Tuesday 4th September 2012
NEW MODELS FOR BMW 1 AND 3 SERIES
We'd all love an M but here's the reality and it's suffixed 'd', 'ED' or, um, worse...
What, you were hoping for a new range of high-revving, normally aspirated V8s or something? Sadly not, BMW's extension of its engine range across 3 and 1 Series comprising fewer cylinders, more turbos and a whole lot of downsizing. Such is the way of it but that's not necessarily something to feel too upset about, especially if you're looking for a vaguely involving steer on the company ticket.
The Ultimate Driving Machine; 95hp, 115mph...
November sees the launch of the 114d, the most efficient model in BMW's line-up. Its headline figures are a 65.7mpg and 112g/km. Well 12.2 seconds to 62mph and 115mph flat-out aren't exactly attention grabbing, are they? A 1.6-litre diesel with 95hp and 173lb ft is responsible for the performance/parsimony ratio being strongly in favour of the latter. The rafts of efficiency measures fitted to the 114d include Brake Energy Regeneration, Active Aerodynamics and Stop Start. To be seen on a company car list near you soon...
Slightly more PH-worthy are the introductions to the 3 Series saloon range, the 316i and 320i EfficientDynamics. For the first time in a long while, the 316i badge actually relates to the engine displacement; in this case a TwinPower turbo unit with 136hp and 162lb ft. This means the entry level 3 Series is now capable of 0-62mph in 8.9 seconds and can reach a top speed of 127mph, all whilst returning 47.9mpg. The C02 figure is 134g/km.
BMW in badging shock: 316i powered by a 1.6(!)
The 320i EfficientDynamics (don't expect BMW to use that badge in the abbreviated form any time soon - ouch) will be the most efficient petrol-powered 3 Series available. It uses the same 1.6-litre TwinPower engine as the 316i but with 170hp and 184lb ft. Despite the performance advantages over the 316i (0-62mph takes 7.6 seconds), the Efficient Dynamics tech ensures improved economy and emissions; it delivers 53.3mpg and 124g/km respectively. The 316i will start at £22,850, 320i EfficientDynamics from £25,730.
The 3 Series Touring arrives in Britain on September 22. Its arrival also marks the introduction of the 316d, 318d and 320i to the 3 Series range.
3 Series Touring most capacious yet
Its estate vitals are a seats-up boot capacity of 495 litres, rising to 1,500 litres with them down. A split tailgate opening is standard whilst Smart Opener, which allows the boot to be opened by waving your foot under the rear bumper, is an option. The 3 Series Touring will start from £26,180 for the 316d ES.