The New BMW 3 Series: Seven Flavors of Twin Turbo Diesel for 2016

The BMW 3 Series.  I recall the 2002 catching my eye back in the day.  But when I saw the original 320i, I was hooked.  Those were the “Ultimate Driving Machine” days.  And I envisioned myself as “Ultimate” as well.  Not too long ago I took a look at an 80s-era 320i.  This particular “Ultimate Driving Machine” had definitely seen better days.  It looked spartan, and almost devoid of allure.  And I still wanted to hop behind the wheel and drive the hell out of it.

Cut to today, when BMW announced the 2016 3 Series lineup.  Back in the day, the 2.0 liter gasoline engine made me appreciate how much power you could glean from a small engine.  Today, I’m stunned by how much power and torque you can wring out of a lightweight twin turbo diesel engine.

For 2016, BMW is offering SEVEN different choices of diesel power plants for their 3 Series sedans and Touring models. Remember, if you live in Europe you can choose.  In the US, we’ll probably get an updated version of the 328d. The 328d is no slacker vehicle. Here’s BMW on their new base diesel engine:

The new 320d EfficientDynamics Edition Sedan (combined fuel consumption: 4.3–3.8 l/100 km [65.7-74.3 mpg imp]; combined CO2 emissions: 113–99 g/km)* develops 120 kW/163 hp, yet emits just 99 g/km of CO2 when the eight-speed Steptronic transmission and standard tyres are specified. Indeed, the new transmissions also contribute to the increased efficiency of all variants.

On the outside, some minor adjustments to the sheet metal.  The new design of the front air intake gives an effect of width, making the signature twin kidneys look more like nostrils hungry for clean air.  Notice the model insignia on the tail ends.  For the first time, they indicate the sub-model “Touring” or “Sport”.  Inside, occupants will find their BMW Connected Drive experience accentuated by LTE wireless, a full-color heads-up display, better navigation, and an automatic parallel parking system.

Pricing is not yet available.  Expect to officially see the new 3 Series at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September.


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Sebastian James

Accept no substitutes

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