BMW Malaysia has unveiled the all-new BMW G20 3 Series, the seventh generation of the iconic sports sedan. Available as a fully imported model, the new 3 comes in the 330i M Sport guise, priced at RM328,800 (on the road without insurance). Local assembly will take place later with perhaps more variants offered.
While still maintaining that familiar identity, the new 3 Series has grown longer (+76 mm; 4,709 mm), wider (+16 mm; 1,827 mm), and taller (+6 mm; 1,435 mm) from the preceding F30 3 Series. Wheelbase has also been stretched 41 mm to 2,851 mm. This growth should improve cabin comfort for the occupants.
At the front, the signature kidney grille has also grown in size, reaching out to the Bi-LED headlights with built-in shark fin notch. Meanwhile, the tail lights are decidedly slimmer, with an L-shaped configuration similar to that of the M850i launched shortly before this. The spoiler lip for improved aerodynamics and two 90 mm tailpipes round out the sporty end. From the side, the long wheelbase and long-ish bonnet line, plus short front overhang give it a sporty coupe-like appearance. Of course, the Hofmeister kink remains in the C-pillar, with an updated ‘floating glass’ design.
The new 3 Series is also 25 kg lighter (kerb weight: 1,545 kg) despite improved rigidity courtesy of its intelligent lightweight construction. A drag coefficient of 0.23 means it boasts best-in-class aerodynamics.
The M Sport suspension features BMW’s first-ever lift-related dampers that continuously functions in relation to the changing spring travel, neutralising vibrations that occur when compensating for going over bumps and making dynamic cornering. Other M Sport kit includes the striking blue brake calipers, and 18″ M Light Alloy wheels in Double Spoke Style 790 M bi-colour Orbit Grey with mixed tyres.
“The BMW 3 Series is the model that established the premium sports sedan segment. For over 45 years, the 3 Series has continuously raised the benchmark for Sheer Driving Pleasure in the premium automotive industry. Today, the All-New BMW 3 Series in its seventh generation, takes the signature characteristics of a BMW to another level with a new dynamic design, superior driving dynamics as well as technology and innovation never seen before in the Malaysian automotive industry,” said Mr. Harald Hoelzl, Managing Director of BMW Group Malaysia.
Under the bonnet is a 2.0L TwinPower Turbo petrol engine, the most powerful of its kind yet to be fitted in a BMW model. It has 258 hp with peak torque of 400 Nm available from 1,550 – 4,400 rpm. Official 0 – 100 km/h is 5.8 seconds and top speed is 250 km/h. Paired with an updated 8-speed Steptronic Sport transmission, the 330i consumes 6.4 litres of petrol per 100 km.
The rigidity levels of the body structure and suspension attachment have been greatly enhanced and the track widths have been expanded to improve agility and steering precision. Handling is also enhanced by the 50:50 axle load distribution and low centre of gravity.
The 330i M Sport is equipped with the BMW Connected Package Professional subscription, BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant and BMW Digital Key. The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant enables voice commands to access the car’s functions and information. For example, the driver can control vehicle functions such as navigation and air-conditioning. It can also explain vehicle functions, provide status updates on things like the oil level and help detect warnings. The intelligent system will also pick up on the driver’s habits and preferences and will then adjust the vehicle to suit the driver. You can also customise yourPersonal Assistant by giving it another nickname. Updates to the car’s system will be via the Remote Software Upgrade that will continuously add new capabilities to the 3 Series.
Meanwhile, the BMW Digital Key allows for the car to be locked and unlocked via selected Android smartphones with Near Field Communication (NFC). Placing the phone at the door handle allows access to the car, while placing it in the designated charging tray allows you to start the engine. The Digital Key can be installed in up to five smartphones for convenience. This feature should be available for other operating systems in due course.
The all-new 330i also includes Parking Assistant for parallel and perpendicular parking. New to this function is the Reversing Assist which records the last 50 metres of the drive up to the parking space and uses that data to remember obstacles and tight spaces (it also takes over the wheel for you to exit the space).
Taking over the meter binnacle is a 12.3″ digital display. This is part of the latest BMW Live Cockpit Professional, which also includes a 10.25″ Control Display on the dashboard. Information and vehicle functions can be accessed via the Control Display’s touch control, the iDrive Controller, the steering wheel buttons and voice control.
The BMW 330i M Sport comes in five exterior colour choices: Portimao Blue, Black Sapphire, Alpine White, Mineral Grey and Sunset Orange, paired with either premium Black or Cognac Leather Vernasca upholstery and interior trim finished in Aluminium Tetragon.
The price includes 5-Year Unlimited Mileage Warranty with Free Scheduled Service Program, 2-Year / 24-Month Tyre Warranty Program for its Run Flat Tyre offering and services, BMW Roadside Assistance and Accident Hotline, BMW Group Loyalty+ Mobile App, BMW White Card, and BMW Service Online.