• Seventh-generation vehicle gets new design, suspension system, engine and technology
  • 330i on sale in March 2019 starting at $40,200 plus $995 destination
  • M340i to follow in spring 2019

 

On the first media day of the 2018 Paris Auto Show, BMW unveiled the 2019 BMW 3 Series to the world motoring press. The seventh-generation 3 Series continues BMW’s most successful model, which stretches back to 1976 in the United States, when it arrived as a successor to the 2002. The 3 Series established itself as the world’s biggest-selling premium car, making the birth of a new generation into a notable event. 330i and 330i xDrive models will arrive in the US in March 2019; M340i and M340i xDrive are slated to arrive later in the spring. A plug-in hybrid version of the 3 Series, 330e, is promised for 2020.

A new 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder twin-scroll turbocharged gasoline engine lives under the hood, delivering 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque – an increase of 7 horsepower and 37 lb-ft of torque over the outgoing engine. BMW claims a 0-to-60 mph time of 5.6 seconds. The 2019 330i sedan will start at $40,250 plus $995 destination; 330i xDrive sedan will start at $42,250 plus $995 destination – matching prices for the 2018 330i models.

M Performance models will use an updated inline-6 engine, M Performance chassis tuning, M Sport rear differential, and optional xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive. The new engine will be tuned to produce 382 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, delivering a 0-to-60 mph time of 4.2 seconds with xDrive. M Performance model prices have not yet been revealed. For 2018, pricing of the 340i was $48,950, while the M3 was priced at $66,500 (there was no M340i model in 2018).

The 330i will come with a revised version of the 8-speed Sport Steptronic automatic transmission as standard equipment (no word about a manual transmission version). The Steptronic includes shift paddles on the steering wheel for manual gear selection, and Launch Control for dynamic starts off of the line. Intelligent connectivity enables the Steptronic to receive and interpret information from the optional navigation system to help prevent inefficient shutdown during yielding situations and other anomalies. A coasting function is now available, disconnecting the powertrain during certain specific driving conditions to maximize fuel economy.

Chassis refinement resulted in a wider track both front and rear, along with a 25 percent increase in body rigidity, including as much as a 50 percent improvement in certain areas. New shock absorber technology, including standard lift-related dampers, make their BMW debut in the 3 Series. An Adaptive M Suspension is available. Curb weight has been reduced by as much as 121 pounds and coefficient of drag (Cd) has been reduced by 0.03 to 0.26.

The new 3 Series sedan is 2.9 inches longer, 0.6 inches wider and 0.5 inches taller than the outgoing model, and rides on a wheelbase that is 1.6 inches longer. Full LED headlights are standard, with extended features and U-shaped daytime driving lights available. Optional adaptive LED headlight and BMW Laserlight add additional individuality and function.

Inside, a redesigned instrument cluster at the center of the driver’s cockpit centralizes pertinent information while clustering other information into clearly structured function panels. Optional interior trim elements include open-pore fine wood and finishes like Aluminum Mesh Effect. Sport Line, Luxury Line and M Sport model packages and options allow for further customization and individuality. The optional BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant makes its debut in 3 Series, bringing a sophisticated level of artificial intelligence to the task of automating strings of commands.

EPA fuel economy estimates have not yet been announced for the 2019 BMW 3 Series sedan. 

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