Click Thumbnails to Enlarge

BMW 3-series Gran Turismo (2013) first official pictures

By Ollie Kew

First Official Pictures

07 February 2013 09:00

This is the latest member of the BMW 3-series family: the taller, roomer 3-series Gran Turismo. BMW claims the 3GT is designed to give the dynamic handling of a saloon, the rakish looks of a coupe and more space than an estate. Has BMW found the Holy Grail, or is this a case of Jack of all trades and master of none? Punters haven't flocked to BMW's first stab at this type of car - the 5-series Gran Turismo - but does the 3GT do it better and with more style? Read on for full details.

The BMW 3-series Gran Turismo looks just like the 5GT

The roofline swoops dramatically like an X6's; sizewise, the 3GT stands 81mm taller than a 3-series Touring, and measures 200mm longer. There’s also an extra 110mm in the wheelbase, all in the name of maximum cabin space.

Though the 3GT’s tailgate is electrically operated (as standard), it doesn’t sport the trick, dual ability of the 5GT, which can open like a saloon or a hatchback. Truth be told this duality felt superfluous on CAR's 5GT long-termer, and the 3GT won't suffer for only offering a hatchback's practicality. One detail worthy of note is the pop-up rear spoiler: this is the first ever BMW road car to get an active wing for aerodynamic reasons. It rises at 68mph, cutting rear lift by 35%, says BMW.

The front wings boast the hockey stick side vent from the 4-series coupe, sporting a contrasting finish on all but the poverty spec models. Trim-wise, you can choose from Modern, Luxury, Sport and M Sport, as on the rest of the 3-series range.

What’s the BMW 3-series Gran Turismo like inside?

Open the pillarless doors and to access the cabin's five seats, the same as any other 3-series. However, passengers sit 59mm higher than a regular Three. There’s also an extra 79mm of legroom to stretch out into, and a bigger boot: up 25 litres from a regular 3-series Touring to 520 litres. The dashboard architecture is carried over from the 3-series.

Are engines shared with the other 3-series bodystyles too?

Yes – five turbocharged motors are available, all mated to six-speed manual transmission as standard – an eight-speed auto is an option. Plump for petrol power and there’s a choice of four-cylinder 320i and 328i power, or the range-topping six-pot 335i. Go diesel and there’s 318d and 320d to choose from.

Engine

BHP

Lb ft

MPG (claimed)

CO2 g/km

0-62mph (secs)

320i

182

199

45.5

153

7.9

328i

242

258

42.2

149

6.1

335i

302

295

34.9

188

5.7

318d

143

236

62.8

119

9.7

320d

182

280

57.7

129

8.0

325d

215

332

(coming summer 2013)

(coming summer 2013)

(coming summer 2013)

In summer 2013 a 325d will join the range, along with an all-wheel drive xDrive variant of the 320i (the only AWD 3GT coming to the UK) The 3GT gets electric power steering, 50:50 weight distribution and lightweight aluminium brake callipers.

When can I see more of the BMW 3GT?

The BMW 3-series Gran Turismo will make its world debut at the Geneva motor show from 5 March 2013. UK sales start from 15 June 2013, with prices starting at £28,830 for a 320i SE GT, and rising to £38,470 for a 335i GT.

>> Does the 3GT make sense of BMW’s Gran Turismo idea, or is it another niche too far? Click ‘Add your comment’ to sound off below