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BMW reveals the 3-Series Gran Turismo

More practical, bigger 3er with a hatchback...

BMW has officially unveiled the 3-Series Gran Turismo ahead of the public reveal at the Geneva Motor Show in early March.

According to BMW, the 3-Series GT “combines the saloon’s dynamic, sporting genes with the practicality and versatility of the Touring." We’re not exactly sure what that means though – it is basically a slightly taller 3er, with a large hatchback. This does mean it’s a fair bit more practical than the 3er saloon, but why not just buy the Touring if that’s what you require?

The 5-Series GT has had little success in the UK, with buyers doing exactly as we said above – just buying the Touring version. But on the continent and in the US, the GT model is much more popular. Given the smaller size and higher volumes we can see the 3er GT being more popular.

While the model closely resembles the 5er GT, designers managed to soften some of the lines to give the hatchback a more cohesive appearance. The rear is particularly more successful than the 5er GT with a lower belt line meaning it loses the bulky look of the larger car.

Styling highlights include a prominent grille sharing the 3er saloon’s elongated headlights, frameless windows and a sloping roofline that tapers all the way down to the rear end. There's also a large tailgate with an active spoiler that automatically rises at 70 mph and retracts at speeds below 45 mph.

As with most new BMWs, the 3-Series GT can be equipped with Sport Line, Luxury Line or Modern Line styling packages. There's also an M Sport package that adds an aerodynamic body kit, shadow line trim, a sport-tuned suspension and 18-inch alloy wheels.

What is most surprising about the 3er GT is the size. You would imagine it would be the same length as the saloon, but you would be wrong – the GT is the biggest 3er variant. Overall, the hatchback measures 200mm longer and 81mm taller than the Touring, while riding on a wheelbase that has been extended by 110mm. This means that interior space, particularly in the rear has been increased a great deal.

Interior changes are limited, but the model features raised seating positions and an extra 70mm of rear seat legroom. The large hatchback rear gives the 3er GT a capacity of 520 litres which can be expanded to 1600 litres when the rear seats are folded down.

Under the bonnet, a variety of different engines are available, including:

A 2.0 litre Turbo four-cylinder diesel with 143 bhp and 236 lb/ft of torque or 184 bhp and 280 lb/ft of torque

A 2.0 litre Turbo four-cylinder petrol with 184 bhp and 199 lb/ft of torque or 245 bhp  and 258 lb/ft of torque

A 3.0 litre Turbo inline-six cylinder diesel with 258 bhp and 413 lb/ft of torque on the 330d.

A 3.0 litre Turbo inline-six cylinder petrol with 306 bhp and 295 lb/ft of torque on the 335i.

Regardless of which engine is selected, it can be paired to the standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional eight-speed automatic. The 3er GT is rear wheel drive, while four wheel drive xDrive variants are on the way.

Images courtesy of BMW

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About Tim Oldland

Contributing Editor - Long time petrolhead, automotive design engineer and journalist. Also Social Media Manager for the ecurie25 Group - www.ecurie25.com Tim has worked in the automotive sector for many years, but has been a fan of anything with 2 or 4... read more