The 3 Series has grown in size but lost some weight. ^
BMW has revealed the all-new, 2020 3 Series at the 2018 Paris Motor Show with a familiar sheetmetal that masks many notable improvements.
The seventh-generation of the iconic sports sedan has grown nearly three inches longer overall than before, with an increase in wheelbase and track width. Yet, despite the bigger footprint, it is 121 pounds (55 kg) lighter and boasts a sleeker body with an improved drag coefficient of 0.26.
Visually, the exterior design doesn’t deviate too far from the look of the sixth-generation, though the front fascia is more aggressive with its jagged headlight treatment and more pronounced interpretation of the kidney grille.
The interior adopts the new BMW Live Cockpit, which features iDrive 6.0 with an 8.8-inch digital touchscreen and a 5.7-inch digital instrument color display. Buyers have the option of a 12.3-inch high-resolution digital instrument cluster display and a 10.25-inch digital touch screen display with the new iDrive 7.0 operating system.
First to hit the market is the BMW 330i with a new turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission to produce 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. The new four-banger makes 7 more horsepower and 37 more lb-ft. than the outgoing engine thanks to a revised turbo and other modifications, allowing the 330i to reach 60 mph in 5.6 seconds.
The M340i and M340i xDrive models arrive a few months later packing turbocharged 3.0L inline six-cylinder engine rated at 382 hp and 369 lb-ft. of torque, channeled to the wheels by the aforementioned eight-speed automatic transmission. The BMW M340i xDrive sedan can complete the 60 mph sprint in 4.2 seconds.
Under that new more “athletic” body, the new 3 Series rides on a new suspension with lift-related dampers, extra hydraulic damping at the front axle, and a compression limiting system at the rear for a smoother, more controlled ride.
It will be interesting to see how the new BMW 3 Series fares against the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A4 and all the other compact premium sports sedans.
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