-slung and dynamic figure as its siblings. Its dimensions allow it to lay on impressive levels of space for passengers and their luggage, as a result of which, it passes the "long-distance comfort" test with flying colors. At 18.3 cu.ft. (520 liters) by European measure, its trunk capacity is up by about one cubic foot on the BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon, while an extra 2.8 inches (70 mm) of rear legroom place it between the BMW 5 Series and BMW 7 Series, i.e. firmly in luxury class territory.
The eye-catching front end of the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo makes no secret of its BMW 3 Series family ties, but also brings its own individual flavor into the mix. The broad, powerful BMW kidney grille and modified front apron underline the car's sporting character, while striking twin headlights with corona rings when xenon headlights are specified and LED accent lights form a visual unit with the slightly forward-slanting kidneys and reinforce the sense of both width and presence. The silhouette of the headlights is larger than on the Sedan. Large air intakes below the headlights emphasize the sporting character of the car, as do the aerodynamically motivated apertures for the Air Curtains. The hood, meanwhile, has smoother contours than the Sedan and Sports Wagon. The most prominent design cue remains the kidney grille, which draws the visual focus of the front end further towards the road and gives the car a lower-slung and sportier feel. Another identifying feature of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo are the "blades" set into the outer air intakes of the front apron.
The link between the front and rear of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is particularly seamless. Hallmark BMW proportions and a coupe-style roofline sloping down towards the rear stretch the car's silhouette, while powerfully taut surfaces and rising lines lend the flanks their inherent dynamic verve. The smooth transition of the roofline into the rear creates extra interior space while showcasing the car's enviable functionality. The BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is the brand's first-ever model to sport an active rear spoiler. At lower speeds it retracts virtually out of sight, leaving barely a ripple in the coupe-style roofline. One feature that is most definitely visible from the side are the forward-surging kidney slats, which dart up into the hood, underlining the agile character of the Gran Turismo.
The dominant theme of the car's flanks is the double swage line, made up of two character lines running alongside each other, which is central to the appearance of the latest BMW 3 Series. Viewed in tandem with the pronounced door sill line it strengthens the body's dynamic wedge shape. The high-set side window graphic, which rises slightly at the Hofmeister kink, lends aesthetic emphasis to the clear forward orientation of the exterior design. New aerodynamic aids appear on the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo in the form of the Air Breathers. Located just aft of the front wheels, they are designed to reduce drag around the wheel arches. The Air Breathers team up with the Air Curtains to underline the sporting character of the car's design and provide tangible evidence of the innovative aerodynamic solutions devised by BMW as part of its BMW EfficientDynamics development strategy.
The rear of the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is highlighted by horizontal surfaces and lines emphasizing muscular width and unshakable roadholding. The wraparound section below the spoiler has an extremely flat appearance and visually lowers the stance of the rear. The interplay between light and shadowed surfaces generates a dynamism even when the car is stationary.
The extended rear lights, in customary BMW L-shaped design, stretch far into the sides of the car, add further presence to the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo's powerful breadth and make the car appear lower to the road. Two integrated bars of LEDs allow a slim light design and ensure the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo's distinctive appearance is maintained both day and night. The large tailgate showcases the versatility and functionality of the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo. It allows optimum access to the load area and, thanks to its wide, generously sized aperture, makes it easier to load and unload even bulky items.
The new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo adds 7.9 inches (200 mm) to the length of the BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon and has a 4.3 inch (110-mm) longer wheelbase. The new model also stands 3.2 inch (81 mm) taller. These generous dimensions create a luxurious feeling of space for the passengers and ensure unbeatable freedom of movement in every seat. The front and rear passengers all benefit from a seating position raised by 2.3 inches (59 mm), which allows an outstanding view out and makes entry and exit significantly easier. The Gran Turismo also raises headroom another notch.
