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BMW 3-series GT (2013) spied totally undisguised
03 December 2012 10:30
This is the next model to join the BMW 3-series line-up: the taller, roomier Gran Turismo variant.
Like its unloved 5GT stablemate, the 3-series Gran Turismo will be available in regular and M Sport trim, as seen in these undisguised spy shots.
Where does the 3-series GT slot into the BMW range?
The new 3-series model line is to get two wheelbase variants - and as you can tell from these spy shots of the bloated 3GT, it'll get the longer platform. It'll share the LWB set-up with the upcoming 4-series Gran Coupe, BMW's smaller four-door 'coupe' that'll fight the Mercedes CLA 'mini-CLS'.
Thanks to this longer wheelbase, BMW has been able to increase cabin space with a focus on better rear legroom, and improving boot capacity - exactly like on the 5-series Gran Turismo. The 3-series GT will shun the 5GT's complex (and weighty) two-piece bootlid-cum-hatchback for a conventional one-piece tailgate, though it must be said the end result isn't exactly sleek...
From 2013, BMW's coupes will be differentiated with even numbers: the next 3-series coupe will become the 4-series, and so on. So the more practical 3-series hatchback will retain the Three moniker, leaving the sporting two-doors to take the Four badge.
Will the 3GT's oily bits be regular 3-series?
Behind the recognisably F30 3-series face, the engine range will mirror the 5GT's tactic of using the larger, higher-powered variants. That suggests the headline petrol model will be the 245bhp/258lb ft 325i, while the diesels will make up the bulk of European sales: expect the 320d (163bhp/280lb ft) and 330d (258bhp/413lb ft) powerplants.
Transmission-wise, all 5GTs are automatics, featuring BMW's eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox. The smaller 3GT could replicate this auto-only approach, and feature all-wheel-drive xDrive versions too. However, it's unlikely that all-paw 3GTs will make it to UK showrooms.
What sort of premium will a 3-series Gran Turismo command over a saloon?
Word is that a 3GT will cost around €4500 (£3700) more than a regular three-box Three when it arrives late next year. We'll get our first official look at the car and its specs ahead of the 2013 Frankfurt motor show in September 2013.