Wednesday, 1 June 2016

BMW 3-Series Gran Turismo


In the space of three years, the BMW 3-Series Gran Turismo has established itself successfully around the world in the premium mid-size class. As a standalone character within the BMW 3-Series family, it brings together the sporting attributes of the 3-Series Sedan with the elegant dynamics of a coupe and the functionality and versatility of the 3-Series Touring.

It is a recipe that has enabled it to win over new customers for the BMW brand not only in Europe, but also in the important markets of the USA and China. The distinctive character of the BMW 3-Series Gran Turismo gains extra strength with the arrival of the new model, the development engineers having focused their attentions on enhancing its sporting potency and level of quality, in particular. The successful underlying concept, however, has remained untouched.

In demand on every continent
The BMW 3-Series Gran Turismo appeals squarely to the tastes of customers keen to match a sporty experience with the elegance of a large coupe. This is complemented by the everyday practicality and comfort of a four-door car offering high levels of comfort over long distances and ample space for the necessary luggage. Ease of entry, a slightly raised seating position with outstanding all-round visibility and a generous feeling of space play an equally critical role in the decision to buy as the car's sophisticated appearance.

The BMW 3-Series Gran Turismo offers more space in the rear compartment, in particular. Here, customers will be greeted by three full-size seats and - thanks to a longer wheelbase - the legroom of a luxury sedan. And then there is the boot behind the large, electrically-operated tailgate (fitted as standard), whose capacity and variability even outstrip those of the BMW 3-Series Touring.

These features strengthen the already distinctive character of the Gran Turismo within the BMW 3-Series model range. So it is hardly surprising that the BMW 3-Series Gran Turismo appeals to a broad spread of customers worldwide. The major markets for the model are China, Germany and the USA. In Germany almost one in six BMW 3-Series cars sold is a Gran Turismo. And the BMW 3-Series Gran Turismo is recording high new-customer acquisition rates in the process.

Almost every other customer in Germany and around two in every three people buying a BMW 3-Series Gran Turismo in the USA are new to the brand. In China that figure is more than 90 per cent. In purely statistical terms, China is the most important market for the BMW 3-Series Gran Turismo; around one in five of the 130,000 3-Series Gran Turismo cars sold so far have been handed over to customers there.

Exterior and lighting design
Four doors with frameless windows, the couple-style, gently sloping roofline and a large tailgate shape this distinctive member of the BMW 3-Series lineup. Updates to the front and rear of the new BMW 3-Series Gran Turismo shine an even brighter spotlight on its character. For example, newly designed headlights and rear lights, plus a new rear apron, all help to sharpen the sporting appearance of the BMW 3-Series Gran Turismo. Modified air intakes on Sport Line and Luxury Line cars add fresh accents.

Effortless sportiness and progressive elegance
In time-honoured BMW style, totally newly designed twin circular headlights define the focused front end of the BMW 3-Series Gran Turismo. Standard specification for the new model includes LED headlights for dipped and high beam. The dark surround of the headlight tubes, which are levelled off at the bottom and framed by daytime driving light rings, gives the internal workings of the headlights a clear, cool and technically alluring appearance. The front foglamps also come in LED form for the first time in the BMW 3-Series Gran Turismo and are fitted as standard.

Adaptive LED headlights are now available as an option for the BMW 3-Series Gran Turismo. These are levelled off slightly at the top by "eyebrows" formed by the LED turn signal repeaters, bringing extra brio to the car's character. The familiar twin circular light graphics are afforded an even more precise, even more modern interpretation here. The visible LED technology is intricately presented in the headlight tubes.

For example, the outer rings are no longer symmetrical, but instead extend in towards the centre of the car. Together with the light graphics, the links from the headlights to the kidney grille give the front end a broader and therefore sportier visual impact. Also part of the full-LED headlights package is the camera-based high-beam assistant BMW Selective Beam.

The outer air intakes of the BMW 3-Series Gran Turismo's sporty, threesection front end have been revised and updated for the new model. In Sport Line and Luxury Line cars, these intakes feature a horizontal bar which generates a straight line across the lower section of the front end. Together with the blades above them, this accentuates the Gran Turismo's wide stance on the road. On Luxury Line cars, both the bar and the blades come in chrome, while Sport Line models prefer the bar in aluminium and the blades in high-gloss black.

The rear of the BMW 3-Series Gran Turismo makes a compelling proposition with its standalone design. The full-LED rear lights provide a fresh interpretation of the L-shape light graphics characteristic of BMW models. The rear lights are no longer split into individual light strips, but now feature a dynamic sweep towards their outer edge which gives them an even more prominent "cast from a single mould" appearance.

All of which adds extra emphasis to the compact impression created by the rear end. The bars of LEDs tapering towards the centre of the rear reference the headlight graphics at the front. Added to which, the reflector elements in the rear apron are now positioned higher up and reinforce the powerful styling of the rear end. A trim strip further down - finished in chrome on Luxury Line models and high-gloss black on Sport Line cars - lowers the visual centre of gravity.

The rear of the new BMW 3-Series Gran Turismo retains its predecessor's active aerodynamic system, including a spoiler which extends automatically at higher speeds to generate the necessary downforce. At lower speeds, the spoiler slides back almost imperceptibly into the car's silhouette. The range-topping petrol engine powering the BMW 340i Gran Turismo comes with an exhaust system featuring individual tailpipes on the left and right, each measuring 80 millimetres in diameter. All engine variants from the 320i and 320d upwards now have twin tailpipes on the left-hand side of the rear end, each 70 millimetres in diameter. The exhaust tailpipe on the 318d has a diameter of 75 millimetres.

At 4,824 millimetres in length (+ 190 mm), 1,508 millimetres in height (+ 79 mm) and 1,828 millimetres in width (+ 17 mm), the BMW 3-Series Gran Turismo is significantly larger than the BMW 3-Series Sedan and Touring. The same is true of its wheelbase, which measures 2,920 millimetres (+ 110 mm). These dimensions are unchanged on the new model, which means the car's handsome proportions - fusing dynamic and aesthetic appeal to eye-catching effect - also remain intact.

Interior and equipment
A host of details inside the BMW 3-Series Gran Turismo have enjoyed a visible and noticeable upgrade thanks to the introduction of new materials. Plus, customers also enjoy even greater scope when it comes to configuring their car just as they want it, as a large number of options can now be freely combined.

Chrome applications and high-gloss elements take perceived quality to another new level
One of the features that has been revised for the new model is the Centre Information Display. A flatter design and narrower frame profile give it a slimmer and, as a result, more elegant, higher-quality look. Also among the many updated interior details is the surround for the air vents, which now takes the form of an electroplated strip. Electroplated elements can likewise be found in the centre console. For example, the cupholder with roller cover (introduced in 2015) has an electroplated border in the new model, making this functional area more striking to the eye.

Elsewhere, the centre stack containing the controls for the radio and air conditioning now features highgloss black trim, imbuing it with extra presence. And the radio and air conditioning controls are framed by chrome applications. These features bring additional exclusivity and perceived quality to the central element between the Centre Information Display and centre tunnel. Added to which, the buttons in the doors for the windows and mirror adjustment also have electroplated edging.

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