Rear passengers enjoy a particularly impressive increase in space. Indeed, the Gran Turismo offers a full 2.8 inches (70 mm) of extra legroom in the rear, providing a freedom of movement normally only found in luxury-class cars. Thanks to the car's longer wheelbase - and a reduced overlap with the rear wheel arches as a result - the full breadth of the rear seat bench can be used without restriction and three adults can be seated in comfort. This feeling of space is complemented by the design forms, color scheme and materials employed in the interior. The flowing lines of the door panels link the front and rear compartments into a single stylistic unit, while the interplay of the flat roofline and frameless windows with the cocooning character of the interior creates a spacious first class ambience in the rear compartment, and thus the ideal environment for relaxed touring.
An array of storage compartments and other practical details helps lay on a suitably sumptuous level of long-distance comfort. A pair of cup holders are integrated into the center console, but can be swapped for an oddments tray if desired. And large door pockets front and rear can accommodate up to one liter drink bottles (750ml in the rear). The BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo can be adapted to meet changing requirements. To this end, the rear seat backrests are fitted with folding head restraints and can be split 40:20:40 as standard, allowing the load area to be increased in stages from 18.4 cu.ft. up to 56.5 cu.ft. (520-1,600 liters). Folding down only the central segment creates a large through-loading aperture that enables four people to bring several pairs of skis or snowboards on board with them. Folding down all the backrests, meanwhile, creates a slightly rising, almost level and flush-fitting load compartment floor.
The perceived value and functionality of the generously sized load area in the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo impress in equal measure. The gaping 44.0 x 24.3 inches (1,120 x 618 mm) load aperture and high-opening electric tailgate make it easier to load bulky items. Another practical feature is the cargo function for the rear seat backrests. The tilt angle of the backrests can be adjusted through 15 stages and 19 degrees and even brought into a vertical position if required. This allows the space available in the load compartment to be adapted to changing requirements, a process aided by the smooth panel surfaces of the load area's side walls. Another example of the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo's practical qualities is the two-piece parcel shelf. The larger segment opens with the tailgate, facilitating access to the load area. The second segment remains on its railing, allowing smaller items to be left in place even when the tailgate is opened. When not in use the sections can be easily removed and stored away neatly under the load compartment floor. The new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is fitted with a standard electrically-operated tailgate, but the options list also includes the Smart Opener (part of the Comfort Access option), which allows the boot lid to be opened hands-free with a movement of the foot under the rear bumper.
Four tie-downs points in the load compartment floor and a multifunction hook in the left-hand side panel are on hand for securing loads, while a multifunction storage tray under the load compartment floor and a deep compartment in the left-hand side panel swallow up all kinds of small items. Also located here is a 12-volt power socket to plug in a cooler or charge electrically-powered devices. The storage package, which is standard in the US, ups the comfort rating another notch when it comes to transporting both people and loads. In addition to an array of interior features, it also comprises handy extras for the load compartment. These include a remote release function for the rear seat backrests, a gas pressure spring for the load compartment floor, a sliding retaining net on the right-hand side panel, an additional strap for holding loads in place and a variable attachment system using two rails integrated into the load compartment floor.
The cockpit of the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo fits the same template as the new 3 Series Sedan and new 3 Series Sports Wagon. In customary fashion, the driver-focused layout ensures optimum access to all driving functions. Crystal clear circular instruments with a black-panel display and a freestanding iDrive monitor in contemporary flatscreen design underline the sense of functional elegance. The iDrive Controller - within easy reach on the center console - and the optionally fore-and-aft sliding/folding armrest between the front seats underscore the cabin's usability and comfort.
High-quality material combinations coupled with class-leading levels of workmanship reinforce the premium ambience on board the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo. A large number of color and upholstery variants offer scope for a multitude of combinations. Customers can also choose from three additional equipment plus M Sport, all of which add individual touches to the car's looks inside and out. Indeed, even the ignition key shares the color-coding of the equipment line specified.
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