?2014 BMW 3 Series GT (Gran Turismo)?
All-New innovative concept joins 3 Series lineup
BMW has created a unique vehicle to enhance their highly popular and successful 3 Series offerings. It is the all-new 2014 BMW 3 Series GT (Gran Turismo), which will be available in two models, based on engine propulsion. There will be a BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo 328i as well as a 335i model in either a rear-wheel drive or BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive configuration.
The 2014 BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo will display familiar BMW proportions, four doors with frameless windows, a stunning coupe-like profile, a gracefully sloping roofline and a large electrically operated tailgate or rear hatch. There is also an active rear spoiler (the first on a BMW) that contributes to the vehicle?s sporty appeal, but that is also functional, helping to reduce lift at higher speeds.
This new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is based on the Chinese 3 Series platform architecture and is 7.9-inches longer than the BMW 3 Series Sport Wagon, features a 4.3-inch longer wheelbase and stands 3.2-inches taller. It is also heavier than the 3 Series sedan.? All of this translates to more generous interior space, enhancing passenger comfort and contributing to increased cargo capacity. The seating position has been raised 2.3-inches with an additional 2.8-inches of rear seat legroom provided for rear passengers over both the Sedan and Sport Wagon. There?s also more headroom, and the luggage or cargo compartment delivers 18.3 cubic feet of trunk space ? a full cubic foot more than the Sports Wagon.
The high-opening tailgate/hatch, with its wide load aperture allows for easy access, while the 40:20:40 split/folding rear seat backs with folding head restraints and tilt-adjustable backrests and two-piece parcel shelf speak to the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo’s functionality and versatility. There are LED strips that illuminate the cargo area,? tie-down points, multifunction hooks and an under-floor storage compartment that combine to provide greater convenience on a premium level. An optionally available Smart Opener (part of the Comfort Access option) allows the boot lid to be opened with a movement of the foot under the rear bumper.
The not-so-successful BMW 5GT that made its debut several years ago had the same basic intent, but failed to deliver the goods in a fashion as attractive as the 3 Series GT execution. The silhouette of the 3 GT is graceful and stretched showcasing its elegant coupe-like form. Up front, the iconic twin-kidney grille slats slant aggressively forward, darting up into the hood.
A double swage line, made up of two character lines that run alongside each other serve as the dominant theme of the car?s flanks. When viewed along with the car?s pronounced door sill line, the body?s wedge shaped design is strengthened, and the high set window area rises slightly at the Hofmeister kink, lending emphasis to the 3 GT?s forward motion imagery. Air Breathers with Air Curtains were designed to reduce drag blend to improve the car?s aerodynamics as part of BMW?s EfficientDynamics development strategy.
The rear view of the 3 Series Gran Turismo showcases its muscular width and horizontal surfaces, with extended ?L?-shaped LED taillight bars, making the car appear lower to the road surface.
The interior accommodations deliver a feeling of First Class ambience for a relaxed touring atmosphere. The lines, flowing forms and materials are all factors that harmonize to complement the exterior?s appeal and attractiveness.
There are three equipment levels or lines as well as an M Sport package to serve up individual characters. There is a Sport line; a Luxury line; a Modern line and the performance oriented M Sport treatment.
As already mentioned, defining the actual model of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is the engine. The BMW 328i is powered by a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology, combining High Precision Gas Injection, Double-Vanos variable camshaft timing and Valvetronic variable valve timing along with twin-scroll turbocharging to deliver 240 horsepower and 225 pound feet of torque. The BMW 335i draws its motive force from a 3.0-liter, inline 6-cylinder that delivers 302 horses while generating 295 pound feet of torque. It also features VANOS, Valvetronic, and single TwinScroll Turbo with high precision Direct Injection.
Both engines are coupled to a high performance eight-speed automatic transmission that is comparable in terms of size and weight to the six-speed automatic used previously. There is a sports version of this transmission available for cars equipped with the Sport Line and M Sport ? with this version, there are paddle shifters, a Quickshift selector lever on the center console. Normal and Sport modes are chosen via the Driving Dynamics Control switch. A Driving Experience Control switch provides an ECO Pro mode, a Comfort mode, a Sport mode and a Sport+ mode. A button enables the drover to alter the DSC settings or to switch them off entirely.
Safety, convenience and connectivity abound in the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo with a host of both active and passive systems such as BMW ConnectedDrive, a high resolution, color? Head-Up Display, Blind Spot and Lane Departure Warning systems, High-Beam Assistant, Adaptive Headlights, Surround View, Side View, Top View, BMW Parking Assistant, Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function and BMW Assist eCall with enhanced Automatic Collision Notification featuring automatic vehicle location
During the international press introduction, I was able to experience both the 335i and 328i models, but spent the most time in a 2014 BMW 335i xDrive finished outside in Imperial Blue metallic and inside in two-tone Beige and Charcoal. The base price was set at $$46,850. While adding for the metallic paint Beige leather, Cold Weather Package, Driver Assistant+ and Destination and Handling ran the total up to $52,625.
SUMMARY: ?The 2014 BMW 3 Series GT is indeed a unique and innovative vehicle ? it appears to be a coupe, but has four doors (actually five counting the rear hatch). It serves up more interior space than the BMW 3 Series Sport Wagon without being wagon-boxy, is larger than the 3 Series Sedan. It looks for all the world like a BMW ? after all it is, and it performs like a BMW should.
The 3 GT Bimmer answers questions that weren?t really asked ? at least not by many, but it makes perfect sense as a practical, impressively attractive and sporty BMW.?It may well be the perfect choice from the new BMW 3 Series stable. It is ideal to serve duty as a sedan for basic transportation, while also being perfect for long distance touring, and, should one be overcome by? the sudden urge to? test their mettle on the track, it?s up to that challenge as well, when properly equipped.
I found the ride quality to be admirably comfortable, the acceleration delivered by the 3.0-liter inline six to be more than satisfactory (the 4-banger is no slouch here either, but it has to work harder). The 3GT handles like a?.. well, like a BMW. No surprise there.
Basically, bottom line, the 3 Series Gran Turismo is a delight to drive and to ride in. Would I choose it over the 3 Series Wagon or Sedan? You bet I would.
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[wptabtitle] SPECIFICATIONS: 2014 BMW 335i xDrive Gran Turismo [/wptabtitle]
|Price as Tested:||$52,625.|
|Engine Type and Size:||3.0-liter, DOHC, 24-valve, in-line six-cylinder with VANOS, Valvetronic, and single TwinScroll Turbo with high precision Direct Injection.|
|Horsepower (bhp):||302 @ 5,800 rpm|
|Torque (ft./ lbs.):||295 @ 1,200-5,000 rpm|
|Drive Train:||Longitudinally mounted front engine / BMW’s intelligent all-wheel drive.|
|Suspension:||Utilizes specific spring rates.
Front – Double pivot spring strut front axle and anti-roll bar.
Rear – Five-link independent rear axle.
|Brakes:||Power-assisted four-wheel vented discs with ABS, DSC, ASC, DTC, DBC, CBC, Start-Off Assistant and electronic limited slip function for the rear differential.|
Tires: Continental ContiProContact 225/50 R18 99V mounted on five-double-spoke alloy wheels.Wheelbase:115.0 inchesLength Overall:190.0 inchesWidth:72.0 inchesHeight:59.4 inchesCurb Weight:4,010 lbs.Fuel Capacity:15.8 gallonsEPA Mileage Estimates:20 mpg city / 30 mpg highwayDrag Coefficient:0.290 – 60 mph: 5.1 seconds