04-07-2004, 11:41 PM
04-07-2004, 11:44 PM
article from uk autoexpress:
3 Touring Toned Down
Just when BMW bosses thought it was safe to venture out with their new 3-Series Touring, the mag's spies pounced! We caught the Beemer as it emerged virtually undisguised from a trailer.
Auto Express is the first magazine in the world to print pictures of the compact executive load-lugger completely unmasked. Although the car had been widely expected to continue to develop the 'flame surfacing' design philosophy of its stablemates, these shots reveal that the look of the newcomer is likely to be a lot less adventurous than had first been imagined.
Aimed at the new Audi A4 Avant and Lexus IS SportCross, the 3-Series Touring has lights inspired by the BMW CS1 concept and a profile similar to that of the forthcoming 5-Series estate, also due this year. But while the exterior styling may not herald another dramatic evolution of the BMW brand, our sources are promising the real revolution will take place under the skin.
Driver appeal will remain one of the car's main marketing points, and buyers won't be disappointed. The 3-Series will get fully adjustable suspension that can be controlled electronically from the cabin. Rear-wheel drive will remain, but the firm is developing a 4WD version, too. In addition, there will also be a simplified version of the 7-Series' iDrive function-control system, plus the sequential manual gearbox which is offered on the current M3.
Engine choices will include 2.0 and 2.2-litre four-cylinder units, plus 2.5 and 3.0-litre sixes. The flagship - to be christened 345i - will use a new 4.5-litre V8. Diesel fans will have a choice of 2.2, 3.0 or 4.0-litre powerplants.
BMW is also planning to develop the M3 range further, and will unveil both two and four-wheel-drive versions of the performance flagship. It will be powered by a tuned variant of the 345i's V8 engine, developing in excess of 400bhp. The new 3-Series saloon is scheduled to appear at this autumn's Paris Motor Show, with the estate likely to debut at the Geneva expo next year. Dan Strong
04-07-2004, 11:51 PM
These 4-series shots are a bit older and have been out for a while, but I felt they were worth posting again...
04-08-2004, 03:56 PM
That thing is going to look killer as a M car.
Joe "Preachers Sheets" DIESO
04-09-2004, 02:46 PM
I like the side profile (5th picture from the top). Looks nice.