As promised when the new 2012 BMW 3 Series Sedan made its debut in January at the Detroit Auto Show, the line is being extended with an equally new wagon variant based on the comprehensively revamped platform architecture that underpins the four-door model. On sale later this year in Europe, the 2013 BMW 3 Series Sport Wagon is set to arrive in the U.S. next spring.

Like the new 3 Series Sedan, this even more practical variation on the theme is slightly larger than the Sport Wagon it replaces, a well-implemented strategic stretch that serves up more passenger space -- particularly in the rear quarters -- as well as nearly 10 percent more cargo capacity. Visually, the 2013 BMW 3 Series Sport Wagon melds the same basic front sheetmetal as the sedan with its own extended roofline that resolves into a handsomely raked D-piilar treatment. As its predecessor, this new 3 Series Sport Wagon also features a two-piece tailgate with a separate glass element that eases the loading process for smaller items. However, for the first time, BMW has added both a conventional power tailgate option and a new Comfort Access package that includes a Hands Free Opening Tailgate that activates the hatch via a foot gesture under the rear bumper.

Continuing BMW's new-era of trim nomenclature, the 2013 3 Series Sport Wagon will offer the same Sport Line, Luxury Line and Modern Line exterior/interior configurations as the Sedan as well as the more enthusiast-oriented M Sport Line goodies. It, too, will be available with a host of high-tech features including BMW ConnectedDrive, a full-color Head-Up Display, BMW Apps, BMW Assist, with Bluetooth and Automatic Collision Notification, lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Detection and BMW Parking Assistant.

While BMW offered no guidance on U.S. powertrain specifics at this point in time, we suspect the 2013 3 Series Sport Wagon will be available in the same pair of TwinPower Turbo engines as the Sedan - a 240-horsepower/2.0-liter inline-4 in the 328i and a 300-horse/3.0-liter inline-6 in the 335i - both fitted with mileage-maxing Auto Start/Stop, Brake Energy Regeneration and BMW's ECO PRO Intelligent energy management system whether backed by a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission. Don't be surprised to see BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive package and a 335d model with the automaker's 3.0-liter turbodiesel also turn up at some point when they make a return to the new 3 Series Sedan side of the family. Those particulars as well as pricing and complete trim/equipment rosters for the 2013 BMW 3 Series Sport Wagon lineup will be announced at a later date.


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